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The following year (1940-1941the Model 822, was offered, this one with a front "lid" that folded opened and closed to access or protect the knobs and dial.
To the left is a photo of a pretty much pristine Model 803 with its original box. The only thing that mentions "803" is the label on the box! Note that it's a label stuck the box (probably over a printed "802"!)
Here is another "version" of a 1940 sales pamphlet that makes no mention of the Model 803 and also has a different knob configuration! We "think" this is the first offering, but we're trying to confirm.
Sometimes change happened very quickly in design and marketing in this era, and documentation was not always a priority!
Below is a photo of a Model 802 side-by-side with a Model 803. Note the two different types of marking for the control knobs. The 802 has a small brass plate while the 803 has individual "foil" labels for each knob. We've never seen an example of the two-knobs-and-a-switch configuration picture above, but we're still looking!!
There is little mention of the Model 803 in any product literature we have found. Here it is pretty much only a footnote to the Model 802 in the 1940 sales brochure.
Noblitt-Sparks offered their first portable radios in late 1939 when they offered the Model 802 and Model 803 as part of their 1940 line-up of radios. Portable seemed a little bit of a "mis-description" since the early units measured nearly 12" square when looking at them face-on, were 7" deep, and weighed upwards of ten pounds when loaded with their "A" battery and two (2) "B" batteries. But you could take them places where you did not have access to a power outlet!
Early Portable Radios