EH Scott Radio Enthusiasts

The Fine Things are Always Hand Made

As most of you know, I've been gathering and analyzing Scott serial numbers for over 20 years. I have a couple requests....first, if you haven't sent me your serial numbers, please do. Also...if any of you have a confirmed date for a set/serial number, please send me that. There is a warranty tag on ebay at the moment, these are great, since they have the date and serial number on them. A letter with a date is also good confirmation. I would greatly appreciate any info you fellows can provide. I'll post more about serial numbers here in the future.

Kent

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Interesting background on these models and take on the Scott use of the Masterpiece name. Thanks David!

David C. Poland said:

I mean that 1) the fierce competitor custom radio McMurdo Silver having gone bankrupt and 2) Scott having bought certain McMurdo Silver assets, 3) and then Scott naming his smallest 1939 model, The Masterpiece, seems a bit like rubbing salt into a wound.

The Masterpiece V and VI were McMurdo Silver's premier radio and were well regarded Philharmonic level products.

I guess I never thought of the use of the name in that sense. Thanks for that perspective!

David C. Poland said:

I mean that 1) the fierce competitor custom radio McMurdo Silver having gone bankrupt and 2) Scott having bought certain McMurdo Silver assets, 3) and then Scott naming his smallest 1939 model, The Masterpiece, seems a bit like rubbing salt into a wound.

The Masterpiece V and VI were McMurdo Silver's premier radio and were well regarded Philharmonic level products.

Scott didn't have much time for Mcmurdo, there is an intresting letter here

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1RSs9TSToGXg-gGQPuBFsh_Hxdih...

about halfway down the page, Scott vs Mcmurdo

Mike

Wow... tell us how you really feel about Mr. Silver, Mr. Scott! That was some dressing down Mr. Scott was giving Mr. Silver in that letter. I guess in the 1930s the country was still on the dirt road when it came to developing what we call today  "Truth in Advertising" law.

This was truly a heated rivalry between the two radio companies, McMurdo was fighting to survive by the late 1930s, and Scott was building more and more complicated radios with more parts than their earlier high-end sets by the mid to late 1930s.  Scott was also starting to struggle; they need to get their prices up to cover the rising costs of build their increasingly complicated radio sets. McMurdo was an aggressive competitor for Scott with some fairly competitive radio sets and competitive pricing on them. On top of all this, radio sales dipped in 1938 severely as FDR's administration over corrected with their economic polices throwing the recovery from the depression in reverse for a short period. All radio manufactures felt the FDR economic slowdown in the late 1930s, impacting their bottom financial lines.

 My point here I guess is that the letter “Scott vs. McMurdo Silver” not only shows the bitter, competitive rivalry between the two men but there was additional tension for the both of their companies due to the slowdown in sales and shrinking of their high-end market. In the end, there was not enough room for both companies to survive. McMurdo went BK and then out of business with Scott struggled to regain its financial balance.   


mike hadley said:

Scott didn't have much time for Mcmurdo, there is an intresting letter here

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1RSs9TSToGXg-gGQPuBFsh_Hxdih...

about halfway down the page, Scott vs Mcmurdo

Mike

The letter writing campaign started with a potentially biased comparison of contemporary Scott, McMurdo Silver, and Lincoln receivers, the latter being a retired and updated laboratory (garage) test model.  Objectivity was clouded by the fact that the laboratory conducting the comparison was founded and run by Kendell Clough a former McMurdo Silver employee.  Regardless of the subsequent letter writing campaign the only winner of which was Hollister of Lincoln Radio Corporation for not participating, McMurdo Silver does deserve credit for implementing a true high fidelity speaker enclosure - bass reflex, in the later Masterpiece V and VI receivers.  Inclusion of the costly 18-inch Jensen Super Giant loudspeaker likely contributed to McMurdo Silver Corporation's downfall (lack of profit likely led to loss of financing by GPH corporation).  E.H. Scott Radio Laboratories never did include a true high fidelity enclosure in any of their offerings.

