POTW: Garage Sale Jackpot (2010)

April 30, 2010 by

SYRACUSE -- Many garage sale shoppers say they love to look because you never know what you're going to find.  Among the piles of used clothing and old books, sharp-eyed shoppers occasionally hit the jackpot.  That's just what reader Terrance Neidl did while browsing a garage sale in Liverpool earlier this month.

Feast your eyes on this -- an old Zenith console radio from the 1940s. Terrance says he was able to take this classic unit home for just $25.


Click on either photo for a more detailed, enlarged look. After he got the unit home and dusted it off, Terrance said he turned the radio on and immediately heard the song "Sweet Caroline" playing.

He says, after researching the serial number on the unit, he was able to determine the radio was sold sometime during 1941. It can tune in shortwave, an older version of CB radio, AM radio and "automatic tuning."

The console even has presets -- as seen in the photographs, the buttons were programmed to jump immediately to WSYR, WAGE, WFBL and WOLF... and Terrance says those preset buttons still work after all these years! A very good find indeed, likely worth well more than the $25 he paid.

You may recognize three of the four AM stations that have preset buttons, as they all still use the same call letters today. But WAGE was the original call sign for what's known today as WHEN. The WAGE call letters were in use from 1941 to 1946, which agrees with Niedl's research on the console's serial number indicating the unit was sold (or at least built) in 1941.

Got Pictures?

We're always interested in a look at what's happening today at your station, or a look back at classic photos of notable local radio people or things from the past. Send those shots to or upload through the Contact Form if you prefer. There's a new Picture of the Week every Friday, and we're always grateful for your submissions.

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