Okay Grand Dependable 5
Model RF1
Okay Radio Corporation
22 1/2 West National Avenue,
Brazil, Indiana USA

    The Okay Grand Dependable 5 was the only radio known to have been manufactured in Brazil, Indiana.  I acquired this radio, in 1997, from the Shadeland Antique Mall in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Tube Line Up:
01A...1st R.F. Amplifier 01A...2nd. R. F. Amplifier
01A...1st Audio
01A or 12A...Audio Output

Frequency Range:
BC Band...550 kHz to 1500 kHz

Power Source:
Battery.....+6 Volts
Battery.....+45 Volts
Battery.....+90 Volts
Battery..... -3 Volts

Height...9 inches
Width...19.75 inches
Depth...9.75 inches

The Brazil Daily Times
July 27, 1925
Page 1

    Nestled up in the residential section of the northeast part of the city a new industry for Brazil has been quietly operating for the past few months.  It ranks in quality along with the Stout bedroom suites or Brazil Wood Products Breakfast sets.  The factory is of Bell Brothers; in charge is Paul Bell, for year's foreman of the Stout Furniture Company plant in this city.
    Mr. Bell, associated with his brother Omer, who has made a splendid success of the engraving business in Terre Haute, built their factory building for the purpose of manufacturing special furniture of such type that larger factories could not produce without quantity production on a large scale, but for which the demand does not justify a large quantity.  The plant had not been completed before management landed an order for radio cabinets, which has kept the plant busy up to this time.
    The factory is a brick building about 30 feet by 70 feet, one story high, located on a lot at the rear of Mr. Bell's property on East Coal Street.  A times representative today found the five craftsmen working on radio cabinets of various size, but mostly for the smaller sets.  These were being made of mahogany, walnut, and other hard woods.  The workmanship on these cabinets bears the most careful inspection.
    At the north end of the factory a Ford engine has been mounted to furnish power for the various machines, transmitted through the whole length of the building.  The little engine is so built that a continual stream of water passes through the water chamber from a good-sized tank above it and the air-cooled feature is done away with.  Should the little engine get sluggish or over ambitious an automatic governor regulates it's speed.  The 22-horse power developed is sufficient to propel a good-sized planer, a sticker, a sharper, a trim saw or a variety saw, band saw, belt sander, grinder, and an air compressor.  The latter supplies air for the varnish sprayers in the finishing room, which is set off near the front of the building.  Here an exhaust fan takes the fine spray of shellac or varnish that misses its mark on the furniture that is being finished.
    Mr. Bell says that the little factory is equipped to make all kinds of furniture, restore antiques, and to make other articles from wood.  A stock of rough mahogany, popular, oak, and other hardwoods is kept on hand.
    Mr. Bell, who serves as superintendent, is one of those craftsmen who loves a piece of wood and fondles a piece of native quarter sawn oak with the same affection that a mother bestows on her offspring.  With the soul of an artist and craftsman he watches the furniture from the rough lumber to the highly polished product.
    Incidentally, while Mr. Bell is making radio cabinets, up in some back rooms over a downtown store another set of mechanics are making radios, which are said to be as good as the nationally advertised instruments.

The Brazil Daily Times
August 8, 1925
Page 1

    Brazil's newest industry, which has been quietly in operation for several weeks on a small scale, is already blossoming and increasing its capacity.  This new industry is The Okay Radio Corporation, which is now operating over the Mohr Service Station in the Thomas block on East National Avenue.
    The founders of this new industry are Will Tilley, who has been experimenting with radios for several years, and John G. H. Klinger, Manager of the Citizens Telephone Company is now in process of reorganizing as others have become financially interested and articles of incorporated are to be filed soon.
    The company is putting on the market a radio outfit known as the Okay Grand radio frequency set in two models.  The set is a five-tube outfit, which has met with a ready reception on the market in competition with many higher priced outfits.  The company has interested several of the largest jobbers in the business and has had no difficulty in placing their output with excellent prospects for increased demand.
    The set has been tested alongside of larger and more expensive units and was found to be fully as efficient and in several cases much better than the more costly sets.
    The Brazil company has developed a set which has been highly praised by experienced radio men.  It is constructed of the highest quality low loss parts and has an economy of operation in battery consumption which is suprising.  The new set uses but five or six mil-amps while the average set of equal power uses 20 mil-amps which is a heavy drain on the batteries.  In the new set is used a specially wound radio frequency coil which is made for the Okay people.  The audio frequency coil and other parts are made to harmonize and the outfit is one of the most efficient that has been developed. Some of the features of the new set are that it is non-squealing and non-radiating, is quit and will not interfere with near by radios.  It has a splendid tone that is making it a rapid seller.
    An unusual feature in a set at this price is it's remarkable selectivity, being able to select any station the owner my desire even where powerful stations are in close proximity.
      The set is being put up in two models, the smaller retailing at $65 and the larger at $85 which compares with other sets selling at $125 and $150.  The cabinets are made at the Bell Brothers Factory in this city and the complete job is very artistic.  The fronts of the sets are etched in gold in the verichrome process and the making for the dials are very distinct.
    The plant is in charge of Roy Daly who is a radio expert of extensive experience.  The plant has been turning out about 25 sets a day, but some improvements are being made and the company expects to have a production of at least 50 sets a day in a short time and are confident that their business will continue to grow until it reaches much larger proportions.

