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 Bell Air Radios
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 4:26:03 PM on 6 January 2017.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

BELL AIR RADIOS

A Good friend of mine was wondering around Glebe Markets about a month ago when he spotted this old not working Bell Air radio for $5, so he bought it for me as a gift and he also fixed it and got it working,although I only heard voices for a few seconds.

I thought what a beauty and I also thought I never find anything like that at the markets anymore , I thougjt he was spinning me tail.

Anyway its in my kitchen now with all my 50s stuff and it really is a cool looking radio, I looked it up on the net and saw the Bell Air had made lots of cool looking Radios back then ,Although I dont imagine theres many here in oz.

If you look closely at the open photo you can see that at some stage the switch has also been fixed with a ruler

I just love it ,one cool radio !,,

It was very nice of him to think of the love I have for old things.

This is the only one I have seen made in the USA ,but it does look japanese I think.

Pete



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 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 7:38:47 PM on 6 January 2017.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6010

According to Radiomuseum:

"Belair Enterprises, 12923 Cerise Avenue, Hawthorne CA90250 (1970). Belair is known as manufacturer of 8-track stereo systems but was much more successful with a range of radio-phonographs and radios."

I agree that it looks made in Japan, and there's a YouTube clip of a Bel Air 3-band set that is labelled 'Made in Japan'.

Back in the day, it was not unknown for such early Japanese transistor radios to "borrow" American brands, and Made in USA was not necessarily true either.

Those of us who grew up in the 1950s will recall that "Made in Japan" back then was akin to "Made in China" these days. The Japanese quickly learned (ironically from American consultants) about quality control and by the 1970s they dominated a number of markets.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 10:43:08 AM on 7 January 2017.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Hi G,
The funny thing about that is ,i love japanese electronics ,mainly their 60s stuff though. I dont come across it much though ,small radios I do but no big stuff, I had a nivico radiogram , I would be over the moon if I found a good japanese radiogram ,but I'm not holding my breath.

That little radio ,its a bit hard to date ,i was thinking about 1960 ,
.what do you think?
All the best pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 1:58:12 PM on 7 January 2017.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6010

Yes, it looks 1960s.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 3:09:57 PM on 7 January 2017.
Ian Robertson's Gravatar
 Location: Belrose, NSW
 Member since 31 December 2015
 Member #: 1844
 Postcount: 1903

It's a 1 or 2 transistor TRF driving a crystal earphone.

I was given a similar one for Christmas 1957. Main differences - two AA batteries, plugging in the earphone switched it on.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 4:16:21 PM on 7 January 2017.
Johnny's avatar
 Location: Hobart, TAS
 Member since 31 July 2016
 Member #: 1959
 Postcount: 409

Looking at the components, ie, diode, electro, disc ceramics, and shiny 10k resistor I'd say very late 60's or early 70's.
JJ


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 5:24:55 PM on 7 January 2017.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Hello Ian,,,its s prototype mp3 haha,,,when I was about 4 I was given a crystal radio set and I would clip it onto the metal blinds in bed snd listen to the radio,,,,,i swapped it for a turtle with a kid down the street and our dog ate the Turtle so I lost out on both accounts.

Pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 5:27:22 PM on 7 January 2017.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Hello Johnny,

I would of thought it was older than that,but I dont have any information on it yet,,,i will see what I can find out on the net tonight.

All the best, pete


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 7:43:35 PM on 7 January 2017.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 6010

I'm sticking with late 50s or early 60s. Tandy Radio Shack quality.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 8:34:49 PM on 7 January 2017.
Johnny's avatar
 Location: Hobart, TAS
 Member since 31 July 2016
 Member #: 1959
 Postcount: 409

Radial(single ended) electros were not available in 1958 when I built my first transistor radio.
Using OC44 transistor, which cost approx 1/4 of a weeks wages. About $200 by todays standards.
Still think the Bel-Air is late 60's.
JJ


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 8:39:01 PM on 7 January 2017.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

You maybe right jj ,you would have a better idea of it than I would,
Either way its a fun old radio


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 9:04:08 PM on 7 January 2017.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

Well it appears we all might of been tricked a little I looked on the net and its made by Futura for Bell products in 1959, this link shows one almost the same, looking again at my one I can now see it says futura as before at first glance I thought it said future. They have one with the back off it and its almost the same ,,,1959
See link

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c3/Vintage_Futura_Transistor_Radio_%28No_Model_Number%29%2C_By_Bell_Products%2C_St._Louis...


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 9:09:45 PM on 7 January 2017.
Johnny's avatar
 Location: Hobart, TAS
 Member since 31 July 2016
 Member #: 1959
 Postcount: 409

Very interesting.
The futura Boys 2 transistor radio as discussed in detail in "antiqueradios" forum, has older components than yours.
Can you see the numbers on the transistor/s.
That would give us a good indication of age.
JJ


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 9:12:55 PM on 7 January 2017.
Vintage Pete's avatar
 Location: Albury, NSW
 Member since 1 May 2016
 Member #: 1919
 Postcount: 1993

I will have a look,,my eyes are not my best point

Ok jj,, I had a look under the glass,,no number on it.but I have seen that diode in very early american stuff o the net,,well looks like its 59 60 or there abouts


 
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