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Steve's Antique Technology

Steve's Antique Technology
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My Collections (Select Below):
Antique and Vintage Radios
Record Players and Recording Devices
Test Equipment Collection
Apparatus Design Company Collection
Don Bosco Stethotracers and Mosquitos
Hickok Electrical Instrument Co. Collection
Non-Linear Systems Collection
RCA Victor Test Equipment
Simpson Electric Company Collection
Supreme Instruments Collection
Triplett Meter Company Collection
Weston Electrical Instrument Company
Vintage Digital Multimeters
Tube Pin Straighteners

Soldering Tools
Slide Charts, Wheel Charts and Calculators
Vintage Computers
Stereo Viewers and Cards

Schematics and Factory Service Manuals
The Workbench
Equipment Reviews
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Zenith 5-S-29

Steve's Test Equipment Collection
Vintage test equipment in my collection from the 1920s through the 1960s.

Some items shown below are only one of that manufacturer's items in my collection.
See the following pages for more items from a particular manufacturer:

Other test equipment related items in my collection:

My Test Equipment

4 Pin Tube Tester Antique 4 Pin Tube Tester
Here is an very early Montgomery Ward tube tester model 5156 that only tests 4 pin tubes from the 20s. (Let me know if you have any info on it) This tester plugs into the tube socket in the radio and the tube under test plugs into the tester. The meter can be moved from the "A" position to the "B" position to test the plate and the grid side of the tube.
Picture (use your back button to return to this page) :

Tri-Tube Tester Tri-Tube Tester
Here is another early tube tester manufactured by Morrison Radio Company, Michigan City Indiana and distributed by Montgomery Ward. It only tests early 4 pin tubes from the 20s.

Larger Picture
Instructions on bottom
Instructions (PDF file)
Tri Tube Tester Brochure Cover

EVEREADY meter Antique Eveready Radio Battery Meter
This is a radio battery tester from the early 1900's. It is about the size and style of a pocket watch. It was used to check the current level (0-35 Amperes) in the batteries of 1920's radios. This meter is marked on the face with "EVEREADY" and a patent date of Aug. 9, 1910. It was manufactured by the American Ever Ready Co. This meter is in excellent working condition and makes a great addition to my radio collection.
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Beede and Leader Battery Testers Beede and Leader Radio "B" Battery Testers
Beede measures 0-50 VDC
Leader measures 0-15 A, 0-50 VDC.
Both with boxes.

Sterling 42A Radio Battery Tester Sterling 42A "A" and "B" Radio Battery Tester
This Sterling model 42A battery meter was used to check both "A" and "B" Radio Batteries. Meter has three test points and face has graphic scales for each range for easy testing.
Larger Photo
Battery Scales
Meter with Original Box

DC Polarity-Indicator Antique Manhattan DC Polarity-Indicator
The Manhattan DC Polarity-Indicator was patented in 1905 and shows polarity in a DC circuit using a liquid (most likely phenolphthalein) in a glass tube that when current is passed through it, the liquid in the negative end turns red. It has a patent date stamped on it of Oct. 25, 1905. The earliest ad I have found for it was published in 1903. It was available in two models, a model 3220 for testing the polarity of low voltage DC and battery charging circuits and a model 3221 for testing 50-600 volt DC circuits. They use a liquid filled glass tube that is incased in a hard rubber type case with a connector on each end. Electrodes inside the glass tube attach to the connectors. The metal sleeve can be rotated to cover the glass windows when carried in your pocket. Manufactured by the Manhattan Electrical Supply Company (MESCO), Jersey City NJ.
I tested one of my battery models. The liquid in the end with negative 25 volts DC attached turned dark red after only a few seconds.
Pic 1 Pic 2
Models 3320 & 3321

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View Patent (Adobe pdf file)
Manhattan Electrical Supply Catalog Ad
1903 Ad
Excerpt from Motoring Magazine and Motor Life - 1913
Full 1913 MASCO Catalog (see page 146)

Battery Meter Antique Automobile Battery Meter
Like the DC Polarity-Indicator above, this meter is also manufactured by the Manhattan Electrical Supply Company. It was used to test banks of early automobile 1.5 volt dry cell ignition batteries. It's about the size of a pocket watch. Note the nice lettering on the face. This meter was also branded and sold under other company names.
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Clarostat Line Cord Tester Clarostat Tube Type Line Cord Resistor Tester
Clarostat Tube Type Line Cord Resistor Tester - metal case with etched face plate.

Clough-Brengle 135 Clough-Brengle 135 Tube Tester - 1938
Clough-Brengle model 135 "Dynatest Uni-Checker". This portable Clough-Brengle tube tester has a full metal case and cover.

