Lincoln Radio Corporation, Enigmatic Manufacturer of Exceptional Receivers

© 2015  Norman S. Braithwaite

Schematics Added, 6-27-2016.  Scroll to bottom of page for link.

Article text will be updated to be more consistent with AWA Review article soon

Most radio historians and collectors have heard of Lincoln Radio Corporation and associate it with a line of high performance classic radios comparable to those of E.H. Scott Radio Laboratories and of the McMurdo Silver Corporation.  But when asked about Lincoln receivers few ever recall seeing one in person and even fewer are able to identify the progression of models.  Of the three competing companies that are commonly perceived as industry leaders for challenging the limits of radio performance in the 1930s, far less is known about Lincoln Radio Corporation than the others.  Morgan McMahan’s “A Flick of the Switch” presents an incomplete pictorial history of the series of receivers manufactured by Lincoln.  Marvin Hobbs’ “E.H. Scott, Dean of DX” provides a very brief background of the Lincoln Radio Corporation and goes on to compare some of the Lincoln receivers with those offered by Scott.  Little else has been published about Lincoln Radio Corporation and their products over the years.

 

My personal interest in the Lincoln Radio Corporation goes back over 30-years when I purchased a Lincoln Deluxe SW-33 to represent competition to the products of E.H. Scott Radio Laboratories of which I had been collecting for several years.  I have purchased several additional chassis through the years but have accumulated many more questions than chassis.  What was the complete line of Lincoln radios through the years?  What were their features and how did they compare with competitors offerings?  How many were made?  How much did they cost?  What ever became of Lincoln Radio Corporation?  We know from existing literature that Lincoln Radio Corporation was owned by William H. Hollister at some time and that Mr. Hollister was an avid radio amateur but what became of William H. Hollister?  Over the many years that I have been interested in the Lincoln Radio Corporation and their products, some information has come to light.  From numerous ads and product articles combined with a few product brochures, owners and service manuals, research on William H. Hollister, and careful examination of a limited sample of Lincoln receivers, a very interesting but still incomplete picture of the Lincoln Radio Corporation has emerged.

 

Introduction dates referenced in this article are the dates the subject receivers were available to the public in the form advertised.  As will be seen from the descriptions, with the exception of the last classic model offered, most named receiver models offered by Lincoln Radio Corporation represented a single flagship model with a continuum of improvements.  Therefore, the introduction dates of Lincoln models have been recognized as the earliest date the improved model was advertised or featured in an article.  Scott Transformer Corporation later renamed E.H. Scott Radio Laboratories had a habit of introducing new models based on prototypes that sometimes differed significantly from the models offered to the public.  These prototype receivers were introduced as much as five months prior to the first advertisement or article featuring the receiver that was offered to the public.  Although the prototype receivers may have been constructed, the introduction dates of Scott models have been recognized in this article as the earliest date the models were advertised or featured in an article in the form the models were available to the public.  Introduction dates of the McMurdo Silver receivers have been assumed to be the earliest date the models were advertised or featured in an article.  This definition of introduction dates reflects potential consumer’s knowledge of available and competing products.

 

Early Company History and Products

 

The early history of Lincoln Radio Corporation is not well documented but according to a 1931 sales brochure, the company “came into existence in 1921” and produced “correctly designed highly engineered parts” for the custom builder.  An application for the Lincoln trademark was filed on July 6, 1922 and the trademark was registered on August 14, 1923 identifying John H. Newman as the president and treasurer of Lincoln Radio Corporation.  A brief article in the July 13, 1924 Los Angeles Times notes the completion of the Lincoln Radio Corporation building at 1151-1153 Santee Street in downtown Los Angeles.  Little is known about the operations at this location but boxes containing Lincoln crystal detector units have been found to bear Los Angeles as the location of Lincoln Radio Corporation.  At the same time, magazine advertisements show that Lincoln Radio Corporation offered coils, tuning capacitors, loop antennas, 1- and 3-tube radio kits from their establishment located at 224 North Wells Street in Chicago.  Based on existing examples, it appears that Lincoln Radio was selling complete single dial TRF receivers during the late 1920s.  By 1927 Lincoln Radio Corporation offered couplers and transformers for 8- and 9-tube superhetrodyne receivers but no complete kit or complete receiver.  Today the TRF receivers turn up on occasion but the loop antennas turn up on a regular basis.

 

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Lincoln Trade Mark

 

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Spring 1925 Citizens Radio Call Book Ad for Lincoln Products

Image courtesy of Alan Douglas

 

 

William Henry Hollister

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William Henry Hollister was born on June 12, 1879 to Henry M and Emma A Hollister of Chicago, Illinois.  Both parents were American citizens and Henry was a very successful bookkeeper.  William attended Oak Park High School and had grades described by the principal as average.  Subsequently William attended Lewis College from winter of 1899 through winter of 1900. Although described as having graduated from Lewis College in his obituary, according to institution records he did not complete a degree program or graduate from Lewis College.  Fully grown, Mr. Hollister was described as 5'-11", 140-pounds, blue eyes and brown hair.  A late 1928 Lincoln ad credits Hollister with demonstrating “wireless” to college professors before Marconi first bridged the Atlantic.  From 1902 through 1907 William was the assistant electrical engineer for the Pacific Electric Interurban System in Los Angeles during which time he allegedly transmitted modulated carrier signals from Pico Heights to Boyle Heights, a distance of 3 miles.  The 1910 Census listed Mr. Hollister's employment as "General Superintendent", Kissel Moter Car Company in Chicago (sales).  During World War I, William joined the Quartermaster Corps satisfying a requirement of military duty.  After WWI, Hollister worked as the sales manager at Imperial Brass Company in Chicago.  According to his obituary William was “the organizer” and president of Lincoln Radio Corporation.  Although no records were found indicating that William Hollister was involved in the formation of Lincoln Radio Corporation, construction of the Lincoln building in Los Angeles where William Hollister lived may indicate that he was involved with the operation of Lincoln Radio Corporation before becoming president of the company.  In 1928 at age 45, William purchased the Lincoln Radio Corporation and consolidated operations at 329 South Wood Street, a new address in Chicago.  This may have coincided with the death of his parents and inheritance of the estate in Oak Park.  Mr. Hollister described his ambition as improving radio performance using new methods for “better reception and farther distance getting ability”.  Under Mr. Hollister’s leadership, Lincoln Radio Corporation offered superhetrodyne radio kits and “Lincoln Engineering Service on Standard Kits” including those offered by Silver Marshall, Scott Transformer Corporation, Tyrman Radio, and High Frequency Laboratories as well as offering their own superhetrodyne receivers and kits.  The first new model introduced under Hollister’s direction was the Lincoln 8-80 (AKA Hollister 8).  At this time it appears that the lines of TRF receivers and non-superhetrodyne parts were likely discontinued.  William passed away in Maywood, Illinois on August 18, 1963.

