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Philharmonic (and others): What styles of knobs used and when? (plastic, wood, pinch, metal, etc.)

This ebay auction, ending in moments, is already bid up to $227.50 for a nice set of knobss for a Philharmonic. Wow

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Scott and Ken - you make good points.

The front page photo of most owners manuals showed the wood panel.

Been looking through my many Instruction manuals. From the early 1930's up to the 1935 AW-23 5 knob model, receivers were shipped with a wood panel to which all the escutcheons escutcheon were affixed along with the knobs on the shafts. The first couple pages of the owner instruction manuals dealt with moving the escutcheons from the shipped wood panel to the console after the knobs were removed and the receiver was inserted into the cabinet.

However, starting with the 1936 AW-23 7 knob model, there is no mention of a shipping panel and instead unpacking  instructions mention being very careful not to damage the dial and dial pointers which suggests Scott was no longer shipping with a wood panel. Although I think I have seen a later model panels that did not look like they had been scavenged from a cabinet.

The pair of cast metal knobs seem unique to the pointer dial model and perhaps the earlier BOL Philharmonic. They are much like the cast metal band switch knob of the AW-12, AW-15 and AW-23 but without the pointer. My early pointer Philly still had a half the original brown plastic knobs when I got it from relatives. I say an early Philharmonic, because the VR tube was directly behind the tuning condenser, whereas the VR tube was soon relocated when the remote control option was offered later in 1937 to allow the tuning condenser shaft to extend to the preset housing on the back of the receiver. I agree I have never seen a Scott photo of a Philharmonic sporting the metal knobs but they have appear on a good number of the pointer dial Philharmonic receivers.

Thanks David P. 

This is interesting.  I have a Philharmonic with a capacitor stamp date of Dec 6, 1937 and it has the VR tube at the rear.  So as of early Dec 1937 the VR tube was not moved, unless Scott had a different chassis for the remotes and was using up inventory for the non-remote sets.     

Also, any thoughts about the Scott advertisement that shows the early dial on the later beam of light 9 knob set? 

Scott -

We know that the remote sets were configured differently than non-remote sets, so moving the VR tube was a likely differentiator. The remote control model 16 sets are all actually 15 tube radios - two single  triodes are replced by a dual triode to remove one tube to make the tuning drive shaft work, leaving the remote set as the Scott Fifteen (just kidding, he never called it that). 

About the dial in the ad...Scott reused images, sometimes for years. Trusting photos in ads to be from the actual period of the ad is not an assumption I ever make. WE'll probably never complete the timelines as precisely as we'd all hope. 


I'll throw in two more pictures for discussion about knobs: Look in the Scott News, Dec 1937, page 4. Does it look like the metal "bat" handles on the Warrington set she is showing?

Also, if you haven't noticed the knobs on pages 8-9 in the May 1937 Scott News....I have a complete set of these in my collection, but they are the only ones I've ever found or seen.


Interesting discussion.  Could we put together a chart showing the various knob types, sets, and years?  Same could be done for dials too.  Just a thought.

Son-of-a-gun. I have originals of both the Dec 1937 Scott News (Autotrope front page) and the green Christmas 1937 price list. Both use the same photo of the women sitting in front of a pointer Philharmonic in the big  TASMAN cabinet.

With a magnifying glass, Scott News photo does show the cast metal knobs flanking the tuning knob. The Scott News photo is better quality than the price list.

Hummm. So, from all this, I need to move my plastic bat wing pair from my Pointer dial Philly to my remote control BOL 8 shaft Philly. And put my repo cast metal pair on my pointer Philly which is in my big TASMAN cabinet. And I will keep the cast metal pair on the pointer Philly I bought last Fall. Leaves me with a nice pair of pinch knobs. The cast metal pair nest nicely into the keyhole style control escutcheons.

Thus is the value of focus groups on a topic.

As for the eye escutcheons, pointer Phillys have the oval style, highly polished to match the bright gold keyhole control escutcheons. The model Sixteen introduced Summer 1937 (soon after the Philharmonic introduction) seem to have the square style in a toned down bronze color consistent with the bronze color square-ish escutcheons of the Sixteen and the round control escutcheons of the later Super 12, Phantoms, etc.  Soon (with the 1940 model?) the BOL Phillys had the square style ehe escutcheons. too.