Larger Photo
Larger Photo (Faceplate)
Tube Data Sheet (Adobe PDF file)

Bear TE-400 Bear TE-400 Condenser Meter
Bear Condenser Meter with original Raytheon B-H 4 pin tube

Supreme Tube Tester Antique Supreme 85C Tube Tester - Counter Model
Here is the Great Granddaddy of all corner drug store tube testers. This was made for radio shops front counters. It's an early Supreme 85C Tube Tester designed to allow customers to test their own vacuum tubes. The tube chart and operating instructions pull out on a wooden slide from the front bottom.

Pictures (use your back button to return to this page) :
Pic 1 Pic 2
   Need the Data Sheet?

View over 200 items in my Supreme test equipment collection at my Supreme Instruments web site.

Confidence Tube Tester Confidence Special Tube Tester
When Supreme Instruments founder Jewell R. Williams left Supreme Instruments in the 1930's, he started the
Apparatus Design Company
in Little Rock Arkansas and manufactured these "Confidence" and other model tube testers.

Find more information on the Apparatus Design Company and Confidence Tube Testers in my collection here.

Hickok's First Tube Tester, the B-47
The Hickok B-47
Hickok's First Tube Tester
Hickok's first tube tester and the first dynamic mutual conductance radio tube tester, the model B-47 was designed and built for tube manufacturers.
Acording to the original Hickok history web page, only one was built in the first half of the 1920s. It is now in my care.

More B-47 Information and Photos

Hickok Model 48 Meter Early Hickok Volt/Ohm Meter
This is one of the earliest Hickok meters I have seen. It is marked Model 48 on the face of the meter. It measurers resistance (Ohms) and DC voltage. From the construction I'd place it in the late 1920's. It uses the same style of parts as the SG-4600 Tube Tester.

View my Hickok collection.

Larger Photo

1310 Triplett tube tester Antique Triplett Tube Tester
Here is an early Model 1310 Triplett tube tester that tests early 4 and 5 pin tubes from the 20s and 30s. This is a working Tester which uses an 01A tube. The tube settings are listed on the metal plates on each side of the face (Pic 4).

Veiw my Triplett Test Equipment Collection

Pictures (use your back button to return to this page):
Pic 1 Pic 2 Pic 3 Pic 4
Catalog Listing

      Need the Data Sheet?

Jewell Pattern 135 Jewell Pattern 135 Radio Tube Tester
This is a early Jewell Tube Tester (Pattern 135). It only tested early 4 pin radio vacuum tubes. This tester was battery powered or could use a cord from the radio socket to power the tube under test.
Pictures (use your back button to return to this page) :
Larger Photo

Jewell 209 Jewell Pattern 209 Radio Tube Tester
This is a bakelite Jewell Tube Tester (Pattern 209) from 1932. It tested 21 different early 4 pin and 5 pin radio vacuum tubes. Tube settings are molded on the face. This tester was AC powered.
Pictures (use your back button to return to this page) :
Larger Photo

Jewell 409 Jewell Pattern 409 Radio Set Analyzer
This is a Jewell Radio Set Analyzer (Pattern 409) from the 1920s. It was able to make most measurements the radio repair man of the day needed to troubleshoot radio circuits. This tested early 4 pin and early 5 pin radio vacuum tubes. Unit had cord that pluged into the radio's tube socket and tube was then inserted into the analyzer.
Pictures (use your back button to return to this page) :
Pic 1 Pic 2 Pic 3 Pic 4

Leader Battery Meter Leader Battery Volt Meter
Used to check 1920's radio batteries.
0-50 volts

Hoyt Battery Meter Hoyt Battery Meter
with box.
Used to check 1920's radio batteries.
1927/28 Hoyt Catalog (6+ Mb PDF file)

Hoyt Catalog Hoyt 1927/1928 catalog
Including the Hoyt model 300 Set Tester, the Hoyt model 100 tube tester, and several Hoyt pocket meters and panel meters
Hoyt 1927-1928 catalog

The Testometer Testometer Continuity Tester
This unique little tester has a heavy duty chrome case. It was designed to quickly check Continuity of fuses, lamps, motor windings, toasters, flat irons, vacuum machines, and anything else you can possibly get across the two contact bars on the face.
When a short is detected the red dot on the needle moves out of the window on the meter. If the dot does not move the item under test is open. It's powered by a standard C cell and was sold by Testometer Laboratories, Chicago. Testometer Instructions Larger Photo Instructions

The Testometer "Plug-Rite" hot chassis tester
This Plug-Rite tester was used for checking if the radio or appliance's two prong plug is plugged in correctly. You put your thumb on the metal button and touch the tip to a metal part of the appliance or radio chassis. If the lamp in the window glows, reverse the plug. I tried it and it works. I was not grounded (probably a good thing) so I'll have to tear it apart to see how it works.
Larger photo with instructions

Sterling R-402 Sterling R-402 Vacuum Tube Tester Early battery powered Sterling model R-402 tube tester.
Larger Photo

Sterling R-403 Sterling R-403 Vacuum Tube Reactivator with instructions (and the original box) for making those old 4 pin tubes "Like New" again.
This filament rejuvenation or "flashing" on weaker tubes was successful to some degree on a few older tubes like the 01As with Thorated Tungsten filaments.

