I saw my first Dahlberg radio about a year ago and ever since I have wanted to get one of these to mount on the headboard of our newly restored Heywood Wakefield bed. The unit we purchased is a table top model so I will have to make an adapter to install it on our headboard. I love the idea of these radios and the styling, though some are cooler looking than others. Here is the Dahlberg “pillow speaker” tabletop vacuum tube radio, model 4130-D1 that just arrived:
Here it is in all its glory! The cabinet needs some Mr.Clean invisible scrubber to get rid of any blemishes. Overall this unit is very clean.
I am fortunate, this unit has all of its coin mechanism and coin box with key.
Researching these radios helped me realize how interesting the founder and name sake of this company was. Here is some info on the founder of Dahlberg Electronics.
St. Paul native Kenneth Dahlberg was drafted into the U.S. Army after high school. Wanting to fly, he passed a college equivalency test and attended pilot officers school at Luke Field, Arizona. He became an instructor at Yuma Air Base, Arizona and taught Nationalist Chinese pilots the fine points of aerial gunnery. Dahlberg became a triple ace while flying the P-51 Mustang and P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft in Europe during World War II. He was shot down three times and successfully evaded capture on two occasions before becoming a prisoner of war in 1945.
After the war, Dahlberg commanded the 109th Fighter Squadron of the Minnesota Air National Guard until 1951. He earned several awards for combat flying heroism.
Kenneth H. Dahlberg (June 30, 1917 – October 4, 2011) founded/created Dahlberg Electronics, the company behind the Miracle Ear, he pushed the Dahlberg Company into the hotel business. He created this coin operated pillow radio to capitalize on the success of other coin operated products in hotels and motels across the county, notably fans and massaging beds. This radio was generally mounted on the headboard of a hotel room bed but they were also found in hospitals. Oddly enough, years later, Dahlberg, a longtime fan of Richard Nixon, would become entangled in the Watergate scandal, though Dahlberg himself was not accused of any wrongdoing. His companies later went on to fund such upstarts like the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant chain.
Here is a cool AD trying to get these units out there:
Once the radio was activated, you could use the upside-down tuning dial (designed to be used by a person lying on the bed) to find your favorite radio station. As your dime-fueled good time expired (10 cents bought one hour of play), the speaker would fall silent and you would, hopefully, drift off to sleep.
Here are a couple of units I would like to get my hands on, especially the one with the clock.
This model has the clip on the bottom that allows it to attach to the headboard of any bed.
Wow!!! This has to be the most desirable one made and I imagine the rarest.
Once I get this unit back from Stereoadvisor I will make sure to give you an update with it installed on our bed. Until next time take care all!