Emerson Model 108 "U5A" Tombstone

Emerson Tombstone (AD Chassis)

In 1935, Emerson introduced a line of stunning, Art-Deco plastic-cased tombstone radios officially known as the model 108.  They were available in brown or black Bakelite, or white Plaskon, and were sold with two different chassis.  The earlier examples used the U5A chassis, and later units used the AD chassis.  They can be recognized externally by differences in the dials.  The U5A (the brown one) had a painted metal dial, while the AD (the white one) had a celluloid dial (called "Gemloid" by Emerson).  They also appeared to have used different grill cloth.

As these radios are never seen bearing the actual model number, they have come to be called by collectors according to the most common chassis type, the U5A.  There was also a wood version, the model 110.  While the U5A's are highly collectible in their own right, they also notable as the predecessors of the awesome AU-190 Catalin tombstones.

They are conventional 5-tube two-band superhets, and used dreaded "curtain burner" resistance line cords.  They are among the most difficult radios to work on, as well, as the cabinet design required a narrow, deep chassis which made some parts inaccessible unless other parts were removed first.  Radio repairmen must have hated them!

Emerson Tombstone (AD Chassis)

Emerson Tombstone (U5A Chassis)

Emerson 108 Advertisement-Jan. 1936