Montgomery Ward Airline Radio Model 04BR-514B

Circa 1940

With a couple of strong daytime stations, the push-button tuning on this radio makes it fun to use.

Above, The ivory-painted brown Bakelite cabinet is in basically unrestored condition, and has aged very nicely. It appears that this radio has been well cared for.

Below, inside, we see that this is just an AA5 radio with a push-button mechanism added to the tuner. Like Sears, Montgomery Ward did not make their own radios, and as such, this radio was made the Belmont Radio Co. With different cabinets, this same chassis could appear in radios under dozens of different names.


Above, the label on the underside of the set. Quite a long list of patents. Note the use of a 35L6 instead of a 50L6. More on this later.

Below, the chassis before restoration. You will note the cloth-covered 75-ohm resistor between the 35Z5 and 12SK7 sockets.

Below, the chassis after restoration. I removed the 75 ohm resistor when it started to smoke and replaced it with a piece of wire. Using a 50L6 in place of the 35L6 means the resistor is not needed, and the radio operates the same. I could have put a new resistor in, but did not want such a resistor so close to where the power cord comes into the chassis.

Below, the tube line-up:

ID Type Function
V1 12SA7-GT Converter-Oscillator
V2 12SK7-GT Intermediate Frequency Amplifier
V3 12SQ7-GT Detector-AVC-Audio Amplifier
V4 50L6-GT Beam Power Audio Output (Originally a 35L6-GT)
V5 35Z5-GT Rectifier

The intermediate frequency is the the old standard 455kc.


Above and below, front and back views of the antenna and the cabinet back. I do enjoy the names they came came up for antennas. The "Air-Wave Loop Aerial System" sure does make a plain-jane loop antenna sound fancy. There is supposed to be a fahnstock clip where it says external antenna, but this has broken off over the years.

Below, the chassis out of the cabinet on a test run. This radio was not too bad to work on. I would not rate it highly for use, as the ratio between tuning knob and capacitor is 1:1, but the push-buttons are fun!

Service Data:

Riders Volume 12, Mont-Ward Page 12-7.

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