A few years back I had the opportunity to help with an estate liquidation/cleanup that was rather interesting. The deceased was a retired electrical engineer (Caterpillar), and having lived through the Great Depression saved every scrap of electrical/electronic gear he could get his hands on. After he passed away a big majority of the stuff had been packed/thrown into a two car garage and was a real mess. Boxes of vacuum tubes, hardware, vintage radios and the like were floor to ceiling deep. It was one of the biggest messes I’ve ever had to deal with.
Before he passed away he stressed to his son that every box of stuff should be looked through in detail and for good reason. It was a regular time capsule of electrical components and electronics. This was being done for a good friend of my brothers and we were the first ones to look through it all. When we arrived on the scene it was just one big pile of broken vacuum tubes, hardware and you name it. We also earned the right to acquire several truck loads of parts and pieces in the process. Included were quite a few very early radios and older test equipment and it took some time to go through.
One such item was what looked like a piece of wood with vacuum tubes and coils mounted on it. I had no idea what it was and tossed it to the side to gather even more cobwebs and dust. Then one day my curiosity got the best of me and I dusted off the name plate for a closer look. It was an Atwater Kent 10C Model 4700 breadboard style radio built circa 1924. The power switch and three tuning knobs were missing but it was all there other than that. The mahogany breadboard base was also in good condition so I decide to clean it up and use it as a knick knack on a shelf somewhere.
The AK 10 (4700) was the successor of the rare Atwater Kent “Radiodyne” (as the original version of this model had that name on the component ID plates). It was soon discovered that another company (Western Coil Co.) had the rights to the “Radiodyne” name and the metal ID component tags were changed to read; “model 10” in place of the Radiodyne name. It was a TRF (tuned radio frequency) set without reaction (non reg.dir.receiver). It was broadcast band only and had three tuned AM circuits. It used 4 UV-201A and 1 UV200 for tubes.
I removed all the board components next and and then refinished the breadboard. I left the wiring on the bottom of the board intact. The transformer and choke coil in the base of the tube island tested good, as did the wire wound resistors in the circuit. I then used electrolysis to strip the metal parts and painted those parts with hammered finish Krylon. The Bakelite parts rubbed out nicely and I polished the brass and copper on the rest of the components. It was also missing the bypass capacitor along with the tuning knobs and power switch.
Working AK 10Cs were selling for anywhere from $1200-2000 on eBay so I listed it for auction and it sold for $485 as is. I packed it up in good fashion and it shipped the next day.