By Yuriy Yedidovich CRC Member

This article originally posted on www.sfhobbies.com in 2010



I saw the Silvertone #115 model almost ten years ago in a 1931 Sears Season Catalog. Since then I have always wanted this model. It is beautiful and unique. The Sears ad says “The Silvertone De Luxe is truly a masterpiece in cabinet beauty – the work of a nationally famous artist”. And this is a true statement. Only an artist could create such an attractive grill and such an unique and stunning front panel. The front panel is made with a “Photo Finish” * process. The Sears ad called “Photo Finish” process as a “Tarso” process. “Genuine walnut; beautiful ‘Tarso’ process decorated front- a striking reproduction in natural colors of rich inlaid marquetry”. Sears probably made up this name from an "intarsia”, intarsia is a process similar to the marquetry process.
The model was probably very popular in that time. It is attractive, small cabinet (17”x14”x7”), has a large 10“ speaker, and 6 tubes, runs on AC with a price tag of $34.00. Is it rare and hard to find now? No, it is not a super rare model, but is very hard to find completed and in a good cosmetic condition. It took me ten years to get this model. For the past 10 years I saw many cabinets with striped and refinished front panel. This means the radio has completely lost value and it is good just for parts. This is due to the thin paper lining used in the photo finish is damaged or destroyed.

* The photo finish is a process that imitated (replaced) an expensive wood veneer with a thin layer of paper with the wood grain printed on.

WARNING
The main photo finish enemy is sunlight. The radio with photo finish is like a watercolor painting. Keep it from direct sun light. Look what happens with photo finish color over the years. Compare color behind the knob and whole panel.

 



How to remove the chassis from the cabinet?

First turn dial to number 72. You can see a small arrow on the dial.


This dial position unlocks the chassis from the speaker. After that, remove all knobs, loosen the chassis screws and pull the chassis from the cabinet.


Probably you will notice two holes on the top of the back cabinet arch. These two holes are designed to give a screwdriver easy access to the speaker screws.
Originally the radio used 80 and 45 glob tubes exactly like the ones shown on the picture.
The chassis made by Colonial Radio Corporation.

Knobs

This model used generic Sears Silvertone knobs. You can find these knobs in many Silverone models made between 1931 and 1933. The two outer knobs are ¾” and the two inner knobs are 1”. It is easy to break the ornamented top of a knob if you install and push the knobs too hard. Remember to be careful.



Original #115 grill cloth





Power cord, plug. Ground (black) and antenna clips.