The 1940 line of Firestone radios was trumpeted as "All New" in the Fall and Winter 1939 and 1940 catalog. Several models were added mid-year, they are denoted with the SS-1940 tag. Two of these were Ingraham cabinet models which were then carried over into the 1941 line.
This is a tiny five tube set in a cabinet created from what we now call "beetle" plastic. Firestone's name for this plastic was "Marbalin" (click the ad icon to see the Marbalin ad). This is a very uncommon little radio, and being beetle plastic makes it quite valuable.
Essentially the same radio as above, but priced $3 higher, due to the Marbalin plastic. The photo is a contributed item from an e-Bay auction.
This Firestone was pictured in the Spring Summer 1940 catalog, and was carried over into 1941. Note the small size, and the cheaper bakelite cabinet. Firestone managed to cram 5 tubes and an internal loop antenna into the unique, elegantly styled cabinet - all for only $9.95!
This cabinet style was also used post-war by some manufacturers such as Meck Industries.
This Firestone gives the idea of portability, with its built in handle. However, this is a 5-tube AC only set with power transformer which requires you to be plugged in at all times. This radio retailed for $17.95. By the time the Spring Summer 1940 catalog came out, the price on this radio had been dropped to $15.95, and was listed as "quantities limited".
The set on the left has been refinished, and the knobs don't quite match. Click the photo for a larger image. To read about the restoration, click here.
The smallest and least expensive of the two 1940 Ingraham cabinet Firestones. This radio debuted mid-year, pictured in the Spring Summer 1940 catalog. It was carried over into the 1941 line. This radio is remarkable for its size, and exquisite cabinet. Of course, it does not have the performance of the higher-end Ingraham cabinet models.
It's an AC-DC set with "easy-to-read Gemloid dial", and retailed for $14.95. Don't you wish you could find one of these cuties for $14.95 now?
The Melody was another of the Ingraham cabinet styles of 1940. This radio debuted mid-year, pictured in the Spring Summer 1940 catalog. It was carried over into the 1941 line. The copy shown to the left is one that I recently refinished and restored. Click the small image for a larger picture. Interestingly, my copy has the "Firestone Air Chief" decal below the grille, not below the dial as is shown in the advertisement.
These are interesting radios with neat cabinets which are well worth the trouble of restoring.
An 8 tube console with 10" speaker and an interesting display that you could look down onto.
A ten tube, three band console with pushbutton tuning. Cabinet made of beautiful stump walnut.
A combination radio and automatic record player, pushbutton tuning, 12" Philharmonic speaker, $99.50.
Quite possibly, this is the most sought-after Air Chief radio out there. This radio was shown at the 1939 World's Fair, and came in brown, white (painted brown bakelite), and white plaskon. These sets are popular and can easily bring over $300.
My copy is unrestored and quite rough. It has multiple paint chips, which I haven't fixed yet. This radio bears an uncanny resemblence to the Stewart Warner Varsity series radios, it appears to me that they share the same chassis. Knowing that Stewart Warner supplied some Firestone radios, it seems likely, then, that this is a Stewart Warner design.
This cute little 4-tube AC/DC radio was the entry level radio in Firestone's 1940 line. For only $7.95, you could have a Firestone radio!
"Rich walnut finish, plastic case in modern design"...this radio was made of brown bakelite. Click on the radio ad for a larger ad and more information.
A small, entry level set priced at only $9.95, this set offers five tubes, with standard and police broadcasts.
This is a beautiful 6 tube set from the 1940 lineup. The cabinet has an interesting geometric layout which is quite stunning when viewed from different angles (view the ad for another angle of this set). The pictured radio retains its original finish.
Originally listed at $27.95, and the price did not drop during its life.
A mid-range console, 7 tubes including an eye tube. A lowboy style cabinet with stump-walnut pilasters.
This is a small, 5-tube tabletop with pushbuttons. Unfortunately, this radio is quite bland! It reminds me of some of the more dull Silvertone sets of the same era. It may not have been as popular with the consumers, either, as there do not seem to be too many of these sets around.
Originally listed at $22.95, the price was dropped to $19.95 in the Spring of 1940..."really a bargain...act quickly for quantities are limited and there will be no more at this low price..."
This is the top-of-the line Firestone tabletop radio for 1940. It's an 8 tube tombstone style featuring a shortwave band as well as a tuning eye, and it retailed for $34.95.
I have a very rough copy of this radio which needs to be refinished. The chassis works great, with new filter caps, but the cabinet needs some serious attention. The dial is a beautiful metallic foil - very nice!