Smithsonian Collections

Philco Model 16B Cathedral Radio

Image for Philco Model 16B Cathedral Radio
Data Source
National Museum of American History
America embraced a new technology in the wake of World War One: radio. The wide availability of affordable receivers allowed people across the country to access both local and national programming. Radio became so popular that even the Great Depression could hardly slow sales. Philco manufactured this model 16B “cathedral” style radio around 1933. The model 16B was an eleven-tube superheterodyne with two wave band receivers that could pick up broadcasts from as far away as Britain. The front of the case consists of a single speaker with four knobs—the station selector, tone control, wave band switcher, and the power and volume control.
date made
ca 1933
Credit Line
from Jane Petitmermet
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
glass (overall material)
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
overall: 49.1 cm x 42 cm x 32.2 cm; 19 5/16 in x 16 9/16 in x 12 11/16 in
Object Name
radio receiver
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Work and Industry: Electricity
Popular Entertainment
American Enterprise
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
ID Number
model number
catalog number
accession number
Related Publication
Sewer, Andy; Allison, David; Liebhold, Peter; Davis, Nancy; Franz, Kathleen G.. American Enterprise: A History of Business in America
place made
United States: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia