Operadio Portable Battery Radio


This radio was built by the Operadio Corporation in 1925.  It is a self contained portable, with an internal horn speaker, batteries, and a loop antenna.

The antenna is hidden inside a folding panel which, when stowed, covers and protects the top and front of the radio.  A leather handle (now missing) allowed the set to be carried. 

With batteries, this set weighs about 40 lbs, so carrying it would be a bit of a strain.  And, with the sail-like antenna, operating it outdoors on a windy day would have been an interesting exercise, as well.

With the antenna and cover panel removed, the unique internal construction is revealed.  Two plug-in modules, filled with wax and sealed, provide sockets for the six UV-199 tubes.  Inside these cans are the audio and RF transformers.  Battery compartments are located on either side.  Two tuning controls are provided, and a thumbwheel control sets the filament voltage.  A panel meter is provided to monitor filament and plate voltage.

The wood cabinet is covered with a rubberized cloth that was similar to the material that was used for auto roofs of the time.  The "rising sun" grill styling is extremely attractive and distinguishes this set as one of the first true Art Deco radios.