Emerson Models 540 and CF-255 "Emersonette"

Emerson built two series of "Emersonette" radios.  The prewar (1939) series was the model CF-255 (the red radio above, and the brown one below).  The postwar (1947) series was the model 540.  The cabinets were similar, the major differences being the 540 model had the "eggcrate" grill, and the dial calibrations were on a clear plastic cover, rather than embossed into the case itself.  Internally, they were much different.  As the name would imply, they are tiny, measuring about 6 1/2 inches wide, 5 inches high, and only 3 1/2 inches deep (not counting the knobs).  The knobs on the postwar models were always black.  The knobs on the prewar version had knobs which matched the cabinet color (except the brown one which always seems to have black knobs).

The CF-255 had a bizarre, two-tube chassis, with an unusual permanent magnet speaker.  It used an external antenna, and had a resistor line cord.  Unbelievably, the 540 crammed a full 5-tube chassis, with loop antenna, into this tiny cabinet, made possible by the miniature tubes which became popular in the late 1940's.  Working on these sets is difficult, to say the least.

These sets were advertised in brown Bakelite, or red, green, or white Plaskon.  The CF-255 was also made in black Bakelite.  The cases are extremely thin, and it is rare to find one of these with no damage whatsoever.

Emerson 540 in White Plaskon

Emerson 540 in White Plaskon

Emerson 540 in Green Plaskon

Emerson CF-255 in Brown

Emersonette Ad-March 1939
Advertisement from "Radio Today", March 1939