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    

Heathkit Linear Amplifier Sb-200 (vintage Ham Radio Equipment)4 Tube 3-500z Heathkit Sb 221 With External Peter Dahl Trans. Linear AmplifierHeathkit Hw 8 Qrp Transceiver + Handbook1973 Heathkit Weather Station Kit Id-1290 Unused Unbuilt In Box With InstructionVintage Heathkit W-5m 6l6 Tube Amplifier Mono W5 Amp With Peerless OptUnbuilt Heathkit Hx-1681 Cw TransmitterHeathkit Sb-200 Linear Amplifier Low Hours Heathkit Dx-60b Transmitter Super Nice WorkingHeathkit Sb-303 Hf Receiver!Heathkit Hw-101 Ham Transceiver Super Clean!Heathkit A-9c Conversion Amp: Vintage Hi-fi Tube Amplifier Parts Or RestoreOld Vintage Heathkit Sb-301 Ham Radio Receiver Parts Repair Heathkit Sb-220Heathkit Model Cr-1 Crystal RadioHeathkit Aa-151 Stereo Integrated El84 Tube Amp With Matching TunerOld Vintage Heathkit W7-a Tube Amplifier Parts Repair Heathkit Model Tt-1 Mutual Conductance Tube Tester & Data Book Operations ManualHeathkit Sb-220 2kw AmplifierHeathkit Sb-200 10-80 Meter AmplifierRare Heathkit Aa-100 Integrated Tube Amp Great Shape & In Working ConditionHeathkit Sa-2040 Antenna TunerHeathkit Hw-101 Hf Transceiver!! Tech Special!! **parts**Heathkit Tt-1 Transconductance Tube Tester, Very Nice, WorksHeathkit Low-power Cw Transceiver Hw-8, Hw8 Qrp Transceiver Works!Vintage Antique Heathkit Computer Hn09-29 Hn-89-29 Bj486eHeathkit Sa-2040 Roller Inductor Antenna TunerHeathkit Hg-10b Vfo For Heathkit Transmitters WorkingHeathkit Sa-2060Heathkit Hw-8 Cw Transceiver With Owners Manual Diagrams And Schematics (no Rsv)Heathkit Vfo Hg-10b, Vintage Ham Radio UnitOld Vintage Heathkit Hw-7 Transceiver Radio Parts Repair Heathkit Sb-401 Ham Radio TransmitterVintage Heathkit Sb-614 Station Monitor - Working Condition - NiceHeathkit Ip-2717 High Voltage Power SupplyVintage Heathkit Ar-1500 ReceiverHeathkit Ip-5220 Variable Isolated Power Supply Tested And WorksZenith Heathkit Etw-5000 Educational Systems TrainerOld Vintage Heathkit Ham Radio Communication Speaker Sb-600 W/ Instructions Heathkit Sa-2040 Antenna TunerHeathkit Hr 1680 ReceiverNear Mint Working Heathkit Aa-71 20w Ultralinear 5881 Mono Tube Amp AmplifierVintage Heathkit Sb-303 Receiver Extender Boards- 1 Large & 1 Small Heathkit 8 Ch. Radio Control System + Manuals Vintage Rc Transmitter Gda 1205-dOld Vintage Heathkit Hw-7 Transceiver Radio Parts Repair Vintage Heathkit Sb-303 Nos Front Panel Heathkit Tuner / Amplifier Knobs And / Heathkit Logo /parts LotPair Of Heath Kit W-7 AHeathkit Hw-30 2 Meter Am "twoer" Amateur/ Ham Radio - For Parts Or RepairHeathkit Sb-220/221 Harbach Rectifier& Metering Rm-220 KitHeathkit Fm 2 Meter Transceiver Hw-2036a From KitHeathkit Model It-17 Tube Tester Estate Fresh Nice Cosmetically-untested Heathkit Tube Checker It-21 With Tube Data And Assembly ManualHeathkit Laboratory Type Signal Genrator Model Ig-42Heathkit Sb-600 Speaker4 Tube 3-500z Heathkit Sb 221 With External Peter Dahl Transformer Big RadioEtb 6820 Microprocessor Interfacing Heathkit Trainer - Nice Condition - S119Heathkit Sb-220/221 Harbach Soft Start ModuleVintage Heathkit Continuing Education - Electronic Test EquipmentVintage Heathkit Educational Linear Circuits - Practical Learning ExperimentsHeathkit Cantenna Model Hn-31 751 Serial 1106 Vintage Ham Radio Tester With Oil