 

Superhetrodyne Kits and the Lincoln 9 Receiver:

 

Articles featuring the Lincoln 9 receiver were published in Popular Radio of June 1927 and in Citizens Radio Call Book Magazine of September and November 1927.  Different versions of the receiver were featured in each article and no two articles featured the same style intermediate frequency transformers.  The later two receivers incorporated a four stage intermediate frequency amplifier employing type 201A tubes and both types of transformers operated at a nominal frequency of 155 kilohertz.  The vast majority of contemporary superhetrodyne receivers operated using IF frequencies below 80 kilohertz.  The lower IF frequencies had the advantage of knife sharp selectivity but the disadvantage of images within the broadcast band.  The movement to higher IF frequencies was, in part, to avoid images.  By comparison, the Scott Worlds Record Super 10 employed an IF frequency of 35 kilohertz, Victoreen employed an IF frequency of 115 kilohertz, and Tyrman, new on the scene, had just introduced their Model 10 employing an IF frequency of 340 kilohertz.

 

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8-tube Receiver Built Using Lincoln Superhetrodyne Coil Set

 

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Lincoln IF and Oscillator Coupler Coils in 8-Tube Superhetrodyne Receiver

 

 

1929 Model Year: Lincoln 8-80 (AKA Hollister 8) and Hollister AC-8

 

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Lincoln 8-80 Receiver

 

Shortly after William Hollister purchased Lincoln Radio Corporation he introduced and promoted a superhetrodyne radio featuring significant new and in one respect somewhat novel features.  The Model 8-80, also referred to as the Hollister 8, introduced in September of 1928 included individually shielded single tuned intermediate frequency transformers that were adjustable between 350 and 550 kilohertz.  The fact that they were user tunable was unusual and significant.  This feature eliminated the need to match intermediate frequency coil sets at the factory and allowed all sets to attain peak performance after construction and after replacing tubes.  The intermediate frequency transformers were made adjustable over a wide range of frequencies to allow the end user to select a frequency that has the fewest problems with images.  Hence the receiver was referred to as a “one spot” receiver.  The very wide range of possible intermediate frequency, however, was somewhat novel and unnecessary although it did allow a broad opportunity to experiment with the intermediate frequency.  Further, as noted in a September 1928 article published by Radio Broadcast, at some expense to sensitivity the intermediate frequency transformers of the Lincoln 8-80 could be detuned slightly for better fidelity reception of local stations.  Another significant feature touted by Lincoln as if they were the first to do so was the fact that the intermediate frequency transformers were designed to match the high plate impedance of the recently introduced type 222 screen grid tubes.  Tyrman had already done so in their Model 70 Amplimax receiver introduced almost a year earlier in November 1927.  The Tyrman 70 was using a 340 kilohertz IF but it employed impedance IF couplings rather than full transformers.  As a consequence of matching plate impedance, the voltage amplification of the intermediate frequency transformers were very low but much better voltage amplification was obtained from the preceding tubes yielding a much greater overall intermediate frequency amplifier gain.  At the time, Scott Transformer Corporation was offering the Worlds Record Shield Grid 9 (introduced in August 1928) with conventional fixed frequency factory matched intermediate frequency transformers operating at 120 kilohertz.  Both receivers (Lincoln and Scott) employed type 222 screen grid tubes in three stage intermediate frequency amplifiers.  Although the Scott Worlds Record Shield Grid Nine receiver contained an RF stage that was not present in the Lincoln 8-80, from the standpoint of intermediate frequency amplifier performance, the Lincoln 8-80 was superior to the Scott Worlds Record Shield Grid Nine receiver due to the higher IF frequency and the ability to tune the IF in the Lincoln.  The use of the stage of RF amplification in the Scott Worlds Record Shield Grid Nine receiver, however, isolated the first detector from the antenna reducing the appearance of images in the Scott receiver as well as providing some amplification of the RF signal.

 

 

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Lincoln 8-80 Receiver, Top View

 

When new innovations became available, Mr. Hollister often incorporated them in his receivers even if between model years.  As such, Lincoln Radio Corporation often introduced improved versions of the current model under new names mid-year.  Consequently, until 1934, Lincoln Radio Corporation introduced approximately twice the number of models as Scott Transformer Corporation, later E.H. Scott Radio Laboratories, and McMurdo Silver Corporation.  In March 1929 while Scott Transformer Corporation was still producing their World’s Record Shield Grid 9 and four months before the next model of Scott receiver was available to the public, Lincoln Radio Corporation changed the tube lineup of the 8-80 from 201As, 222s, and a 171A to the new type 227s, Shieldplate Type AC-22s, and a choice of type 210 or 250 for output.  The new model was designated the Hollister AC-8.  Of course, both the Scott World’s Record Shield Grid Nine and the Lincoln 8-80 could be purchased with optional AC operated power supplies and the optional power amplifier for the Scott Worlds Record Shield Grid 9 included a type 250 output tube.  Although Scott offered the optional high power amplifier well before Lincoln, Lincoln Radio Corporation incorporated tubes with AC filaments before Scott.  By the time Lincoln introduced their next new model, Lincoln Radio Corporation no longer advertised custom set building of competing models.

