York-made Manley radio a mystery
A friend recently shared these photos of a radio he picked up at a public sale. The Manley Manufacturing Company of York, PA made garage and shop equipment, as it says on the brass label of the radio case. They started out in the 1920s and manufactured items such as hydraulic lifts and jacks. The company eventually became part of American Chain and Cable.
So why does this radio have a plate that says it was manufactured by Manley and is machine no. 1008?
That’s the question. Local and internet searches haven’t turned up any further clues. My friend posted the photos on an antique radio forum. Some responders suggested that the company may have assembled a few radios, perhaps with the works from a kit, to see if they would sell. It evidently wasn’t uncommon for a company that made something entirely different to get into the fledgling radio business. For example, I learned from the forum that Philco started out at the Philadelphia Storage Battery Company.
The plate looks as if it has always been on the cabinet, and a corresponding no. 1008 is stamped on the radio chassis, so they must have been together from the beginning.
The Red Lion Cabinet Company, also here in York County, made thousands and thousands of wooden radio, and later television, cabinets, but I haven’t seen an entire radio from York County before. Does anyone else know of any?