Zenith Bakelite Chassis Radios

Zenith Model 6D413

Shown here are two products of Zenith's most egregious corporate blunder.  In 1940, they introduced a line of bizarre radios that featured bakelite chassis.  These chassis were mounted upside down and the tube sockets, volume control, IF transformers, trimmer capacitors, and other components were molded as integral parts of the chassis.  They were troublesome from day one, and they were almost impossible to work on.  Many of the parts were unique, and could not be replaced by anything other than exact Zenith replacement parts.

In desperation, according to legend, Zenith recalled all sets of this type and smashed every one of them to avoid further damage to their otherwise fine reputation.  Consequently, they are exceedingly rare.

These radios were mostly table models (both wood and Bakelite), though there were a few battery portables and floor models that used these chassis.  The sets shown here are the model 6D413 (black) and 6P419 (white).  They were similar, the primary difference being the 6P419 has a shortwave band.  Both use 5 tubes, plus a ballast tube.  The black one shown was originally painted white.

Zenith Model 6D413

Zenith Model 6P419

Zenith Model 418 Rear View

Zenith Model 6D413 Bottom View

Bakelite Chassis Underside

A Repairman's Nightmare