 

1930 Model Year: Lincoln 8-40 and Lincoln Deluxe 10

 

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Lincoln 8-40 Receiver in one of several consoles offered

 

 

During September 1929, Lincoln Radio Corporation introduced the Lincoln 8-40 receiver having a circuit similar to the Hollister AC-8 but having two fewer stages of intermediate frequency amplification and using the new RCA type 224A tubes instead of the Shieldplate type AC-22 tubes.  Due to alleged significant differences in electrical characteristics between the type 224A tubes and the type AC-22 tubes, Mr. Hollister completely redesigned the intermediate frequency transformers.  A prototype receiver constructed using four stages of intermediate frequency amplification was found to have tremendous gain but also experienced problems with instability.  Given the higher gain per stage of the new intermediate frequency amplifier, two stages of intermediate frequency amplification were considered sufficient by Mr. Hollister.  As time was to tell, the fundamental circuit topology of this receiver was far ahead of its time, the economical use of two well designed stages of IF amplification becoming very popular in the early to mid-1930s.  The number of IF amplifier stages, however, was an important sales metric in 1929 therefore the efficient design was likely a detriment to sales.  One additional unique and interesting feature of the 8-40 was inclusion of a filament transformer on the Bakelite chassis.  Lincoln Radio Corporation advertised that any B eliminator will do but offered a B eliminator as an accessory if the customer desired.

 

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Lincoln 8-40 Front View

 

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Lincoln 8-40 Top View

 

During July 1929, two months prior to introduction of the Lincoln 8-40, Scott Transformer Corporation had introduced the AC-10 including a 480-kilohertz adjustable (capable of being peaked) four stage intermediate frequency amplifier using the RCA type 224A tubes and no longer including a stage of radio frequency amplification.  The intermediate frequency amplifier of this receiver not only compared favorably with the intermediate frequency amplifier of the Lincoln 8-40 in that it had higher frequency adjustable transformers but included four stages of amplification without instability.  The Scott AC-10 upstaged the Lincoln receivers until January 1930 when Lincoln Radio Corporation introduced the Deluxe 10.  Given the choice of similar circuit receivers, one having two stages of IF amplification and the other having four stages of IF amplification, Hollister must have believed that potential customers would purchase the receiver having four stages of IF amplification regardless of the sufficiency of the receiver having two stages of IF amplification.  The Deluxe 10 circuit was essentially the same as the 8-40 circuit but incorporated an AC power supply and two additional stages of intermediate frequency amplification for a total of four stages.  Consequently, the Scott AC-10 and Lincoln Deluxe 10 receivers were very near identical in circuit and most likely performance.  Articles describing the Lincoln Deluxe 10 receiver do not explain how the instability problem experienced with the model 8-40 prototype had been overcome.  Rather than a single rectangular intermediate frequency amplifier shield with separate compartments for each transformer as employed in the Lincoln 8-40 and the Scott AC-10, the Lincoln Deluxe 10 had five separated cylindrical intermediate frequency transformer shields.  The similarities and differences between the Lincoln Deluxe 10 and the Scott AC-10 are summarized in Table 1.

 

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Lincoln Deluxe 10 Receiver

 

Table 1

Comparison of Features, 1930 Model Year

 

 

Feature

Lincoln

Deluxe 10

Scott

AC-10

Price

$150.00

$175.50

Bands

1

1

Coverage

Broadcast

Broadcast

Circuit:    RF Amplifier

n/a

n/a

               Oscillator

27

27

               First Detector

24A

27

               IF Amplifier

4x24A

4x24A

               Second Detector

27

27

               Audio Amplifier

27

27

               Audio Output

2x45 push-pull

2x45 push-pull

               Rectifier

80

80

 

 


1931 Model Year: Lincoln Deluxe 31, Lincoln DC-8, and Lincoln Deluxe SW-31

 

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Lincoln Deluxe SW-31 Receiver

 

During September 1930, Lincoln Radio Corporation introduced the Deluxe 31.  Electrically, the Deluxe 31 was near identical to the Deluxe 10 model that it replaced.  Mechanically the Deluxe 31 differed greatly.  The wood framed Bakelite baseboard construction of the Deluxe 10 was replaced with a “cadmium” plated welded steel chassis.  By this time most large manufacturers of radios had been using steel chassis for over a year.  The four stages of intermediate frequency amplification employed in the Deluxe 10 were retained in the Deluxe 31 as were the separate cylindrical intermediate frequency transformer shields and the general chassis layout.  During March 1931, Lincoln replaced the fixed broadcast band radio frequency and oscillator coils with a socket and a set of five plug-in coils covering a frequency range of 15 to 550-meters and introduced the improved model as the Deluxe SW-31.  Also like earlier Lincoln receivers, the Deluxe SW-31 did not incorporate a stage of radio frequency amplification therefore changing the frequency range of the receiver entailed changing only a single plug-in coil.

 

The Lincoln Deluxe 31 competed with the Scott Transformer Corporation AC-10 until January 1931 when E.H. Scott Radio Laboratories introduced their Allwave Superhetrodyne,.  As with the Lincoln Deluxe 10, from an electronic standpoint, the Lincoln Deluxe 31 and the Scott AC-10 were near identical.  Upon its January introduction and until Lincoln’s introduction of their SW-31 during March, the Scott Allwave Superhetrodyne upstaged the Lincoln Deluxe 31 by including the capability to receive shortwave broadcasts up to 15-meters.

 

Unlike its predecessor and the Lincoln models, a stage of radio frequency amplification was incorporated in the Scott Allwave Superhetrodyne.  From a technical and performance perspective, the Scott Allwave Superhetrodyne upstaged the Lincoln Deluxe 31 and the Lincoln Deluxe SW-31.  Operation of the Scott Allwave Superhetrodyne for short wave reception, however, is another story.  In addition to changing a pair of plug-in coils, switching bands entailed swapping grid leads, changing the antenna coupler connections, and adding or removing plug-in coil shields as appropriate.  Unless the owner of a Scott Allwave Superhetrodyne receiver used the set throughout the range of available frequencies on a regular basis, they would have to refer to the owners manual when changing the frequency range of the receiver.  Changing the frequency range of the Lincoln Deluxe SW-31, consisting of changing a single coil, was simple and straightforward.

