The company that became Heathkit grew out of the E.B. Heath Aerial Vehicle Co, established in Chicago in 1913. Back then, Edward Heath was a budding aviator and airplane designer, and the company he founded sold airplane parts such as radiators and wheels. After building and testing several models, with names like the Feather, Favorite, and Tomboy, in 1926 Heath constructed the single-passenger, open-cockpit Parasol, which had a wingspan of 25 feet and was powered by a 25 hp motorcycle engine. Early versions of the plane sold for just $595, but many more aviation enthusiasts bought the blueprints for just $5.

Tragically, Heath was killed in a test flight in 1931, and in 1935 his bankrupt airplane-parts company was purchased by Howard Anthony, who had been a Heath customer. During World War II, the Heath Company, as it was now known, supplied the military with airplane parts, including radios. After the war, Anthony purchased a large lot of five-inch cathode ray tubes, which he used as the key ingredient in a build-it-yourself oscilloscope kit (model O-1), which sold for under $50. The kits caught on and soon Heath was producing vacuum tube volt meters, condenser checkers, and other electronics-testing instruments. Each kit was accompanied by a detailed manual, with exploded diagrams and step-by-step instructions designed to make Heath products accessible to beginners.

In 1954, Howard, too, was killed in an airplane accident, prompting the sale of the company in 1955 to Daystrom. Soon, the HeathKit line expanded to include home-electronics equipment such as amplifiers, tuners, and speakers, as well as Ham radios. In 1978, it even released a computer kit, the Heathkit H8.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Vintage Knob

The Vintage Knob

The Vintage Knob is an extensive resource on all types of audio electronics organized by manufacturer, from Aiwa to… [read review or visit site]

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Fisher Sa 16 Stereo Tube Amplifier 6bq5 El84 400c Eico Heathkit Era PilotHeathkit Hw-9 Qrp Cw Transceiver 80-15 Used Heathkit Sb-200 80-10 Meter Band Ham Base Hf 500 Watt Amplifier Tests GoodVintage Heathkit Aa-1214 Stereo Amplifier Kit, UnbuiltHeathkit Ua-1 Audio Amplifiers Pair (2) Need Tlc HeathHeathkit Antenna Tuner (transmatch) Model Sa 2060a In Good ConditionVintage Heathkit Model Sb-310 Tube Ham Radio Receiver 2 Heathkit Weather Station Id-5001 Tech SpecialHeathkit It-11 Capacitor Checker Heathkit Ea-2 Vintage Tube Amplifier, Very Clean And Sounds Great.Used Heathkit Sb303 Ham Radio ReceiverHeathkit Dx-60b Radio Transmitter In Mint Condition!! Near Flawless!Heathkit Sb-303 Cw Ssb Am Amateur Radio ReceiverHeathkit Capacitor Checker/tester, Model It-28 W/ Manual (powers On)Heathkit Hx-1681 TransmitterHeathkit Hw 5400 Radio Transceiver (unbuilt* & Power Supply (built Never Used)Vintage Heathkit Aj-1214 Stereo Tuner Kit Unbuilt2 Vintage 1950's Mullard Heathkit 5ar4 Gz34 Fat Base Matched Amplifier Tube Pair7591 Fisher Westinghouse Matched Quad Tubes X202b Amp Vintage Eico HeathkitVintage Heathkit 27mhz Digital 5 Transmitter & Receiver Radio Control AirplaneEldico Ssb 100m Hf Transmitter Works With Collins Heathkit Drake Vintage Heathkit Aj-1214 Stereo Tuner Kit UnbuiltHeathkit Model Gc-1092, Digital Electronic Alarm Clock, Partially Built KitHeathkit Sb-220 Hf Linear Amplifier - Very Good Condition - Tested And WorkingHeathkit Sb-200 With All Harbach Mod.Vintage Heathkit Aa-141 Tube Preamplifier, 5 X 12ax7 Tubes All Brittain MullardHeathkit Tc-2 Vintage Tube CheckerHeathkit Sb-620 Scanalyzer Parts , Coils , Etc. Heathkit Sb-300 Loaded With Filters Needs WorkVintage Heathkit C-3 Capacitor Leakage Tester Checker For Tube Amplifier, RadioHeathkit Capacitor Checker/tester, Model It-28 (powers On) Lot 11623Heathkit Model Gr-91 Vintage Am/shortwave Radio WorkingHeathkit Sb-100 Hf Transceiver With Speaker P/sVintage Heathkit Ea-2 Tube Type Amplifier 1957 12 Watt & Instruction BookletHeathkit Electro Voice 619 Base Station Microphone Very Nice Heathkit Hw-29a Amateur Transceiver The Sixer W/ Manual & MicrophoneHeathkit Signal TracerVintage Heathkit Sb-600 Ham Radio Speaker And Cabinet Tested And Works Heathkit Tc-2 Portable Tube Tester 1953Heathkit Sb-620 Scanalyzer ScopeHeathkit Sa-2040 Antenna Tuner | Great Condition Lot 11622 Ham Radio VintageEimac 3-500z Tube Amplifier Swan Drake Heathkit Antenna Linear Ham TransmitterHeathkit Gr-78 Receiver For PartsHeathkit Visual And Aural Signal Tracer It-12 Lot 11626Vtg. Heathkit A-7 A7 Amplifier~mono Monoblock Integrated Tube AmpHeathkit Hw-32 Ssb Transceiver - Ham Transceiver - 20 MeterHeathkit Sb-10 Side Band Adapter Untested, As Is Condition. Two Wrong KnobsHeathkit Frequency Counter Ib 1102 Nice Original OwnerHeathkit Sb-220 Filament And Bias TransformerVintage Heathkit Williamson W-2m Tube Power Amplifier W/ Ps Altec Peerless 16277Heathkit Sb-630 Station ConsoleHeathkit Im-28 Vtvm Vacuum Tube Voltmeter Working Heathkit Ssb Adapter Model Sb-10Heathkit Model Sg-7 Rf Signal Generator Working & Upgraded W Bnc Connectors Heathkit Model Ch-1068, Wiper Delay Control, Unbuilt KitHeathkit Model Gt-2217, Demon Dialer, Unbuilt KitHeathkit Sb-401a Solid State Transceiver, Nice Condition But Has Some IssuesHeathkit It-17 Tube TesterHeathkit Model Ig-18 Sine - Square Audio GeneratorHeathkit Hw-101 Ssb Transceiver Ham Amateur Radio - Partially Built