Weston Model 519 Weston Model 519 Radio Set Tester (1928)
Weston 4 pin vacuum tube tester and voltmeter. Tested tubes in and out of the radio circuit. Needed both A and B batteries to test tubes out of the radio. Has instructions for testing battery sets, AC sets, and Battery Eliminators.
Larger Photo
1928 Catalog Ad

View more items by Weston on my
Weston Test Equipment Page

Simpson 480 Genescope Simpson Model 480 FM-TV Genescope

The model 480 Genescope is three service instruments in one. It contains an Amplitude Modulated Oscillator for AM service, a Frequency Modulated Oscillator for working on FM and TV receivers, and a full function oscilloscope.
The oscilloscope tube is mounted vertically and the display is viewed using a hinged mirror on the top of the cabinet.

Larger Photo
Scope Display

View more items by Simpson on my
Simpson Test Equipment Page

Jackson 650 A Condenser Checker Jackson 650 A Condenser Checker
Nice little capacitor tester with a large dial and eye tube.
Larger Photo

Marion M2 Metertester Marion M2 Metertester
Very handy instrument for testing many types of DC panel meters by the Marion Electrical Instrument Company, Manchester New Hampshire.
Larger Photo
Control Panel
Instructions (PDF file)

OS-8 B/U Oscilloscope Navy OS-8 B/U Oscilloscope
This is a version of the Navy OS-8 B/U Oscilloscope. It has a 3" CRT. The holes in the sides are for storing the power cord and probes when packed in it's case.
Manufacturer is unknown but it may have been made by Hickok.

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Philco 7030, 7170
A beautiful combination of bench test gear by Philco. The model 7030 "Dynamic Tester" - signal tracer (left) and the matching model 7170 FM & AM Signal Generator (right).
The signal tracer has a compartment in the left side for the probe storage. The brushed and mirror finish makes these two stand out on any repair bench.
Larger Photo
7030 Dynamic Tester Instruction Manual & Schematic (adobe pdf file)

Rider Chanalyst RCA Rider Chanalyst
The Rider Chanalyst is designed to allow the serviceman to listen to and measure the signal as it passes through each of the components in a receiver. The Chanalyst has four tuning eye tubes.
Front Panel
Chanalyst Specifications
Eye Tubes (in operation)
Advertisment (from 1940 RCA Catalog)

More Chanalyst data and manuals are available here.
View more items on my
RCA Test Equipment Page

Meissner Analyst 9-1040 Meissner Analyst      Model 9-1040
The Meissner Analyst is designed to allow the serviceman to listen to and measure the signal as it passes through each of the components in a receiver. This model Meissner Analyst has four tuning eye tubes. The first model had five. This is a very unique piece of test gear. It uses a similar if not a direct copy of the the Rider Chanalyst circuit above.
Larger Photo
Front Panel
Model 9-1040 Manual (adobe pdf file)

Cornell-Dubilier BN Capacitor Bridge Cornell-Dubilier Capacitor Bridge
Model BN. This compact Cornell Dubilier unit has 3 ranges and uses an eye tube as an indicator.
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Cornell-Dubilier Capacitor Decade Boxes Cornell-Dubilier Decade Capacitor Boxes
The model CDC3 has ten positions from 1 to 10 Microfarads, The CDC5 covers .01 to .0009 Microfarads with two ten position switches. Both have calibration charts from the factory on the bottom.

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Calabration Charts

Leeds and Northrup Decade Resistance Box Leeds & Northrup Decade Resistance Box
Has 4 range selectors 1 ohm, 10, ohms, 100 ohms, and 1000 ohms. Tested, very acruate. Nice wood case.