Does anyone have an early Sixteen with the bright gold keyhole escutcheons of the Philharmonic, as shown on page 2 0f the Scott News July 1937 Vol 10 #4 and also pictured in the salmon color 1937 Scott Sixteen price list order form? I suspect it was a photo type photo only. The September 1937 issue Scott News an page 15 does show the normal almost square control escutcheons and square eye tube escutcheon I am accustomed to seeing.

My pointer dial Philly in the big Tasman has all wood knobs and uses two pinch knobs where the 2 chicken head knobs sometimes are found.

Bruce - Suppose a prior owner acquired your pointer Philly missing some knobs, and acquired a set of wood:"S" knobs for it because they were more appealing.

From the input by others on this thread, I am now thinking the wood knobs as original a Philharmonic would be limited to BOL Phillys later in 1941. Prior to then, I have seen nothing but plastic (and sometimes the metal pair in literature or the several I have seen at Estes Auction over the years.

Kent wrote:  "About the dial in the ad...Scott reused images, sometimes for years. Trusting photos in ads to be from the actual period of the ad is not an assumption I ever make. WE'll probably never complete the timelines as precisely as we'd all hope. "

Thank you for your response Kent.  I understand reusing images, but the image I posted could not have been reused.  It is a 9 knob Philharmonic with an early pointer dial.  By the time the 9 knob unit was out in Spring 1939, the Stradavarious logo was already established and I doubt they would have gone backwards and actually had dials made with the old logo.  Plus, the early dial would not work due to the upper band being different, unless the early dial was redone- in which case you would expect to find a later set or two with the older dial.  My thoughts are that the advertising sets, or at least some of them, were nothing more than props put together for the advertising company rather than full working sets.  They probably just grabbed parts on hand and put them together for a photo shoot. 

David P- Scott News shows wood knobs on a Super XII as early as 4/39.  I have not looked further back.  So, the wood knobs were around for the last few years or so.  If they were only used later in 1941 I would expect them to be very uncommon, like the very late sets that use Jones plugs. 

John- I like that idea.  I think at least part of the problem is that there were a lot of variations and possibilities combined with a certain degree of uncertainty.  It would be worth a shot though. 

This is an excellent conversation on knobs/escutcheons.  Is it possible that we change the title and edit contents to reflect the information contained herein so people can find this discussion later on?  The auction title will leave this exchange of information buried. 

Scott: Good suggestion. Title changed.

I’m standing behind my earlier thread. Most interesting are the years 37, 39. With onset of Philly, there were arguably carry over AW23s in 37, whether by option or typical mfg. attrition, different combos populated shafts. Based on availablilty, I doubt there was intentional “badging” of set’s. Dave’s early Pointer, no exception, those flippers look like ground off 23 castings machined to remove pointer and side attach. Maybe a stretch. Same for picture I supplied with sporting AW knobs Coincidence ? Doubt it. If you’re going to use one photo on the one hand than  est to not discount the next. Else we source every permutation of dial faces originally constructed, we really are only left with photos. Scott referred to such as “trends”, which implies carryover. 

Most interering is the 39 year, best described as late 38 to early 40, when the Pointer morphed to BOL. Photos plastic knobs, key estrucheons and round eye shields. The only definitive support of round estrucheons and square eye shields is with the FM. As with 37, lots going on especially late 39, the dash sported variations due to availability. There’s support, based on findings here, for use of readily available Phantom styled wood knobs, as the BOL went to logging scales late 39 into 40. 

Again based on flyers and sales brochures, it appears the 40 FM would provide a defining moment. Plastic with bat wings are depicted as I pictured earlier, but alas, as I and Scott questioned, is the photo at rear of what was a professionally prepared 1940 glossy sales brochure. Here’s the photo to go with one mentioned above. The “mystery” non-strat dial with keyholes and round eye shields. Why would Scott be so careful depicting their new Phantom sets, only to present the 40 Philly with pointer style badging. There could have been such, is it possible the BOL had a non-Strat dial iteration ? I see no pointer or logging under the  magnifying glass. Knobs or otherwise, I’m in the camp that “custom” means more than electrical changes, and no year in year out dials look the same.232278DE-8C19-460B-8F65-9DA1E88B9C2B.jpeg

I just checked my other Philly a 9 knob BOM AM/FM. It has plastic knobs and 2 metal chicken heads. The chassis supposedly came out of the Scott sales showroom in Chicago so it may be original knobs but who knows. It does have the Stradivarius on the dial where as my 30 tube pointer has the word Scott at about 200 oclock on a circle in the middle of the dial

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