Stratosphere Model 1000Z, 1935-1938. The
25-tube Zenith Stratosphere is one of the
most sought after radios in the world. And
at 50 ˝ inches tall it is also one of the
1000Z also revolutionized the industry with
the introduction of the new Zenith Big Black
Dial. The 1000Z serial numbers ran
from 754001 to around 754350, indicating
that around 350 sets were actually produced. According
to Zenith Radio, the Early Years 1919-1935 (Schiffer Publishing
Ltd.) by Harold N. Cones and John
H. Bryant with Martin Blankinship and William
Wade, the first 100 Stratospheres tuned to
64.3mc, but subsequent units from the second
production run only tuned to 45mc, such as
mine. The unit pictured here holds serial
number 754157 for the main chassis and 756157
for the power supply and amplifier chassis. The
final 3 digits; “157” denote this Stratosphere’s manufacturing order. This 1000Z is
completely original except for new capacitors
that were replaced during chassis restoration.
The price for the 1000Z remained at $750.00
for its entire 4-year sales cycle. Today,
there are 40 known surviving Stratospheres
listed in a private registry. Undoubtedly
there are more 1000Z's that have not yet
been discovered or registered. Please
email me if you have any of the Stratosphere
models (25-tube or 16-tube), so we can compile
an updated accurate list of the survivors.
to popular belief, the ceramic cat did
not come with the Zenith Stratosphere. It
was most likely just a prop to highlight
the large concave area in front of the grille
and probably just the brainchild of the art
director for the photo shoot of
the radio! I have seen similar ceramic
cats for sale, both antique and new, I just
haven't purchased one to emulate the catalog
pictures. Click on all of the
above pictures for a larger view.
STRATOSPHERE MODEL 1000Z Specifications from
the 1937 dealer catalog:
modern 25-tube superheterodyne. Triple
Filtering. Q.A.V.C. with magnetic
relay. Disappearing delay A.V.C.
with amplifier. Duplex high fidelity
audio amplifier. Manual controlled
1st R.F.; 1-6D6 2nd R.F.; 1-6A7 1st detector
oscillator; 1-6D6 1st I.F.; 1-6D6 2nd I.F.;
1-76 2nd detector; 1-85 A.V.C.; 1-6D6 tuning
meter amplifier; 1-6D6 A.V.C. amplifier;
1-79 electron relay; 2-76 parallel 1st
audio; 2-42 push-pull 2nd audio; 8-45 parallel
push-pull power output; 3-5Z3 rectifiers.
symphony in rare wood. Rare woods
blended into a symphonic harmony of exquisite
color emphasize the true character of the
Zenith STRATOSPHERE as a genuine musical
instrument. Design has been dictated
by the basic principles of acoustics, just
as is that of the violin. Outstanding
charm is the result. Solid walnut
pilasters are combined with Australian
laurelwood. The superstructure is
Carpathian elm burl, inlaid with imported
marquetry; a note repeated in the
center of the grille. Doors are of
matched American butt walnut, overlaid
with marquetry. The entire ensemble
is enhanced by a natural piano finish of
satin sheen. Nothing finer has ever
been produced by craftsmen in wood.
1/2 inches high; 20 7/8 inches wide; 18
1/8 inches deep.
Dynamic high frequency speaker; 2 Concert
dynamic low frequency speakers.
Tone; Volume and Switch; Band Switch; Q.A.V.C.
Switch; Selectivity (high fidelity). (Q.A.V.C.
level control on back.)
from 63,600 to 535 KC (or from 4 1/2 to 560
watts output; Individually lighted tuning
ranges; Split-second tuning and dual tuning
ratio-18:1 and 99:1; Elaborate shielding;
High Fidelity; A.V.C. amplifier; Tuning meter
amplifier; Immeasurable sensitivity; Sound
diffusion; 9-inch airplane dial.
the tuning specification to 63,600 KC remained
in the 1937 catalog even though the second
production run of Stratospheres only tuned
to 45,000 KC. By 1937 it could be assumed
that only second production units were being
sold. Why didn't they catch this?