Resistance Box Antique Decade Resistance Box
Has 4 brass range selecting posts. Each side has coils of resistor wire under each brass cap. You can select parallel and series resistance combinations by inserting all 4 posts at various points. My guess is that this was used as a training item. Nice wood case.
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Deforest's Training 100B Deforest's Training Inc. 100B Meter
Tests AC/DC Volts and Milliamps. Uses a Simpson model 85 meter.
This meter was supplied in 1950 by DeForest's Training Inc. to it's students.
Larger Photo
1950 Advertisement

Wright-DeCoster Wright-DeCoster Inc. Multi-Test Speaker
This is designed for the 1930's radio test bench. Has selectable field coil resistance, transformer taps, and speaker impedance.
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The Ferret 721 Test Speaker "The Ferret" Model 721 Test Speaker
This test speaker built by Coastwise Electronics in 1947 is also is designed for the radio test bench. It has selectable field coil resistance and speaker impedance (top row). Input settings are selected by chart at left according to radios output tube.
It is also a capacitor and resistor substitution box. (bottom row)
Larger Photo
1947 Article (PDF File)
1947 Ad

The Ferret 620 Test Speaker "The Ferret" Model 620 Test Speaker
This model 620 test speaker by Coastwise Electronics is similar to the 721 above but is only the speaker section without the capacitor and resistor substitution box.
Larger Photo

Absorption Frequency Meters
Absorption Frequency Meters
These hand held absorption frequency meters are used to measure the frequency of an oscillator or find harmonics. This set was manufactured by the James Millen Manufacturing Co. in Malden Mass.
Model 90606 Range: 9-24 Megacycles
Model 90609 Range: 130-170 Megacycles

Larger Photo
Photo of backs
I-129-B Military Set
Hickok Military Set
Instructions (PDF File)

Preceptor Tube Tester

Preceptor Display
Preceptor Tube Tester
Manufactured by the Preceptor Electrical Corp., this model K tube tester is a little different as it uses 12 lights with different levels of brightness to indicate tube quality and seven neon lamps to indicate shorts.
There is a set of six standard lamps which are set to individual brightness levels as called out in the setup chart. To measure tube quality, the brightness of the Load lamps are then each compared with the corresponding standard lamps. The small meter in the upper right is to set the AC line voltage.
Larger Photo
Photo of Display

E-Z Tube Tester
E-Z Tube Tester
Manufactured by the E - Z Tester Co., Macon Georgia
This is about as basic as it gets. This 1952 era tube tester is made from a standard 3x5 file card box and a piece of wood with a 110V Christmas tree lamp wired in series with the test leads. It comes with 39 test cards. You place the tube pins through the proper card and use the test leads across the pins to check the filament and for shorts! The lamp acts like a little Dim Bulb Tester for tubes.
Larger Photo
1952 ad

Royal Electric Lamp Tester
Royal Electric Lamp and Fuse Tester
Manufactured by the Royal Electric Co., this bakelite lamp and fuse tester is designed for setting on a counter or can be mounted on a wall. It is powered by standard AC line voltage.
Larger Photo
Photo with lamp/fuse

Noma Lamp Tester
Noma Fuse and Lamp Tester
Manufactured by Noma Electric Corp., this fuse and lamp tester is designed for setting on a counter or can be mounted on a wall. It is powered by standard AC line voltage. It appears to be made from some type of hard rubber.
Photo with lamp/fuse

Related Test Equipment Items
(Not necessarily antique or vintage)

Thermy Tempature Probe
Thermy Temperature Probe
Manufactured by Shibaura Electric Corp. Japan. This temperature probe plugs into a standard analog ot digital ohm meter. It's resistance changes with temperature and you convert the ohms reading to temperature (F or C) using the scales on the probe.
Cost in 1973 was $12.50.
Instructions (PDF file)

In the 1960s and 1970s Don Bosco Electronics manufactured a line of shirt pocket sized signal tracers and generators called the "Stethotracer" and "Mosquito".
More Information

Vintage Soldering Irons and Guns My Soldering Irons, Guns, and Tools Collection
Some of the vintage soldering guns and irons I have collected and soldering tools I currently use on my work bench.
See the wooden prototype of Weller's first soldering gun now in the Smithsonian and examples of the his first commercially sold soldering guns from 1946.

Soldering Irons, Guns, and Tools Collection

Cardboard Calculators Cardboard Calculators, Slide Charts, and Wheel Charts
Here are some of my cardboard calculators (better known as Slide Charts and Wheel Charts) and cards that relate to servicing antique radios and electronics in general. Included are some of my slide rule type calculators made from cardboard as well as some wheel type cardboard calculators.

Cardboard Calculators, Slide Charts, and Wheel Charts

Tube Pin Straighteners Tube Pin Straighteners
I told my wife I was going to put up a picture of my
"Tube Pin Straightener" collection and she said that's going off the deep end. Oh well, here they are.

Vacuum Tube Pin Straighteners

My Workbench
People often ask me what test equipment and tools I use to work on old radios so here is a picture and more details of what I use on my electronics bench.
Picture and list

More of my Test Equipment collection:


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