C.A. Earl 31

Day one

I picked up this antique AM radio from Bonita Springs this morning. My best research tells me this is from 1929, the year my dad was born. The plan is to restore it and listen to some old time radio, and probably Radio Disney with Serenity.


CA Earl Schematics PDF


Day two

Today Serenity and I took the radio apart. She is four so she could only help me with the parts that wouldn’t hurt her, like the electronics. She helped me vacuum the cabinet (her first time using a real vacuum), putting the screws into zip top bags, and take the original speaker off the speaker board. She had an absolute blast. I hoped she would, so this is exciting for me 😀


 Stripping at night

I’m using Klean-Strip and lacquer thinner as recommended by a series of YouTube videos on refinishing vintage radios I’m hooked on. I’m really happy with the wood underneath all the lacquer I’m removing. I was afraid the front was some sort of 1920’s laminate from the way it was cracked, luckily I put the Klean-Strip on and went for broke, about 20 minutes later I was pleasantly surprised. It will need two or three more stripping sessions, I had to cut it short to get my editing work in so I can sleep and spend the morning with Serenity. My one tip is the Klean-Strip is very strong. I was wearing nitrile gloves, and it burned through to my fingers, I learned to change gloves often.

Day three – Tubular History

Looking at the tubes I noticed a sticker saying one of the tubes was replaced on 12/14/34 (1934) by Fred L. Golds…, 973 Elizabet…, Memphis, TEN. One other tube has a similar sticker, which indicates the radio may have been in Tennessee in 1934. I got it from a gentleman named Bill, he said he had it for the last 20 years.

The other sticker gave me the rest of the address as Fred L. Goldsmith, 973 Elizabeth, Memphis, Tenn. It also had a date of 12/18/3… So maybe the first date could have been 12/18/34 or the repair man made two trips in a week.

I removed the stickers with the Titanic method. They are both GE 45. I believe one to be bad, but I’m not positive, I have to test them.

More Stripping


Related Links

The Radio with Two Names –Freed-Eisemann or Earl?

Earl 31 AC at radiomuseum.org

Earl Radio Factory Service Manuals pay for download