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Feature Radio

Sparton model 517 Ebony Tombstone (ca 1936)

This radio belonged to my father. It was given to him by a friend sometime about 1960. He listened to it in the basement of the family home near Snohomish, Washington. I've had the radio since he died in 1969.

It was painted black when he got it. I had always assumed that someone had just painted it, so a few years ago I stripped and refinished it. But then someone sent in a picture of their Sparton 517 to Antique Radio Classified Photo Gallery, and I learned it was supposed to be painted black after all.

It's the classic tombstone style, with the speaker on the top and the round dial with airplane pointer. It has the added trim with the three stainless steel strips over the top and upper front, and circular chrome rings on the knobs.

Charlie Anderson painted it for me, and now it is as it's supposed to be.

One knob was missing when my dad had it, and I've never been able to find another. The two knobs on it are unique, and I assume they're original. They have a circular chrome ring on the front, and circular grooves on the side. I found a hexagonal knob in my spare parts with the same metal ring on the front, lathed it down to make it round, then turned some grooves in the side. It looks pretty good, but is a little smaller than the other two. I'm still looking for the third knob, if anyone has one.