Le Pilote
Imperial Radio Laboritories,
201 South Columbia Street,
Union City, Indiana USA

    Of all of the radios to have ever been manufactured in Indiana, the LePilote could probably be considered the most unique.  The entire tuning dial is a mockup of the inside of a river steamboat pilot's cabin.  There are three curved windows and a steering wheel (tuning knob) which is partially sunken into the floorboards just like in a real 19th century Mississippi steamboat.  A light bulb, built into the ceiling, illuminates the entire stage when the radio is on and a handy hand rest is available in case a persons hand gets tired while slowly tuning the AM band looking for a good station.  To add to the nautical effect, a litho print of a sailboat is mounted on the 3rd R.F. can that is mounted closest to the center window.  A larger table model was offered that featured a slanted front panel and compartments in either side of the cabinet to house the B+ and C- batteries.  It's assumed a console model of this radio was offered but none are known to exist.  The cabinet was manufactured by a company located outside of Indiana, possibly in New York, but the front panel was made by Imperial.  At least one other radio manufacturer, the Philmore Mfg. Co. used this cabinet for their radio, a single dial, six tube set with the name "Philmore" featured on the front panel.  It's interisting that the LePilote featured such a unique nautical theme, in it's design, when considering that Union City is surrounded by farmland and the only bodies of water are a couple of small streams that run past either side of the city.  I acquired this set from a collector at the 1992 IHRS Spring swap meet that was held at the Ramada Inn, Kokomo, Indiana.

Tube Line Up:
01A...R.F. Amplifier (Untuned)
01A...R.F. Amplifier
01A...R.F. Amplifier
01A...1st Audio
01a or 12A...Audio Output

Height...10.5 inches
Width...22.5 inches
Depth...10.5 inches

Frequency Range:
BC Band ...540 kHz - 1500 kHz

Power Source:
Battery ...+6 Volts
................+45 Volts
................+90 Volts
................+135 Volts

The Evening Times
Union City
Saturday, November 19, 1927

This web page was last updated: March 24, 2007