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 The Atwater Kent Model 40
 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 00:24 on 14 January 2005.
's avatar
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 4375

Today I acquired this Atwater Kent model 40 which is complete though untested as it is an American mains powered model and not able to be used on the Australian mains without a step-down transformer. One day I will make one of those as I do have a spare set of "E's and I's" in an ice-cream bucket in the garage. As a slight digression, E's and I's are transformer laminations, the name comes from the shape of each pair of laminations which are interleaved to create the former for the coils. Until today I have only ever seen pictures of Atwater Kents, which are extremely valuable receivers and highly sought after. No collection of receivers from the 1920's is complete without at least one Atwater Kent.

Atwater Kent 40

Atwater Kent was a large American manufacturer. It is believed that this company made in excess of 5,000 receivers per day, every day to meet the demands of the huge American market and overseas orders.

Since getting this set I have been quite amazed at how well-made they are. Don't let the bikkie tin looks fool you. This set is built like a Sherman tank with sheet metal almost 1 mm thick and the whole set weighs about 16 kg. There's seven valves, and the set runs on a DC supply rather than AC. Someone has bent the pins on the American plug to try and get it to fit into an Australian socket. That was not a good idea and I hope for the sake of the innards that the plug never actually fitted our socket properly. If you live outside Australia, New Zealand and most pacific island nations and are unfamiliar with the arrangement of our power point pins you can see a picture of one on the Electrical Safety page.

I won't be reselling this receiver for quite a while, if ever. As a fine and well-kept example of our radio heritage, this receiver now takes its place in my personal collection, along with a horn speaker which should be arriving soon. I need to get one more receiver from the 1920's to achieve my aim of having enough of them to make an attractive display.


A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

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