Bendix Model 526MC

Bendix 526MC

The 1946 Bendix model 526MC is one of the most often seen Catalin radios.  It sold well, it was an attractive design, and they seem to have had a high survival rate, all factors which have guaranteed a plentiful supply today.

Catalin versions of this radio were only made in the green and black color combination seen here.   The cabinet was actually four pieces.  The base and grill was one piece, the green top and sides were another, the the two "shoulders" on either side of the dial were separate pieces, as well.  The green sections, typically, had white and dark green marbleization mixed into a lighter green translucent base color

There were also plastic versions of this radio made (models 114 and 115) which shared the same basic design.  The same 5-tube chassis was also used in wood and Bakelite radios, but those sets had no external resemblance to this one.

The pigments that were used to color the green portions of this radio tended to fade with exposure to light.  The result was a distinctly turquoise color.  At the same time, a yellow surface oxidation layer developed, which made the turquoise look green.  So, as the radio tried to turn blue, the oxidation layer kept it green.  Once the radio is "restored" (i.e. the yellow layer is removed), the turquoise color is revealed.  The amount of turquoise depends on the original color mix and the amount of light to which the radio was exposed over the years (see the two pictures below).

Caveat Emptor:  Unscrupulous dealers have discovered the turquoise color, and have been known to promote restored examples as "rare color variants" at very high prices.  In fact, most restored examples will have some degree of turquoise content.

Bendix 526MC Detail

Bendix 526MC Detail