    The article below was written by Walt Sanders for the IHRS Bulletin.
At the time that this article was published, there was no known Okay
Grand Dependable 5 radios known to exist.

    During the mid-twenties boom in radio, Bill Tilley and John Klingler formed the Okay Radio Corporation, rented the second floor of a building in the heart of Brazil, Indiana, and begun manufacturing a three-dial TRF chassis.  Cabinets were purchased locally from a furniture factory located on the south side of Brazil, ff Chicago Avenue, and the sets were sold locally.  Although the same five-tube chassis was used in all sets, several cabinets were available.  The model in the fanciest cabinet was called the Okay Grand.  The company began operation in 1925 and ceased operation in 1928 rather than compete in the A.C. market.
    Roy Daly was the chief engineer at Okay.  Although he had no formal engineering training, he was quite capable and when Okay went under in 1928 he went to Fairbanks-Morse and then to Fairbanks-Morris and then to General Electric, where he made significant contributions in phonograph equipment, especially in variable reluctance pick-up.  He died in 1979.
    Ed Spugnardi, who operated a confectionery store in Brazil, worked as part-time consultant to Okay in his off hours.  He had been in the Motor Corps in the Army during World War I, working with automotive electrical and ignition systems.
    A fire burned the furniture plant down in 1927, and Paul Bell put up a block building in a hurry and made cabinets for Okay until they went out of business.  Paul then converted to a barbecue meat business.
    Earl Hoff, the Philco dealer in Brazil from 1928-36, recalls the names of a number of people associated with Okay, but all have died, several quite recently.  Several people who remember the Okay Company have been located, but none who worked there have been found, nor have any of the Okay receivers been found even though several hundred were manufactured.
    The Okay Radio Corporation was located over what is now the Lynn's Pharmacy on National Avenue.

The Brazil Daily Times
Terre Haute, Indiana
December 17, 1925
Page 5

The Brazil Daily Times
Terre Haute, Indiana
December 19, 1925
Page 23

The Saturday Spectator
Terre Haute, Indiana
December  1925

  Fischer Auto Sales of Terre Haute, Indiana offered the Okay Grand Dependable 5 radio in two table model cabinets and in one console cabinet.  The  radio featured at the top of this page is the lower priced table model set and the set featured in the above newspaper advertisement is the upper priced table model set.  No examples, today, of the console model set, either illustrated or in real life, is known to exist.

  For 63 years this transom hung over the double door entryway of the room that once housed the Okay Radio Corporation until I acquired it in 1988.  The company was located on the second floor of a building which is known today as Lynn's Pharmacy.  At least one of my two Pkay Grand Dependable 5 sets once passed underneath this very transom on their way out to being sold some 70+ years ago.  A transom, like this, makes a rare and unique architectural souvenir of any historical company.

    This is the factory site, now known as Lynn's Pharmacy, as it looks today.  It's located on the south east corner of Franklin Street and West National Avenue (Old U.S. 40).  This is actually the second site for the Okay Radio Corporation because the company first started out, in early 1925, assembling radio sets on the second floor of the old Mohr's Auto Garage which was located a couple of blocks east of Lynn's Pharmacy.  The upper story of the Lynn's Pharmacy building consists of several small empty office rooms whose windows either face the front or the side.  The Okay Radio Corporation occupied a large room in the rear, from late 1925 to mid 1927, but today that room is for storage.  The pharmacy, which has been owned and operated by Lynn Hostetler, R.Ph. since 1974, occupies the right side of the store's main level and on the left side is an ice cream /soda shop which serves delicious shakes and malts.

    The three windows, located on the right side of the second floor, are of the room that once housed the Okay Radio Corporation.

This web page was last updated: March 28, 2007