These radios were known as “The Royalty Of Radios”. This is due to the fact that Trans-Oceanic radios were considered very advanced for their time and were not cheap because of their quality. I recently purchased a L600 from a guy named Ray in Santa Rosa. If you are familiar with these radios then you know they are usually in sad shape. The one I picked up this last weekend was the cleanest one I have ever seen in person. This radio has everything you need to listen to shortwave broadcasts or your local stations.
The cool thing is Ray (the guy I bought it from) had the original sales tag that I placed back on it.
Design & Styling of the Trans-Oceanic Radio
Several different industrial design consultants may have worked with Zenith in the latter half of the 1930s. By far the most prominent of those in Zenith history was also one of the founders of the industrial design profession itself, Robert Davol Budlong. Robert became involved with Zenith design sometime around 1934. There is fragmentary evidence that indicates Budlong designed a number of the other Zenith pre-war portables. It is also almost certain that he designed some if not all of the models of the Zenith “Universal” portables, the immediate precursors to the Trans-Oceanic. After the war and until his death in 1955, Budlong and his firm were the designers of virtually the entire Zenith line.
I purchased a Zenith Trans-Oceanic radio a while back and did not know enough to know it was incomplete. It did not have its magnet and did not work very well. I guess I should of researched what I was buying before I bought that radio. Its all good, this one makes up for that bad purchase. There were a lot of different models produced by Zenith, here are a few of them:
I look forward to cruising the airwaves and exploring the world via the tuning knob. With very little effort I can travel from one continent to another hearing of the days events or the musical influences in the area. It seems like items from the past were always selling the idea of exploring your world and this instrument will help you do it in style. So do yourself a favor and add one of these to your radio collection. If you are interested in learning more about these radios pick up the book Zenith: Trans-Oceanic “The Royalty Of Radios” by Schiffer, it is a wealth of knowledge.
if I haven’t commented before, I have to say I LOVE your blog… so much gorgeosity!!
Thanks soooo much for commenting!! It’s always great to hear from readers because it let’s me know that people are hip to what I’m writing :).
Love those! My dad had one of those later models; he used it up until very recently- now I wonder what happened to it? I’ll have to ask!
Pingback: Westinghouse Radio Restorations |
I have a trans oceanic model L600 in perfect shape anyone interested can call Drew at 336 803 0304. email@example.com
Andrew Harris owner Drews barber shop 4003 n. Main High Point N.C.27265
Robert Davol Budlong was Head of the Design Department at Zenith from around 1935 until his untimely death in 1954. I have never seen what specific Radios he designed at Zenith other than the early Trans-Oceanic line. Is there a listing of all the Radios he designed during his tenure at Zenith including other Radios, Consoles and Combination Console Phonograph Players, and even Zenith Televisions?
If anyone knows of a comprehensive listing of his actual product designs at Zenith I would appreciate knowing of its’ existence.
I know he designed the famous automatic Toaster at Sunbeam and know what it looks like, but have never known for sure outside of the early Trans-Oceanic Radios, just what other Models were specifically designed by him while Head of the Design Department for Zenith Corporation in Chicago.
I just was given a Zenith L600 identical to your mint condition radio. Mine, however, is in somewhat ruff shape. It plays on some of the bands (BC, MC, but not 16M, 19M, 25M, or 31M). It has a crack at the top of the dial bezel and until this afternoon had decals across the dial. I used to have one of these in the mid 80’s so even though it’s been pretty well used, it’s still nice to have. Enjoyed reading your web article as I research the set. Thanks so much!
LikeLiked by 1 person