I saw a Howard RX (436 or 438) in a box at the TRW swapmeet FOR FREE, but it was so trashed and missing so many parts I deemed it hopeless to restore. I still should have taken it, but my cart was already full to the brim. Since then, there have been some Howards show up on Ebay and they went for a mint. Not like a SX-88, but still over $100! (A $100 is a MINT to me!) I have some Howard manuals (unfortunately copies) which are incredibly rare!
My first receiver (circa 1948) was a Howard 435A. The thing looked like an inverted bathtub. And what a dog it was! About the same sesitivity as a Sky Buddy. Traded it backin at the local ham store where I had bought it for a used Hallicrafters SX 25. Thought I'd died and gone to heaven.
There are still a number of Howard receivers out there. However, there were quite a few radio manufacturers in the United States before Howard. Howard produced their first radio, which did not have any model number but did come in a table model, console model, and a version that was designed to be installed in a phonograph cabinet (all the same circuit) in 1924. There were numerous companies that were making broadcast band receivers back as far as 1920 and 1921 including Grebe and Atwater-Kent.
The best reference on radios of the 1920s (although it does not contain "every" model) is the book entitled "Set Catalog and Index" by Ralph H. Langley that was copyrighted in 1933. It covers sets made from 1920 until 1932.
Of course there were numerous manufacturers who produced receivers for wireless communications going back to around 1900.
Neat page. Thanks for sharing it.
As much as I love those old sets, they're getting to be a bigger pain in the behind for me. All that my National SW54 needs now is just recapping. I have an old (1942?) Westinghouse tombstone with the "Magic Eye" tuning indicator that's in great shape but I haven't touched it yet. The old tubes look barely used but everything else that isn't metal crumbles to the touch. Chassis is clean. One day soon I'll get in there and work on it.
I was turned off a bit early on when I first started hunting for tubes for the old beasts. These days though, most can be found online. If I could only do justice to that Olde World craftsmanship.