 

Recognizing a need for sensitive receivers in markets without electrical power service, Lincoln Radio Corporation introduced the DC-8 receiver in January 1931.  In the rush to make and market plug-and-play receivers, many manufacturers overlooked the diminishing but still significant off grid market.  Most large manufacturers of multiple lines of receivers did offer “farm” sets but until Lincoln introduced the DC-8, the smaller manufacturers of premium performance receivers did not.  Electronically, the DC-8 was very similar to the Deluxe 31 but was equipped with 2-volt direct current filament tubes, had one less stage of intermediate frequency amplification but added one stage of RF amplification, and had a chassis layout and appearance much different than the Deluxe 31.  The basic version of the DC-8 included tapped radio frequency and oscillator coils covering the broadcast band and the police band.  By March 1931 Lincoln Radio Corporation offered the DC-8 with plug-in coils to cover the short wave bands up to 15-meters.  Although this receiver is referenced as a Lincoln DCSW8 in service literature by Gernsback and Riders, the last advertising for this model appearing in March 1931 continued to identify the model simply as the DC-8.  E.H. Scott Radio Laboratories did not offer a product competing with the Lincoln DC-8.

 

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Lincoln DC-8, Front

 

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Lincoln DC-8, Top

 

1932 Model Year:  Lincoln Deluxe SW-32, Lincoln DC SW-10

 

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Lincoln Deluxe SW-32 Receiver

 

For the 1932 model year, during October 1931, Lincoln Radio Corporation introduced the Deluxe SW-32.  The only significant difference between this new model and the Deluxe SW-31 was incorporation of a band switch for selecting the frequency range of the receiver rather than changing plug-in coils.  This is not an insignificant difference, however.  Until this point in time all other receivers capable of broadcast and short wave reception required plug-in coils or use of a short wave converter.  The only other receiver on the market having broadcast and short wave reception selectable from the front panel was the Silver Marshall 726SW introduced the same month.  The Silver Marshall 726SW, however, was a broadcast receiver with an on-board short wave converter rather than a single integrated all wave receiver like the Lincoln Deluxe SW-32.  Like the Scott Allwave Superhetrodyne, switching between the broadcast band and short wave reception on the Silver Marshall 726SW was not particularly straightforward.  Throughout the production of the Lincoln Deluxe SW-32, the E.H. Scott Radio Laboratories continued to offer their Allwave Superhetrodyne receiver with plug-in coils.  Although the Lincoln Deluxe SW-32 did not include a stage of radio frequency amplification, the Deluxe SW-32 with its practical band switch arrangement arguably upstaged the Scott Allwave Superhetrodyne and the Silver Marshal 726SW, especially from the standpoint of ease of use.  Upon introduction of the Lincoln Deluxe SW-32, Lincoln Radio Corporation offered to update incorporate the Deluxe SW-32 improvements into the Deluxe 31 and Deluxe SW-31 models sold the prior year.

 

Constructing an integrated receiver that was capable of receiving the broadcast band and short wave bands by use of a band switch and without other complicating operations was a premium feature at the time the Lincoln Deluxe SW-32 was introduced.  Other big features being incorporated in broadcast receivers by large manufacturers included single dial operation and automatic volume (gain) control.  At this point in time, these features were not incorporated in the budding all wave receivers of Lincoln, Scott, and Silver Marshall.  Single dial tuning was not incorporated because of the loss of performance associated with less than perfect tracking between the antenna (radio frequency) circuit and the oscillator circuit.  The available tuning capacitors tracked well enough for average broadcast receivers, most of which were being used for local reception but were not considered adequate for the best possible short wave and distance reception.  The Scott Allwave Superhetrodyne had two independent dials for the radio frequency and oscillator tuners.  The Lincoln Deluxe SW-32 and Silver Marshall 726SW both had antenna trimmers in parallel with the antenna tuning capacitor which was mechanically coupled to the oscillator tuning capacitor.  Automatic volume control allowed the user of a radio to tune between weak, distant stations and strong, local stations without overloading some stage of amplification or missing the weak, distant stations.  Broadcast receivers by many companies were being designed and constructed with early forms of automatic volume control.  “Super Control” or variable mu amplifier tubes, designed to operate with a wider range of signal input voltages so as to minimize the potential for overloading were just being developed.  The Lincoln Deluxe SW-32, the Scott Allwave Superhetrodyne, and the Silver Marshall 726SW all employed a local-distance switch to accommodate both strong local stations and weak distant stations.

 

Also at this point in the development of receivers offered by Lincoln Radio Corporation it is helpful to note that the circuit of the Lincoln Deluxe SW-32 differed from the Lincoln 8-80 by a surprisingly small amount.  Other than incorporation of an on-board power supply, addition of shortwave reception, and addition of a fourth stage of intermediate frequency amplification, the most significant changes were replacement of the type 222 screen grid tubes with the more modern type 24A screen grid tubes and replacement of the single ended triode output tube (type 10 or 50) with push pull triode output tubes (type 45s).  Otherwise, the circuit remained substantially the same with no radio frequency amplifier stage, with user tunable intermediate frequency transformers, and with a single audio frequency amplifier stage before the output stage.  In spite of the relative lack of circuit changes, the Lincoln Deluxe SW-32 continued to compete directly with E.H. Scott Radio Laboratories and other high end radio manufacturers who incorporated more significant changes during the same period of time.  This reflection illuminates the technically advanced state of the Lincoln 8-80.

 

The Lincoln DC SW-10 was a battery version of the Lincoln Deluxe SW-32 replacing the Lincoln DC-8.  Unlike the Lincoln DC-8, the Lincoln DC SW-10 was constructed using the same chassis and layout as the contemporary Lincoln Deluxe SW-32.  E.H. Scott Radio Laboratories did not offer a product competing with the Lincoln DC SW-10.

