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Superior Instrument Company
December 1938 Radio News Article

December 1938 Radio News
December 1938 Radio News Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio & Television News, published 1919-1959. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

Sometimes I post advertisements such as this one for vintage test equipment from a 1938 issue of Radio News magazine just so people can see how much things have changed, and how good we have it with today's compact, highly functional products. These Superior Instrument Company multimeters, signal generators and vacuum tube testers were truly superior instruments considering the materials and methods available at the time. Chassis were made from sturdy wood or metal (not much plastic then), and the finishes were often of very attractive stain and varnish, fabric lamination, paint, or a combination thereof. Price-wise, the Model 1110−S  A.C. - D.C Volt Ohm Milliammeter price tag of $7.95 in 1938 is the equivalent of $147.77 in today's money, which is not unreasonable for a superior instrument.

Superior Instrument Company Ad

Superior Instrument Company, December 1938 Radio News - RF CafeSuperior Presents 5 Instruments

from its new 1100 series!!!!! Never before has Superior offered so much for so little! Always the Best Buy in the Instrument Field, Superior in this new 1100 series gives you even more value! We have incorporated many refinements, many new features ... all proven to be sound and practical. We urge you to read the descriptions below carefully; see how these instruments fit your needs. Buy direct from manufacturer and save 50%.

A really modern tube tester conforming to all standards of good engineering practice. Utilizes a 3" d'Arsonval type meter with calibrated scale. Furnished in a sturdy black case with sloping panel for easy operation. Removable cover and carrying handle for either portable or counter use.


1. Tests all 4, 5, 6, 7, 7L, and octal base tubes, including diodes.

2. Tests by the well-established emission method for tube quality, directly read on the GOOD-BAD scale of the meter.

3. Affords separate neon test for leakage and shorts between elements.

4. All services performed by the use of only five controls at maximum, and many tests do not require working all the controls.

5. Supplied with instructions and reference table so that the filament voltage and emission measuring controls may be properly set for the enumerated long list of tubes, which includes all tubes commonly encountered in servicing.

6. Works on 90-120 volts A.C. 60 cycle.

Model 1140-S comes complete with instructions and tabular data for every known receiving type of tube as well as many transmitting types.


Superior Instrument Co.

136 Liberty St., Dept. R. N. New York, N. Y.



Posted December 28, 2020

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RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps while tying up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got Mail" when a new message arrived...

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