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1940 Amateur Radio & Test Equipment Catalog

Sears, Roebuck & Co.
Kirt's Cogitations™ #326

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RF Cave visitor and contributor Joseph Birsa (N3TTE), sent me a note about yet another edition of a special purpose catalog published by Sears - the Sears 1940 Amateur Radio, Test Equipment, Sound System Catalog. A little research revealed that it was actually an extended version of the 1940 Sears, Roebuck and Co. Superior Amateur Equipment and Radio Service Supplies - 64 versus 48 pages, respectively. Even the standard edition Sears, Roebuck Fall 1941 Catalog contained a large section dedicated to radios and equipment. Multiple copies of these catalog PDF files exist, so it would be difficult to determine who originally scanned and posted them. I link to other copies rather than placing an unauthorized copy on RF Cafe.

The cover on the shorter catalog makes me think of The Radio Boys series of books, where a cadre of four early 20th century teenagers experienced adventures centered around building and operating wireless equipment.

Hallicrafters, National Company, Meissner, and Hammarlund receivers and transmitters were offered for sale. Bliley and Silvertone (Sears' own brand) crystals, Speed-X (as opposed to Speedo) Morse code keys, Barker and Williamson tuning coils, Triplett panel meters, Cardwell and Hammarlund variable capacitors, Crowe and Gordon dials and knobs, Ohmite power resistors, Stancor transformers, Centralab potentiometers and capacitors, Par-Metal racks and cabinets, Eimac and Raytheon vacuum tubes, and Craftsman tools (of course) were also featured. Test equipment from Triplett (including ReadRite), Supreme Instruments, Radio City Products, RCA (Radio Corporation of America), Precision Apparatus Company, Hickok, and Weston Electrical Instrument Company filled the pages as well. Just about everything a Ham needed was available from Sears. Half a dozen or more of the represented companies are still in business today. Many of the vintage equipment and parts can be found on eBay.

Hallicrafters Radio, 1940 Sears Amateur Radio Catalog - RF Cafe

Hallicrafters Radio

Cardwell Capacitors, 1940 Sears Amateur Radio Catalog - RF Cafe

Cardwell Capacitors

Triplett Test Equipment, 1940 Sears Amateur Radio Catalog - RF Cafe

Triplett Test Equipment

Eimac and Raytheon Tubes, 1940 Sears Amateur Radio Catalog - RF Cafe

Eimac and Raytheon Tubes

Crowe and Gordon Dials, 1940 Sears Amateur Radio Catalog - RF Cafe

Crowe and Gordon Dials

National Company Radios, 1940 Sears Amateur Radio Catalog - RF Cafe

National Company Radios

National Tube Sockets, 1940 Sears Amateur Radio Catalog - RF Cafe

National Tube Sockets



Posted March 21, 2021

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    Kirt Blattenberger,


RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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