Home Forums Cabinet Restoration Asbestos in Radios Re: Asbestos in Radios

Gerry O’Hara

An update to my notes on the presence of asbestos in vintage radios. I am restoring the power supply/audio output cahssis of GE J-125 12 tube set for the SPARC museum. On finding an open-circuit inter-stage transformer, I opened-up the can containing both the inter-stage and output traasformers. To my horror the can was stuffed full of white asbestos – see the photos below. I quickly donned my half-face respirator and carefully removed the asbestos into a sealable plastic bag for disposal, vacuuming the final few fibers away before wiping all surfaces down with a damp cloth (also disposed of). The transformer assembly was re-built and assembled without the asbestos packing. So why was the asbestos in there? – I can only suppose it was placed in there to absorb vibration – surely the heat-lagging properties would have tended to allow the transformers to over-heat? – so why use it? (mind you, just about everything seemed to have used asbestos in the first half of the twentieth century…a ubiquitous ‘cheap and fearful’ filler).

Take care,


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