Buttons Tune Low-Cost Car Radio (May, 1938)

I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone put a car radio in that location.

Buttons Tune Low-Cost Car Radio

Push-button tuning, the modern safety feature that enables car drivers to adjust their radios without taking their eyes from the road, has now been built into an inexpensive, easily installed set. Pushing any one of five buttons on an instrument-board panel instantaneously tunes the self-contained receiver to a corresponding station.

10 comments
  1. PaulC says: February 16, 20122:30 pm

    I used to have an old car radio that looked just like that. It was made for aftermarket installation under the dash. Many of the old cars at that time didn’t have any place to accommodate a radio in the dashboard. A simple AM radio of that era was quite large and heavy.

  2. PaulC says: February 16, 20122:32 pm

    It would have been mounted on the driver’s left as the floor shift lever would have likely interfered with a center mounting.

  3. Hirudinea says: February 16, 20122:40 pm

    Where do I plug my iPod in?

  4. JMyint says: February 16, 20122:43 pm

    A long time ago (the 70s) I had an old army surplus truck that the previous owner had put a tape deck in that position.

  5. Anonymous Tipster says: February 16, 20124:42 pm

    The tuning scale is backwards (150 on the left, 55 on the right) so I guess it makes sense the radio is mounted on the opposite side of where one’s used to seeing a radio.

  6. Toronto says: February 16, 20129:21 pm

    I had no idea presets existed in 1938. Then again, they were not that far away from typewriter tabs in some versions.

  7. Mike Brown says: February 17, 201210:58 am

    Some presets, at least in car radios from the 50′s and later, did work like tabs in typewriters – the tuning dial would be mechanically moved to a selected position.

    I’m not sure that these did work in that fashion. I had a console radio of 1930′s vintage at one point, and it had preset pushbuttons, each of which selected a coil/capacitor circuit which substituted for the tuning dial. Each button had to be individually tuned from the back of the set using a screwdriver or tuning tool (I don’t remember which). Presumably, when you bought the radio you told the store what stations you wanted and they tuned the buttons for you before they delivered the set.

  8. Neil Russell says: February 17, 20125:22 pm

    It’s on that side because the heater, either aftermarket or just optional is taking up the real estate on the other side.
    It was tight quarters in those old rides

  9. Stan Hall says: February 17, 201210:13 pm

    On some of those old radios, you pulled the pushbutton out and the adjustable tuning coil was behind it.

  10. Modern Marvel « says: February 21, 20128:29 am

    [...] This article is from a 1938 issue of Modern Mechanix magazine. [...]

Submit comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.