Firestone's line for 1938 was an expansion on 1937. A total of seven tabletop models were now offered, with three being battery operated sets. Firestone also added three console radios to the lineup, the first consoles they had sold. It does not appear that all three were available at the same time, with the 11-tube model possibly being canceled after Fall-Winter, and the "sloping panel, pushbutton" model being added in the Spring-Summer. The 1938 line debuted in the Fall-Winter 1937-1938 catalog.
This was the entry level Firestone set for 1938. It's a 5-tube AC/DC set covering both regular AM and police bands. It retailed for $12.95, a dollar less than the previous year's entry level model, and you got more for your money.
I have two of these in my collection, though both have cracking on the waterfall front top. This seems to be a common problem with these. Click on the photo at left for a larger image. A very attactive little radio! This radio was pictured on the front of the Fall-Winter 1937-1938 catalog.
This radio featured a nice black dial, two bands, tone control, and a walnut cabinet. This 5-tube radio retailed for $19.95.
These radios come up for sale on a regular basis, so they must be fairly common. I am not lucky enough to have found one yet.
This is a very nice radio - 6 tubes, 3 bands, tone control, AVC, a wonderful big black dial, and an beautiful walnut cabinet, all for only $29.95! This is a highly desirable radio which tends to sell well, and there are quite a few out there.
I have owned a couple of these radios - they are very nice! Click the photo to the left for a larger image.
This was the top of the line tabletop for Firestone in 1938. It's similar to the 7423-1 shown above, but with the addition of a tuning eye. This brings the total to 7 tubes. "You will be thrilled with its rich tone, selectivity, and "pick-up power". Put this radio on your "Must See" list!" I agree!
This model, being the top of the line, seems to be fairly uncommon. I am not lucky enough to have found one yet.
This model was the entry level console for 1938. It has seven tubes, including an eye tube. It appears that this is the same chassis as the 7423-2 above, simply in a console cabinet. I've never seen one of these radios, but some must exist.
This radio had a price drop during its season. It's listed in the Fall/Winter 1937-1938 catalog for $59.95, but the price is dropped to $49.95 in the Spring/Summer 1938 catalog.
This massive 11-tube console was probably one of the nicer Firestone consoles made. It has an eye tube, dial-matic station selection, and a great looking cabinet.
I've never seen one of these, and there is no model number listed on the ad. A viewer has suggested this is probably a model 7423-4, or R-308 (Riders Volume 9, pages 7 and 8).
The radio did not make it into the Spring-Summer 1938 catalog, so possibly it was discontinued early on.
We've finally confirmed that at least one exists, as a photo was posted to the gallery here.
This is a 5 tube, 2 volt battery radio. This radio used both "A" and "B" batteries. Kind of ugly and not very common.
This is a 5 tube, 6 volt battery farm set. This is basically the battery version of the AC powered 7422-4.
This is a 6 tube, 6 volt battery farm set. Radios like this were sold to residents of rural areas who might not yet have had electricity. This is basically the battery version of the AC powered 7423-1. Notice that the battery version was $10 more ($44.95) than the AC powered version!
This console was introduced in the Spring-Summer 1938 catalog, but was not listed in the Fall/Winter 1937-1938 catalog with the other radios. I can only assume it's a mid-year introduction. Possibly, this radio was meant to compete with Philco's "No Stoop, No Squint" radios:
"Now Firestone provides Push-Button Tuning and a Sloping Panel in one outstanding radio. Many radios have had one or the other. Firestone has gone a step farther and brings you both features."
An obvious dig at the lack of pushbuttons on those Philco's with the sloping panel, eh? Oddly, the tube count is not listed anywhere in the advertising for this radio!