Zenith 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 biggest.  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. 

Contrary 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.

ZENITH STRATOSPHERE MODEL 1000Z Specifications from the 1937 dealer catalog:

CIRCUIT:  Ultra 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 variable selectivity.

TUBES:   1-6D6 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.

CABINETA 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.

DIMENSIONS50 1/2 inches high; 20 7/8 inches wide; 18 1/8 inches deep.  

SPEAKERS:  1 Dynamic high frequency speaker; 2 Concert dynamic low frequency speakers.

CONTROLS:  Tuning; Tone; Volume and Switch; Band Switch; Q.A.V.C. Switch; Selectivity (high fidelity).  (Q.A.V.C. level control on back.)

CONDENSER:  Special 4-gang.

WAVE BANDSAll-wave from 63,600 to 535 KC (or from 4 1/2 to 560 meters)*

OTHER FEATURES50 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.

* Interestingly 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?








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