Coca-Cola Bottle Radio

antique 1933 tube radio made by Crosley Radio



Coca Cola bottle tube radio from 1933 - 24" high

side view


dial area


click on the small images to enlarge

rear view

This is a RARE radio!
made by Crosley, model 165
ca. 1933

This item is NOT for sale

Since I acquired this radio, I'm seeking any historical information on it to include on this page.


My interest in radio began as a child in the early 1950's (see my "Bio" page). Most of the old radios I  acquired  then would end up dissected. Around  the age of 12 - 13 years, I found a radio just like the one pictured above and repaired it. I was so proud of myself as this was the very first time I did such a thing. Up 'til then, they usually ended up as parts stored in several coffee cans. The copper wire which I removed from the speaker fields and transformers I sold at the scrap yard for spending money.

My Special Interest

Ever since I started collecting radios (in the mid 1960's), I would occasionally think about that large "Coca-Cola" bottle radio I had back then and what a nice piece it would be for my collection. I have no idea what became of it, I probably sold it for $5.00 and it's likely sitting on the shelf of a "Coke" memorabilia collector somewhere.

The Restoration

I restored the electronics for the previous owner (Cal Nicholson of Hanover, PA), he did the beautiful restoration of the cosmetics and painstaking repainted it being very careful to match the original color perfectly. Afterwards he offered me the opportunity to purchase the radio. Since the one of my childhood, I had never seen or come across another until this one (and I've seen a lot of radios and collections in my lifetime). So acquiring this piece has a lot of special meaning to me. I understand few were made and most all of them are in the collection of those who collect Coca-Cola memorabilia.

The Circuitry

For those of you who are technically oriented, the circuitry used in this is a bit unusual. First, it is a Super-Het with the IF frequency of 456 Kc. (or KHz for you modernaires). The unusual part is the volume control circuitry, it's like that which is used in the TRF type radios of the late 1920's. The volume is controlled by a variable resistor in the antenna circuit. When the volume level is decreased, the antenna is shunted to ground while the cathode resistor value of the IF amplifier is increased (reducing the gain of that stage). A very poor way to control volume.

I modified the circuitry a bit by removing the antenna control, fixing the bias of the IF amp, adding a variable resistor in the grid circuit of the audio amplifier and adding AVC. This greatly improved the performance of the radio without any  alterations to the external appearance of the chassis. Since no schematic for this radio could be found, I spent several hours detailing and drawing one.

Year: 1933
Case: painted Bakelite
Dial: Backlit
Back: N/A
Finish: perfect like new
Knobs: original
Chassis: very clean
Tuning type: capacitance, super-het
Power transformer: yes
Grille cloth: N/A
No. of tubes: 5
Electronic condition: restored, excellent
Flaws, cracks, blems : none
Frequency coverage: AM, standard broadcast
Antenna requirements: long wire
Measurements: 24" tall x 8" dia.

Schematics for sale

I offer for sale; professionally drawn schematics for the model 165 Coke Bottle Radio. The package includes:

Original schematic
My improved circuit modifications schematic
Chassis pictures (inside & out, before & after restoration).

< order the info described above
< also available, replica dial scale


< also available, beautiful PAM advertising clocks or faces.
© C.E. Clutter


Member of:
Northwest Vintage Radio Society

Member of:
Antique Wireless Association


RadiolaGuy Collection, not for sale