 

1933 Model Year:  Lincoln Deluxe SW-33 and Lincoln DC SW-33

 

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Lincoln SW-33, Front

 

Lincoln’s next model, introduced in July 1932 as “the greatest receiver” was the Deluxe SW-33.  This was an early introduction date for a following year product and, since discrete Lincoln Radio Corporation models represented a continuously improving chassis, it is likely Lincoln Radio Corporation was trying to get a jump on the competition by introducing their flagship product early as a new model.  Improvements included use of type 51 remote cutoff “super control” tubes in the intermediate frequency amplifier, a Wunderlich dual grid detector, “perfect” automatic volume control, a tuning meter, and push-pull type 56 tubes for the first stage of audio frequency amplification rather than a single type 27-tube.  The familiar five cylindrical intermediate frequency shields remained with knobs on top for user adjustment of the intermediate frequency.  A single large rectangular shield was added to cover the radio frequency and oscillator coils and the tuning capacitor.  Shortly after introduction, Lincoln added trimmers under the chassis rendering the IF transformers double tuned and the user selectable IF frequency feature on top of the IF cans substantially obsolete.  On this version, by making very small adjustments the user could conveniently adjust IF bandwidth but the user was no longer able to conveniently adjust the IF frequency to their liking.

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Lincoln SW-33 IF strip showing bottom mounted trimmers

 

The very same month, E.H. Scott Radio Laboratories introduced the Allwave Deluxe, an improved version of the Allwave Superhetrodyne with a bandswitch, and true single dial tuning, and a dial calibrated on all bands.  The type 24A radio frequency amplifier tube previously used in the Scott Allwave Superhetrodyne had been replaced with a super control type 51 tube and all type 27 tubes had been replaced with type 56-tubes.  The Allwave Deluxe initially did not include automatic volume control or a tuning meter until a revised version was introduced late in 1932.  Until Scott’s introduction of the revised Allwave Deluxe, the Lincoln Deluxe SW-33, having automatic volume control, was arguably more advanced than the Scott Allwave Deluxe.  The Lincoln Deluxe SW-33 incorporated four stages of intermediate frequency amplification and no stages of radio frequency amplification compared with three stages of intermediate frequency amplification and one stage of radio frequency amplification in the Scott Allwave Deluxe.  The Lincoln Deluxe SW-33 still retained the antenna trimmer and therefore was technically not a single dial receiver.  Both Lincoln Radio Corporation and EH Scott Radio Laboratories were advertising prolifically at this time.

 

Late in 1932, E.H. Scott Radio Laboratories revised the Allwave Deluxe to include automatic volume control and a tuning meter.  The majority of the tube lineup was changed.  The new type 58 pentode amplifier tubes replaced the type 51 radio frequency amplifier tube and the three intermediate frequency amplifier tubes.  A new type 57 pentode amplifier tube replaced the type 24A first detector tube.  The Wunderlich dual grid detector, already being used as the second detector in the Lincoln Deluxe SW-33, replaced the type 56 detector tube.  Finally, the push-pull first audio amplifier stage using a pair of type 56 tubes was modified to two stages of audio amplification using two type 56 tubes in series.

 

Around the same time, without introduction as a new discrete model, Lincoln Radio Corporation modified the circuit of their Deluxe SW-33 to incorporate a stage of radio frequency amplification and the new pentode amplifier tubes.  One stage of intermediate frequency amplification was sacrificed to accommodate the stage of radio frequency amplification and the push pull first stage of audio frequency amplification was changed to a parallel pair.  The familiar row of Lincoln manufactured round IF transformers were replaced with Hammarlund IF transformers located in a long, narrow rectangular shield can.  As a result of the improvements incorporated by both companies, once again from an electronic standpoint, their receivers were near identical however the Lincoln receiver continued to retain an uncalibrated dial (0 – 100 scale).

 

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Lincoln SW-33, Late Version

Note no user access to IF trimmers

 

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Lincoln SW-33, Hammarlund IF Transformers in Late Version

(rectangular shield removed)

 

 

Before the end of the model year, a new company was formed with the intention of introducing a product competing directly with those of Lincoln Radio Corporation and E.H. Scott Radio Laboratories.  After the failure of Silver Marshall Radio Corporation and with recognition of the success of E.H. Scott Radio Laboratories through hard economic times, McMurdo Silver founded McMurdo Silver Radio Corporation for the purpose of producing technically advanced high quality receivers for the wealthy and for those individuals having a special interest in radio reception and willing to spend a disproportionate portion of their incomes on such a receiver.  Introduced in March 1933, McMurdo Silver Radio Corporation’s first model, the “Masterpiece” or Masterpiece I was a 15-tube receiver chassis utilizing the same series of tubes employed in the revised Lincoln Deluxe SW-33 and in the revised Scott Allwave Deluxe and finished initially in brushed brass and later, chrome.  The circuit consisted of a single stage of radio frequency amplification, separate oscillator, first detector, two stages of intermediate frequency amplification, second detector, push-pull first stage of audio amplification and a push-pull audio output stage.  Rounding out the count of 15 tubes were a pair of rectifier tubes, a tube dedicated to automatic volume control, a dedicated beat frequency oscillator, and a tube employed for automatic tone control.  The Masterpiece I was introduced as a true single dial receiver with a bandswitch and a tuning meter.  Incorporation of a beat frequency oscillator for assisting in locating weak stations and incorporation of the unusual automatic tone control were unique to the Masterpiece I receiver.  In spite of its higher tube count and additional features, the use of only two stages of intermediate frequency amplification may have been considered a significant drawback by potential customers when comparing the McMurdo Silver Masterpiece I with the revised Lincoln Deluxe SW-33 and the revised Scott Allwave Deluxe.

