Zenith 6G501M

Zenith LogoThis is a Zenith 6G501M portable radio; unofficially called the "suitcase radio" because it had the same fabric-covered styling that was common in suitcases of that era. I call these old portables "luggables" but this one is actually pretty light for its size.

This came out just before World War II. There's an ad for it in the February 1941 issue of Radio Retailing magazine (p. 5). It's a six-tube Loktal set: 1LA6, two 1LN6s, 1LH4, 3Q5G and a 117Z6G rectifier. It's an AC/DC set, provided you have the Z-985 battery pack (which will make this unit heavy).

Zenith 6G501M radioIt's very similar to the pre-war Trans-Oceanics, except that it's broadcast only. If you open the back, the Wavemagnet loop antenna can be taken out and placed wherever you want to get better reception. It even has suction cups so you can stick it on a smooth surface (Zenith ads for portable radios of this time often show the Wavemagnet stuck on a train car's window).

Bought this ages ago for The Old Man, who made it run. Now it's mine. I figured I'd have to work on it again but was pleasantly surprised to find it still running. I also found the original owner's manual, which is available for download on my manuals page.

Current condition: works fine.