In addition to restoring Ham Radio and Test Equipment, I do a fair amount of Antique Radio restoration. Above is a picture of a fine specimen of a TRAV-LER Model 5020 I just picked up at auction.
The TRAV-LER Radio Corporation was founded in 1921, Based in Chicago Illinois, it manufactured table and portable radios, and record players. In 1951 it added television sets to its lineup. All radio and television production ended in 1965.
The TRAV-LER Model 5020 Vacuum Tube AM Radio was unique in that it could be powered from a wall plug or two 4.5Volt and two 45Volt batteries. "Portable" had a different meaning in 1947 when this radio was manufactured. This Model 5020 is pretty heavy when filled with the proper compliment of required zinc-carbon batteries. Play time under battery power was probably very limited given the current draw of the tube filaments. My model 5020 still has the required batteries used for the A, B, and C voltages. It is going to be interesting to see if the batteries have any life left in them. I plan on taking the guts out of the batteries and replacing the insides with modern batteries wired together for the suitable voltages.
The Model 5020 had a very spartan exterior with only three white knobs. One knob is for volume and the other tuning, I assume that the third knob may be the power switch and maybe tone. They did embellish in the decoration of the tuning indicator. The exterior is a wood frame covered in a material impregnated with paint. It is equipped with a leather handle on top although I would be afraid to trust the vintage handle with the full weight of the radio.
I am not sure why TRAV-LER decided to on such a bland exterior given that most radios of this era were ornately decorate. It could be that they designed the Model 5020 so it's exterior could be easily cleaned after a trip to the beach!
I think this was a great purchase an look forward to spending many hours restoring the Model 5020 back to its original specifications.
Who Writes This Blog?
John is an IT professional from Cleveland, OH who enjoys amateur radio, ham radio, metal detecting,
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