Stewart Warner 97-562 "Varsity"
1938
Bands: AM
Tube Lineup: 6A8, 6J7, 25L6, 25Z5
The Stewart Warner "Varsity" is a beautiful blend of deco and machine age styling that was marketed towards college students and were often sold with two-tone painted cabinets carrying the school colors. Stewart Warner also had available the standard brown bakelite, plaskon or ivory-painted bakelite cabinets. My particular example was an ebay auction win and obtained relatively inexpensively due to the hideous and poor non-original cherry red and gold paint job. After applying many coats of paint stripper and peeling away the layers, it turns out the radio started out life as a black bakelite case that was painted blue and with a white speaker grille. Unfortunately, the radio was dropped at one point in its lifetime and repaired with a thick layer of bondo and one too many coats of red paint. After stripping and repairing the cracks, the cabinet was repainted to a more traditional ivory color.

Like the Firestone S-7426-1, the "Varsity" series was a 4-tube superheterodyne with regeneration around the I.F. stage. The radio had several electrical issues that were repaired including a bad volume control potentiometer, a shorted coupling capacitor from B+ to chassis that prevented the B+ from rising to where it should be, and the I.F. coil is not enclosed so one of the coil wires got snagged and broke. The dial was also broken in several pieces and some chunks were missing, so I reproduced a new dial in Photoshop as seen below, printed out on a transparency, spray painted the back side white, cut out the dial and then replaced the old one.

 
 
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Jon Stanley