The information presented here is to help you determine approximately when a particular kit was produced. This is fairly easy for the early kits as there were few changes to them during their production period. However, some of the later kits enjoyed longer production runs and incurred changes in style over the period they were produced.
The data in The Kit List will help you to tell during what years the model could have been made. The information here regarding styling changes will help you to narrow down the date. As there were no serial numbers on any of these kits, it is not possible to determine exactly when a kit was manufactured or sold.
Most original Heathkits have a gray panel with maroon lettering and are housed in a gray, crinkle-finished metal case with streamline aluminum handles. The first cases were very "square" edged and the panels were made from flat metal stock. The only way found so far to narrow down the production date of some of these models is by the type of power or selector switch that was used. The first kits used "toggle" switches, but about April, 1949 Heath changed to using less expensive "slide" switches.
The original styling was used until the introduction of the V-5 VTVM in September, 1951. This marked the beginning of the change-over to the formed aluminum style of chassis, which helped Heath keep the prices of the kits down. The VTVM was an obvious first candidate as it was the best selling of the kits and offered the quickest savings. The other kits' styling was not changed until the introduction of newer models (with different model numbers).
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