Telechron 8H67 Musalarm, a 1948 5-tube Superheterodyne Alarm Clock in Rare Blue-Pink-Grey Marbeled UREA, Serviced and Working
In a Nutshell
It's a Telechron Musalarm radio clock, not a General Electric clock radio !
It is the first clock radio too, though. And it is the Rare tri-colored UREA version, 12 times more expensive than bakelite !
From Pappy's Telechron website (ref.1 below): A Clock! --- A Radio! --- A Musical Alarm!
The perfect gift for Christmas, birthday and weddingsAn entirely new method of wakening
5-tube superheterodyne radio -- Alnico Speaker
It was Henry Ellis Warren, who in 1908 started to develop what is today known as a Telechron clock (see ref.2 below). The
trademark was registered in 1923. General Electric acquired 50% of
Telechron sometime in the 1930's, but took over the prospering company
completely shortly after the war. Starting in 1932, Telechron and GE
clocks began giving initial model numbers to their clocks to match
The 8 Series was for novelty clocks, timers and radios, odd-numbered
models were Telechrons, even-numbered were GE. The 8H59 and 8H67 Musalarm were the first dedicated clock radios
ever and sold like hotcakes - "clock radio" being understood as a
device combining an alarm clock to a radio with the purpose of waking
up, not just a radio and a clock sharing the same cabinet, or a radio
switched on by a clock to warm up in time. I call the clock radio on
auction a "radio alarm clock", because GE built a
number of alarm clock radios (1948 6 models of 60 series, and between
1951 and 55 about 20 models of 500 series), which however came in cheap
plastic cabinets with much less styling. Note the almost hidden
on/off-volume switch of the Telechron, and note the independence claiming naming of Telechron as a section of Canadian GE on the clocks back plane (pict.10). GE ran Telechron into
the ground over a period of several decades, and then sold what was left
Francesco Collura is known as the designer of the other Musalarm radio (8H59, see pict.19), and it is generally assumed that he also designed the 8H67.
UREA is one of the 5 prewar plastics bakelite, UREA, plaskon, beetle and catalin. Unlike bakelite it had a wood filler, that made it almost white, before coloured dyes were added. It's life span between bakelite and plaskon was only short, and therefore radios made from UREA are extremely rare.
ref. 1. http://www.telechrontime.net/postwar/8h67.htm
ref. 2. http://clockhistory.com/telechron/
ref. 3. http://www.nostalgiaair.org
About my radio:
The UREA version of this radio clock is valued in Mark Stein's "Machine Age to Jet Age II" 1997 at 250$, in "Tabletop Radios" 2003 at 300$, and in "Plastic Radios" 2006 at 350$, 12 times more than the brown bakelite model and the other Musalarm radios 8H59. The reason for the high value is the rarety of UREA and its long-term mechanical instability. The clock is in mint condition with no cracks, chips or scratches whatsoever to the highly glossy UREA cabinet. The chassis is clean, the speaker cone has no tears, the original back plane (generally replaced) is in good condition. The radio plays perfectly, with no extra antenna needed. Reception and selection are very good. The clock works fine and accurately, the alarm buzz too. Taking pictures of the tri-color marbeled UREA is an adventure, since the result is extremely depending on the kind of illumination (see pictures).
For techies only:
Often Telechron clockworks stop working because of missing lubrication.
Ref.2 above shows pictures of rotors, i.a. of an "H" rotor, and it can
be seen, that there is only one hole, for the output pinion. Many
people attempt to lubricate the gear inside by trying to open the case
or by drilling holes in it. I forgot where I read this recipee, which
is working perfectly in all cases I applied it: remove the rotor, put
it pinion up into an oven preheated to 125°F for 15 minutes, take it out,
position it with the pinion up, and drop oil, drop by drop, on that
pinion. You'll see the oil disappearing immediately, sucked inside the
rotor by the only hole available to equalize the underpressure,
generated by the cooling-down rotor case. Fortunately I did not have to
do this to the clock of this radio, because it works fine and
accurately like a charm.
Here are the specifications:
Technical Description of Item
||Telechron Section of Canadian General Electric, Toronto
|| 8H67 Musalarm
|| 5-tube AM/BC Superheterodyne radio alarm clock
||Blue-pink-grey mottled UREA
||Clock: 2 brown plastic knobs, Radio: tuning and volume
||AM 540-1620 kHz
||Tuning (top), volume (bottom), plus 2 clock knobs
||12SA7 (RF), 12SK7 (IF), 12SQ7 (Detector), 50L6 (Audio), 35Z5 (Rectifier)
||11½" x 6½" x 6"
||7 lbs = 3.3 kg
||Like new condition, serviced and perfectly working