Northern Electric model 5508 "Midge"
1952 (?)

Bakelite "AA5" chassis with green hammer-tone enamel. Also known as the "Bullet". Appearance is identical to a Farnsworth GT-051 which has a different chassis. The GT-051 uses octal tubes, and a smaller-value filter capacitor, whereas the Midge uses miniature tubes.
Dec. 6/2000 update - There's also a "Roamer", the model L660 by Lifco Record Players and Radio Mfg. Inc., but that may indeed be made by Northern Electric. Some more detective work is required.
I also must find a picture of the Midge that is more of a left-hand bulls-eye than a bullet. [update: See the bottom my Wish List page.]

I believe the name "Midge" is not intended to be an abbreviation of "midget" (which some have suggested) but rather the nickname of a small biting flying insect, (aka "sandfly" or "no-seeum") which is notorious for its abundance in Northern forests.
(Update Jan 9, 2003: Apparently, it is short for "midget" after all. See this sales brochure for the 1951 models. and the 5308 Midge in this brochure.)


I could not resist that aerodynamic styling and the "go-faster stripes" on the speaker grille.

It was an eBay purchase, and originally had rust-coloured spots on it, as seen in this part of the photo by the eBay seller

The cabinet and dial cleaned up very nicely, using a toothbrush and a rag with a bit of kitchen counter-top type cream cleanser. I had to use a toothpick to clean out the raised lettering.

The gold reverse-painted plastic ring came out after I filed off a couple of little nubs that they put on the back of the ring. They simply heated a few spots until they melted, and pushed them out a bit. I used a few little dabs of hot-melt glue to hold it in place.

July 2001: I finally got around to re-capping it, so it does sound better. I haven't tried aligning the IF coils yet.

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