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c.1964/'65 "Crwon's"

Horizontal coat pocket, thermoplastic cabinet
6 7/16 x 3 3/4 x 1 5/8 inches / 164 x 95 x 41 mm
MW, six transistors, superheterodyne circuit
Made in Italy

An interesting radio, especially for its contradictions, all located in the upper right-hand corner of the face: "9+1 Special Japan". For the "+1" part, yes, it does have a diode. And the "9"? Well, in fact, there are exactly SIX transistors in this circuit — no need for dummy transistors on this job! And "Special Japan"? I really can't say what the "Special" is about, but in terms of "Japan", yes, the electrolytics are Japanese, and maybe some other components as well — no word here on the top hat transistors: all six have no identifying markings on them. The tuning capacitor is Italian-made (see chassis photo below), and the cabinet is also made in Italy (see photo below). Whew! What to make of a set like this? Well, it's certainly not a bad-looking oddball, but where did that bizarre name,"CRWON'S" come from? And pronouncing it???

As Italian radio collector Lello Salvatore explains, this is what is known in Itay as a "Radio Cantinare", or "Basement Radio". He writes, "The CRWON'S is one example of numerous models of RADIO CANTINARE built in Italy from 1964 and mostly with bizarre names....'Cantinare' comes from 'cantina' ('basement' in English). These sets were mostly not factory-made but rather were built (or better assembled) in the basements of buildings in several places, cities of Italy (like Napoli or Milano). These radios were also advertised and sold through (by) various technical magazines for hobbyists." (Lello Salvatore has recently published an article on these "Radio Cantinare" in issue 141 of the Italian journal, "Antique Radio Magazine", and an English translation of it should soon be available on this site.)

And a quick glance at the tuning dial could make one think that this is a two-band radio, when in fact it is simply a single-band set covering the standard MW broadcast band: the numbers above the slide rule dial correspond to kHz/100, and the numbers below correspond to meters/100.


Crwon's

c.1964 "Crwon's"


Crwon's

c.1964 "Crwon's"


Crwon's

"MADE IN ITALY"


Crwon's

"Crwon's" chassis — click on the photo for a larger image

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