Westinghouse model H-126 "Little Jewel"

   Analog Dial       Page 1       Page 2       Page 3       Page 4       Page 5   

This refurb took a long time. It started In September and ended in November. I would come home from work and do one or two repairs a day. It's not perfect but it has a new lease on life and will work for many more years. This "refrigerator radio" with its six tubes is going to help heat up the house this winter. It should be called a "space heater radio."

When I soldered the last capacitor in place I said to Andrea, "I hope I never see another one of these again."

On the same day I made that remark I got an email from someone I'd never heard of.

Mike (SkyKing), I've been trying to get in touch. I have a Little Jewel radio you can have free. If interested email back.

Hmmm... for free? OK. I changed my mind. Maybe it will be a wreck and I can use the handle. I wrote back and said I would PayPal the shipping and in response got:
Mike, No shipping. I'm in North Wales. Come pick it up anytime . <ADDRESS>  <PHONE #>. Hank

So how do you like that? I have Internet and email friends all over the world who are interested in radio but I didn't personally know a single one of them, and here Hank lives within walking distance!

We met Hank and his wife Dot, both extremely nice people They treated us like we were old friends. We left with an all original, unrestored Little Jewel model H-125!

Thanks, Hank!

Looking at Hank's Little Jewel, I discovered a piece of felt under the handle. Who would have known? Haha, I thought it was a clump of dust and tried to vacuum it off, but it turned from gray to brown.
I also saw that the little spring-loaded handle locks, as well as the metal reinforcements around the handle sockets, were added AFTER the "clamshells" had been painted. This is interesting, because it would have risked scratching them at the factory.

I also found three rubber bumpers that cushion the speaker, glued to the brass part of the case. Add that to the parts count. Except for one vacuum tube, it is all original, and it's going to stay that way for now.

Philco Refrigerator Radio
Philco models 42-KR3 and 42-KR5

The Antique Radio Forum has more information on the "refrigerator radio" in one place than anywhere else on earth.

Thanks goes out to westcoastjohn who wrote, "The real refrigerator radio is the Philco Model 42-KR3, which is curved to rest perfectly on top of the Philco fridge. So naturally it would have been offered for sale along with the fridge, and being a cheap AA5, it might have been included with the purchase of a new fridge at some point by some appliance dealers."
Philco Refrigerator Radio
Philco Model 42-KR3 on top of the refrigerator.
Philco Refrigerator Radio
The Philco Model 42-KR5 has a clock in it.
According to the Radio Attic, "They were reportedly not sold, and only given away to new purchasers of a Philco refrigerator; the case's unusual concave bottom was designed specifically to sit on the top of them."

So there you have it, the genesis of the "free refrigerator radio" story.

Crosley Shelvadore
wiscojim wrote, "Although it's true that the Philco was designed to ride on top of their fridges, the only true "refrigerator radios" I know of are the Crosley Shelvadors that had the radio built into the refrigerator itself."

The Shelvador's with the radios are from at least 1937. Personally, I don't see the point of putting hot vacuum tubes anywhere near a refrigerator, let alone IN it. How did they send it out to the shop when it broke?

Crosley refrigerator radio
A Crosley refrigerator radio. Small by today's standards, but not as small as a Westinghouse Little Jewel!
(Photo from Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connetecut)

Phillips refrigerator radio
Phillips refrigerator radio
Here is a Philips from 1957. Notice the size. If that woman stood up straight, the top of the refrigerator would be a little over waist high. The woman is just a drawing; they could make her any size they wanted. The actual refrigerator is probably smaller than it appears. 169.000 Frs in 1957 is equal to about $1,700 US dollars in 2020.
These have nothing to do with a Westinghouse Little Jewel, other than the "refrigerator radio" nickname, but I think it is relevant. There WERE at least three "refrigerator radios." The Little Jewel wasn't one of them and you didn't get one for free. Case closed. CLACK!

If you need labels you can try these. Click on a label and it will open in a new window. Then right-click to save them. They are not "actual size." I used XNView to resize them while printing. XNView is a free picture editor that allows you to customize the print size without resizing the original image. All of the pictures on this web site were edited with XNView.

The schematic diagram can be found here.
For more information on the Westinghouse Little Jewel, search the Antique Radio Forum