The company I work for is in the midst of cleaning out a studio location. Most radio engineers are some form of pack rat. I know I have been guilty of this myself, not wanting to throw something away because tomorrow, it might be needed. That was carried out to the extreme at this location. One of the things that I found in my clean out was a Western Electric 212E vacuum tube.
It is an impressive thing, measures about 12 1/2 inches tall, including the pins. I am thinking this is pretty old, it probably came from a pre-WWII Western Electric AM transmitter. This would make the most sense, as the station signed on in 1926 with 250 watts. Back in the day, Western Electric was the patent holder for AM technology. In fact, there was some talk of suing General Electric for patent infringement after the airing of the world series by WJZ and WGY in 1922. Parent company AT&T was working on radio modulation techniques to implement with their telephone system.
These tubes were used for audio amplification, according to the spec sheet, the plate could dissipate 275 watts. Filament voltages is 14 volts at 6.2 amps, the plate voltage was 3,000 volts, maximum. It is a tetrode. The RF counterpart to this tube is the WE 308A.
From what I am to understand, these have not been made since 1960 or so. I also understand there there is quite a cult following for this tube amongst Asian audiophiles. There are several examples of extremely low distortion class A and AB amplifiers using this tube type. Some prices on Ebay are in the $1,500 to $2,000 per tube range. Unfortunately, I don’t think this one works anymore as there is a loose screw and little bits of what looks like control grid wire in the bottom of it. It does light up with 12 volts on the filament, however.