If you were looking for a low-cost radio or phonograph 75 years ago today in Milwaukee, then Economy Boys would be the store to visit. In the store’s ad in the October 24, 1940, issue of the Milwaukee Journal,
we see this six-tube Grunow superhet broadcast receiver for just $8.77.
The phonograph, selling for just $9.45, is actually a “phono oscillator.” Instead of including an audio amplifier and speaker, this Karenola model contains a two-tube oscillator circuit, which broadcasts the radio sound to a nearby broadcast radio. Even if the radio is a low-price model without a phono jack, you simply tune to a blank spot on the dial to listen to your records.
At Economy Boys, you could take home either set for just a dollar a week.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to pin down the model number of either. Most Grunow radios I’ve seen had wood cabinets, and this one appears to be plastic or bakelite. The Karenola name is probably more familiar as Trav-Ler, since the phonograph was from the Trav-Ler Karenola company of Chicago.