Emerson 744B

Emerson 744B-Brown/Tan

The 1954 Emerson 744B radio is one of the most unusual and sought after radios of the period.  It featured a Plaskon or Bakelite cabinet with a styrene plastic grill piece.  It could be had in at least 6 color combinations (I am missing the two-tone green and black/white versions), though that number seems to be growing as collectors play mix'n'match with pieces.  Inside, it has a 5-tube chassis of standard design.

Unfortunately, as striking as the design is, it has some problems as well.  Most serious is the grill insert.  The "feet" on each side are decorative only, but the are extremely fragile and vulnerable to mishandling.  They are often cracked or missing which drastically reduces the value.  The thumbwheel controls look great, but are annoying to use and they tend to rub on the case.  The tuning control works through a fiendishly complicated dial cord arrangement.  Because of cheap and flimsy construction, the tuning action is balky, inaccurate, and stiff.

Emerson 744B-Gray/Red

Emerson 744B-White/Maroon

Emerson 744B-Pink/Black