 

For the last half of the 1933 model year, the products of all three companies competed for a limited market of customers with little in the way of directly competing products from other radio manufacturers.  From a technical perspective, the products of all three manufacturers were very similar with an uncanny similarity between the late Lincoln Deluxe SW-33 and the revised Scott Allwave Superhetrodyne.  Features of the late Lincoln Deluxe SW-33, revised Scott Allwave Deluxe, and McMurdo Silver Masterpiece I are summarized in Table 2.

 

Table 2

Comparison of Features, Second Half of 1933 Model Year

 

 

Feature

Lincoln

Deluxe SW-33

Scott

Allwave Deluxe

McMurdo Silver

Masterpiece I

Price

$138.25

$135.50

$135.00

Bands

4

4

4

Coverage

15-550 meters

15-550 meters

15-570 meters

Circuit:  RF Amplifier

58

58

58

               Oscillator

56

56

56

               First Detector

58

57

58

               IF Amplifier

3x58

3x58

2x58

               Second Detector

Wunderlich

Wunderlich

56

               Audio Amplifier

2x56 parallel

2x56 push-pull

2x56 push-pull

               Audio Output

2x45 push-pull

2x45 push-pull

2x45 push-pull

               AVC

*

*

56

               Beat Oscillator

n/a

n/a

56

               Automatic Tone

n/a

n/a

56

               Rectifier

80

80

2x80

Tuning Indicator

Meter

Meter

Meter

Chassis Finish

Nickel

Chrome

Brass/Chrome

 

*  AVC accomplished using Wunderlich tube.

 

“Independent” Laboratory Test

 

A notorious public contest between EH Scott and McMurdo Silver was precipitated by an allegedly independent laboratory evaluation of competing receivers conducted during June 1933.  The evaluation was financed by McMurdo Silver and conducted by Clough Brengle, owned and operated by Kendall Clough and Ralph Brengle, both former McMurdo Silver employees.  Although the receivers considered competition to the McMurdo Silver receiver were not named, the report intentionally included enough information for the public to recognize the competing receivers.  Receiver A, the Scott Receiver, was an Allwave Deluxe with AVC.  Receiver B was described as having no RF stage, 4 IF stages, 10 tuned circuits, 3 type 56 tubes, 5 type 51 tubes, one Wunderlich tube, one type 80 tube, two “supertriodes”, a nickel finish, one uncalibrated dial with antenna trimmer, a tuning meter, a radio-phono switch, no headphone jack, and no BFO.  This was clearly the early Lincoln SW-33 but using the very new type 2B6 tubes for audio output rather than the familiar type 45 tubes.  By this time Lincoln was certainly selling the late version of the SW-33 but apparently submitted an older model receiver used to test or prototype the 2B6 output circuit to be used in the following Lincoln model introduced the following month.  Receiver C was the McMurdo Silver Masterpiece I.  Although the Lincoln receiver was anonymously included in the evaluation, William Hollister and Lincoln Radio Corporation wisely did not participate in the subsequent public letter writing campaign and therefore was a clear winner with regard to professional conduct.

 

The Lincoln DC SW-33 was a battery version of the Lincoln Deluxe SW-33 replacing the Lincoln DC SW-32.  Like the Lincoln DC SW-32, the Lincoln DC SW-33 was constructed using the same chassis and layout as the contemporary Lincoln Deluxe SW-33.  EH Scott Radio Laboratories introduced a 10-Tube Deluxe chassis that appears to be an “Allwave 6-volt” storage battery receiver during August 1932.  However, the first time the Allwave 6-volt set appears in a Scott brochure is September 1933 for the 1934 year.

 

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Lincoln DC SW-33, Early Version, Front

 

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Lincoln DC SW-33, Top

 

LincolnR9

 


1934 Model Year: Lincoln Ultra Deluxe

 

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Lincoln Ultra Deluxe SW-34

 

During August of 1933, coordinated with a public introduction of the new type 2B6 “super-triode” tube, Lincoln introduced the “SW-34” or “Lincoln Deluxe” receiver, later renamed the Ultra Deluxe, in a single full page text ad titled “An Open Letter to Intelligent Folks-“.  No photos or illustrations of the receiver are included in the ad.  The ad emphasizes the employment of type 2B6 tubes in a bi-amplified output circuit (described as binaural in the ad) crossed over at 1000 hertz.  The Lincoln Ultra Deluxe receiver consisted of the same basic circuit and layout as the late Lincoln SW-33 with the push-pull type 45 tubes replaced by the new type 2B6 super-triodes, the tuning meter replaced with a tune-a-lite, and the uncalibrated peephole dial replaced with a full airplane dial having a calibrated broadcast band plus logging scale.  Optionally the customer could request the bi-amplified audio circuit with two speakers.  The bi-amplified audio circuit consisted of a single type 56 tube driving a single type 2B6 tube per channel.  If not the first on the consumer market, the use of an airplane dial and optional bi-amplified audio circuit by Lincoln Radio Corporation was certainly among the first and well ahead of incorporation of similar features among Lincoln’s competitors.  In stark contrast to the promotion of the Lincoln SW-33, no ads for the Lincoln SW-34 or Ultra Deluxe appear to have run between the initial text ad of August and January 1934 at which time the address of Lincoln Radio Corporation was identified as 2222 Diversey, Chicago.  The two ads that ran in Radio Craft during January and February 1934 referred to the receiver as the Ultra Deluxe and the January ad promoted the receiver as “revolutionary in every feature” and including the “new Lincoln-Hutter diffusing columns”, a feature for which no details have emerged.  By the end of September 1934, without identification as a new model, the Lincoln Radio Corporation replaced the type 2B6 tubes with type 2A5 tubes, discontinued the bi-amplified option, replaced the tune-a-light with a tuning meter, added a type 56 BFO, and for the first time added tube shields finished in silver paint.