Norman

That's a great point you bring up on McMurdo Silver deserving credit for the implementing true high-fidelity speaker enclosure with bass reflex. I have a McMurdo V in the Oxford cabinet that was missing the orginal Jensen 18" speaker so we put in a pair of Jensen A-12s with a Jensen "Q" tweeter, the same speaker configuration as the Zenith 1000 Z Stratosphere. I really got a feel for how McMurdo high fidelity speaker enclosed, bass reflex door improves the overall sound. In comparison to my 1000 Z Stratosphere, both have great sound but the two Jensen A-12s, the speaker enclosure with a bass reflex designed back door cover gives the McMurdo V an incredibly rich deep bass sound. I preferer the sound on the McMurdo with the bass reflex enclosure over the sound on the 1000 Z. They are fairly close in sound, but the bass reflex enclosure does make a noticable differance in the bass sound on the McMurdo. I decided I would try the same bass reflex design on the back of my Zenith 16-A-61 to see if it made a difference and it did improve the bass quite a bit. 

David -

Your point about the economy is well taken: in 1938, Scott had to borrow $100K to stay afloat. He repaid it before the war, but the shift in the economy did hurt.

Kent

David Wilson said:

Wow... tell us how you really feel about Mr. Silver, Mr. Scott! That was some dressing down Mr. Scott was giving Mr. Silver in that letter. I guess in the 1930s the country was still on the dirt road when it came to developing what we call today  "Truth in Advertising" law.

This was truly a heated rivalry between the two radio companies, McMurdo was fighting to survive by the late 1930s, and Scott was building more and more complicated radios with more parts than their earlier high-end sets by the mid to late 1930s.  Scott was also starting to struggle; they need to get their prices up to cover the rising costs of build their increasingly complicated radio sets. McMurdo was an aggressive competitor for Scott with some fairly competitive radio sets and competitive pricing on them. On top of all this, radio sales dipped in 1938 severely as FDR's administration over corrected with their economic polices throwing the recovery from the depression in reverse for a short period. All radio manufactures felt the FDR economic slowdown in the late 1930s, impacting their bottom financial lines.

 My point here I guess is that the letter “Scott vs. McMurdo Silver” not only shows the bitter, competitive rivalry between the two men but there was additional tension for the both of their companies due to the slowdown in sales and shrinking of their high-end market. In the end, there was not enough room for both companies to survive. McMurdo went BK and then out of business with Scott struggled to regain its financial balance.   


mike hadley said:

Scott didn't have much time for Mcmurdo, there is an intresting letter here

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1RSs9TSToGXg-gGQPuBFsh_Hxdih...

about halfway down the page, Scott vs Mcmurdo

Mike

Kent,  The serial number on my Scott Philharmonic is:  AA72   Chuck...

From what I read online, it looks like McMurdo Silver committed suicide in June of 1948 at the age of 45. Here's his obituary.

Brad Winder said:

I guess I never thought of the use of the name in that sense. Thanks for that perspective!

David C. Poland said:

I mean that 1) the fierce competitor custom radio McMurdo Silver having gone bankrupt and 2) Scott having bought certain McMurdo Silver assets, 3) and then Scott naming his smallest 1939 model, The Masterpiece, seems a bit like rubbing salt into a wound.

The Masterpiece V and VI were McMurdo Silver's premier radio and were well regarded Philharmonic level products.

Kent,  The serial number on my Scott Philharmonic is:  AA72    Chuck...

Chuck - An early Philly, built before Sep 37...probably around early July based on estimated production. Set was introduced in April 37, so you have one of the first units. Keep that set together, it is a great example. Warrington cabinet looks really nice too. You can find everything on the set here in the "Info Archive" link at the top of the page, Set Folders -> Philharmonic for all the materials. Great find!

Kent

Thanks for the info!!!  The set is 100% complete I think?  I would Not break it up!  I'm mostly a 'coin-op' guy so I will probably put the set up for sale in the near future......Thanks again,  Chuck...

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