Westinghouse "Astra" model 578
ca. 1947

eBay purchase, September 9, 2000 for US $15.59 (approx. C $23.47) from a seller in Tillsonburg, Ontario. (picture is of the original condition)

I couldn't resist the appearance of this one. It reminds me of Jiminy Cricket. The colour is more of a tan or beige, like in  this photo. I hope to be able to match the original paint colour, and get a finish that's not too glossy.

This has a typical AA5 chassis with octal tubes, except that it is suspended upside down from two grooves along the left and right sides of the cabinet, about as high as the two knobs.

December 6, 2000 - I've found an advertisement in the Toronto "Globe and Mail", December 5, 1947 edition, for Westinghouse radios and phonographs. It shows a model that looks exactly like this one, but it's called "The Melody":

A new distinctive style in moulded plastic cabinets ... a 5-tube superheterodyne packed with power ... full, rich, undistorted volume ... sparkling tone ... automatic volume control ... beam power output tubes ... built-in antenna ... $38.95.

Other models offered in the same ad are:

  • "Consort Junior" (walnut cabinet, six-tube, BC and two SW bands - $106.95)
  • "Duo" (automatic radio-phonograph - $149.95)
  • "Coronette" (walnut cabinet, five-tube superhet, BC plus one SW band - $69.95)
  • "Harmony" (five-tube superhet, plastic with choice of four front-panel colours - Turquoise Blue, Cardinal Red, Nile Green, Fawn - $31.95)

I wonder if that "Fawn" colour is the same colour as my Astra?

At least twice now, I've seen it on eBay with the nickname of "Cartoon".

Here's a bit of advice if you ever get one of these: Do not allow the inside of the dial glass to get wet. I tried getting the dust off by using a damp cloth, and the red graphics started to come off. I stopped in time, so the graphics are stillo solid, and there were no streaks. I got an email from someone with a similar set, and they weren't so lucky - all the numbers and graphics are gone.

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