 

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Lincoln Ultra Deluxe SW-34 Top View

 

At the introduction of the Lincoln Ultra Deluxe, EH Scott Radio Laboratories was still selling the Allwave Deluxe with AVC and McMurdo Silver was still selling the Masterpiece I.  In October 1933, three months after the introduction of the Lincoln Ultra Deluxe, McMurdo Silver introduced their Masterpiece II.  The Masterpiece II differed from the Masterpiece I by replacement of the type 56 oscillator and type 58 mixer with a single type 2A7 converter, adding a third type 58 IF amplifier for three stages total, replacing the type 45 output tubes with type 2A3 tubes, and replacing the pair of type 80 rectifiers with a single type 5Z3 rectifier.  Addition of the third IF stage and of a higher power audio output stage made the Masterpiece II even more similar to the Lincoln Ultra Deluxe and the Scott Allwave Deluxe than the Masterpiece I.  Type 2A3 tubes offer similar power as the type 2B6 tubes but less distortion.  Starting April 1934 well after incorporation of the type 2B6 tubes in the Lincoln Ultra Deluxe receiver, McMurdo Silver replaced the type 2A3 tubes with type 2B6 tubes, an ironic change from a future perspective but probably a competitive edge at the time of the decision.

 

During the month of April 1934, a very unusual month for the event, the EH Scott Radio Laboratories introduced their new model Allwave Fifteen.  Improvements over the Scott Allwave Deluxe with AVC included replacement of the type 57 first detector with a type 2A7 tube, addition of an audio driver stage consisting of push-pull type 56 tubes, replacement of the type 45 output tubes with type 2A3 output tubes, replacement of the type 80 rectifier with a type 5Z3 rectifier, addition of a type 56 BFO, and a calibrated dial scale for all bands.

 

In the month of October 1934 during the long run of Lincoln Ultra Deluxe receivers, McMurdo Silver introduced their Masterpiece III differing from the Masterpiece II only in the replacement of the type 56 audio driver tube by a type 2A5 tube, replacement of the push-pull type 2A3 tubes with push-pull type 2A5 tubes, and replacement of the peep hole dial with an airplane dial.  Lincoln had replaced the type 2B6 tubes in their Ultra Deluxe model with type 2A5 tubes within the previous two months.  By July 1935 still during the long run of the Lincoln Ultra Deluxe receiver, McMurdo Silver introduced their Masterpiece IV receiver

 

McMurdo Silver again introduced a new model during the long run of the Lincoln Ultra Deluxe, the Masterpiece IV during July 1935.  The Masterpiece IV included many improvements over the Masterpiece III

 

In September 1935, also during the apparently very long run of the Lincoln Ultra Deluxe receivers, Scott introduced their Allwave Imperial very shortly thereafter renamed Full Range High Fidelity Receiver often referred to as the Allwave 23 today.  Scott’s Allwave 23 receiver, designed to receive programs from the new experimental high fidelity radio stations, included numerous improvements over the last version of their Allwave Fifteen receivers and was by many measures an ideal receiver at the time featuring operation in a “textbook” fashion.  The new receiver included an all new tube lineup featuring 6.3-volt types replacing 2.5-volt types everywhere but in the power supply and output stage.  The type 58 RF amplifier tube was replaced with a type 6D6, the type 56 oscillator was replaced with a type 76, the type 2A7 first detector was replaced with a type 6A7, the three type 58 IF amplifiers were replaced with type 39/44 tubes, a type 6D6 fourth IF amplifier was added, the Wunderlich, later type 55 second detector and the type 56 BFO were both replaced with a type 76 tubes, the type 56 first audio amplifier was replaced with a triode connected type 6C6, the push pull type 56 driver was replaced with push pull triode connected type 6C6 tubes, a type 83V rectifier tube was added to complement the type 5Z3 and finally, the push pull type 2A3 output stage was replaced with push pull parallel type 2A3 tubes.  The new Scott also featured continuously variable selectivity providing an IF bandwidth ranging from 2 to 32 kilohertz (accommodating an audio response ranging from 1 to 16 kilohertz) and optional cone tweeters.

 

Before Lincoln Radio Corporation was to introduce a model replacing the Ultra Deluxe both McMurdo Silver Radio Corporation and EH Scott Radio Laboratories would again introduce new models.  During July 1935 McMurdo Silver replaced their Masterpiece III with the new Masterpiece IV and Scott introduced their special Quaranta series of receivers in December 1935.  The McMurdo Silver Masterpiece IV incorporated several improvements over the Masterpiece III the most significant of which included conversion to 6.3-volt tubes, addition of a second stage of RF amplification, a much more powerful audio amplifier and output circuit, and addition of a Jensen Q4 cone tweeter.  Scott’s Quaranta receivers were industry leading top-of-the-line custom receivers including bi-amplification, a pair of horn tweeters, volume range expansion, magic eye tuning indicators, and a host of other new and optional features.  These receivers were offered for prices ranging from $2500 to $3500 and sales were limited to approximately a dozen receivers.  More competitive with the Lincoln offerings was an elaborate version of the Full Range High Fidelity Receiver offered concurrently with the Quaranta and including only the volume range expander and magic eye tuning indicator.  This receiver for prices in the upper hundreds to $1000 and is commonly referred to today as the Allwave 27.

 

Although initially very competitive with the Scott and McMurdo Silver offerings, some features of the early version of the Lincoln Ultra Deluxe were very short lived.  The tune-a-lite was found to quickly develop emissions deposits on the inside of the glass reducing the visibility of the indicator and the type 2B6 tube was not embraced by the industry, nor were consumers quite ready for bi-amplification.  Replacement of these features with more popular components continued to keep the Lincoln Ultra Deluxe receiver competitive but its advantage started to fall behind when Scott introduced their Allwave Fifteen with a calibrated dial scale for all bands and really fell behind when Scott introduced their Full Range High Fidelity Receiver.  By the end of the run of Lincoln Ultra Deluxe receivers sometime early in 1936, the Lincoln was well behind the competition.  The Ultra Deluxe, having circuit and chassis layout roots easily tracking back to the Deluxe 10 receiver and earlier, was the last of the series of progressive receivers tracking back to their Deluxe 10 and earlier.  The next model offered by Lincoln Radio Corporation was to reflect considerable change.

 

LincolnSymphonic

 

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Lincoln Symphonic Receiver Chassis

 

Except for one unusual very late “new products” announcement of the Lincoln “Deluxe 34” still using type 2B6 tubes in the July 1934 issue of Radio News, between the minor advertising effort during January and February of 1934 and April 1936 Lincoln Radio Corporation advertised very little if at all.  During April of 1936 a single ad was published promoting the Lincoln Symphonic, a revolutionary 20-tube high fidelity all wave receiver.  This receiver was also featured in a new products listing in June 1936.  The address of Lincoln Radio Corporation had again changed, now identified as 154 E. Erie, Chicago.  Although very little in the way of technical features were identified in the magazine ad and product feature, the technical features of the Lincoln Symphonic are well known from the sales brochure.  The Symphonic was a great departure from prior products of the Lincoln Radio Corporation.  Major changes included a completely new circuit and chassis design, abandoning the nickel plated finish for a silver painted finish, and use of rivets for assembly rather than machine screws of the prior models.  The identification plate on the back of the tuner chassis indicates that RCA and Hazeltine Permit Number 1731 was relied upon for manufacture of the Symphonic.  This is the same number appearing on a paper tag found within McMurdo Silver Masterpiece III receivers well known to have been manufactured by Hallicrafters albeit very possibly in the Howard Radio plant.  The cabinets, promotional literature, and instructions for operation are consistent with prior models.

 

The new chassis was designed using 6.3-volt tubes for nearly all applications and included two stages of RF amplification using type 78 tubes, a type 76 oscillator, a type 78 mixer, a two stage narrow band IF amplifier using type 78 tubes or a one stage wide band IF amplifier using a single type 78 tube (selectable from the front panel), a type 85 second detector and BFO, two stages of audio amplification using type 76 tubes followed by a push-pull driver stage using type 56 tubes operated from a separate 2.5 volt heater winding, and four type 45 tubes in push-pull parallel for output.  The output signal was fed through two series wired output transformers feeding a 12-inch Jensen A12 woofer and a 5-inch Jensen Q4 tweeter.  A type 5Z3 tube is used for the plate supply and a type 80 tube is used for a bias rectifier.  Coverage now included long wave as well as 0.54 to 18 megahertz and the set featured an airplane dial calibrated on all bands.  The receiver was initially offered without a tuning indicator but a meter was included on the Symphonic by June 1936.

 

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Lincoln Symphonic Receiver Chassis, Top Removed

 

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Lincoln Symphonic Power Amplifier Chassis

 

 

The month after the first ad for the Lincoln Symphonic, McMurdo Silver introduced their Masterpiece V

 

E.H. Scott Radio Laboratories continued to sell their Full Range High Fidelity Receiver until May 1937 when they introduced their 30-tube Philharmonic.  Because Lincoln was not advertising and virtually no Lincoln records or correspondence is known to exist from this time period, it is not known if Lincoln was still selling the Symphonic at this time.

 

1938 and Beyond:

 

By September 1937, radios were being offered under the Lincoln name by Lincoln Radio and Television Corporation located at 841 Jackson Avenue, Chicago, in the same block and on the same side of the road as Allied Radio.  A dealer solicitation states “In 1921 the Lincoln Radio was originated as a custom-built set”.  The letter is signed by Paul M. Hochberg, Director of Exports.  The 1938 products brochure contains the following statements.

 

From the early days of radio, the world has recognized Lincoln as a leader.  The Lincoln name has always stood for custom quality in every detail.  Heretofore, only a comparative few could enjoy Lincoln’s supremely glorious reproduction, and Lincoln’s sensational performance . . . Now, with the introduction of the new 1938 line, Lincoln quality becomes available to all.

 

To adhere to Lincoln standards and yet keep the Lincoln in the moderate price range, meant new large-scale manufacturing methods, brilliant engineering, and “streamlined” production. . . . With the knowledge that it is worthy of the Lincoln name, we present the 1938 line of Lincoln radios . . . 52 different and distinct models, one for every conceivable need and purpose.  Tested, checked, and approved by leading radio engineer, these new and better radios offer you unfailing performance under every condition, tone of almost unbelievable richness, and construction that safeguards these qualities against deterioration.

 

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Lincoln Radio Brochure, 1938 Product Line

 

The sets offered in the brochure differ greatly from any product previously offered by Lincoln Radio Corporation and they almost certainly did not hold up to the standards described in the second statement above.  These statements, the address, plus the use of the Lincoln name and trademark on a number of products offered by Allied Radio up through into the 1960s indicate that the Lincoln Radio Corporation was obtained by Allied Radio and used as initially as an export marketing division.  Well known Allied Radio products bearing the Lincoln name and sold in the United States include a couple table model radios produced after World War II and headphones produced into the 1960s.  Radios manufactured after 1937 and before World War II turn do not turn up in the United States but occasionally turn up in foreign countries.

 

William Hollister after Lincoln Radio:

 

William Hollister’s occupation identified in the 1940 census was retail furniture sales.  His WWII draft registration card listed his employment as "US Army Air Force" in Chicago and, according to his obituary, during World War II William was a consulting engineer at the naval ordinance plant in Forest Park, Illinois.  He was a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers and Masonic Lodge 850.  William Hollister died August 18, 1963 in Westlake Hospital in Maywood, Illinois.

 

Cabinets offered with Lincoln receivers may be viewed at the following link:

http://pacifichydrologic.com/?q=content/lincoln-radio-cabinets

Schematics can be found at the following link:

http://pacifichydrologic.com/?q=content/lincoln-radio-schematics

 

This article has relied on the help of the following individuals.  Their contributions are greatly appreciated.

  • Alan Douglas for providing copies of early product advertising and related articles.
  • Jim Cross for providing employment history that I had not located

 

Contact:

If you have questions regarding a Lincoln receiver or the content of this page please feel free to contact me.

Norman S. Braithwaite, P.O. Box 992443, Redding, CA, 96099-2443

515-9489 area code five hundred thirty

or submit an inquiry through the Pacific Hydrologic Incorporated contact page.