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 Hw-8 Qrp TransceiverHeathkit Sb-1000 Amplifier In Very Nice Original Condition Tested And WorksHeathkit Hw-8 Cw Qrp Transceiver, Working(l527) Heathkit Ar-1302 Am-fm Stereo Receiver.....unbuilt KitHeathkit Model Hr-1680 80-10 M Ham Receiver; Great Condition. No ReserveHeathkit Sb-400 Transmitter For Ham / Amateur Radio + Manual, Cables Guaranteed!(l511) Heathkit Hw-101 Transceiver: Unbuilt Kit, ReboxedHeathkit Model Hr-1680 Ssb/cw Ham ReceiverHeathkit Hw-100 Transceiver Used (not Tested) Very CleanHeathkit Linear Amplifier Sb200Heathkit Sb-401 Audio Transmitter And Sb-303 Receiver Set Heathkit Hw-7 Qrp Cw TransceiverHeathkit Model Ho-10 Station Monitor ScopeHeathkit Sb-104 Solid State Hf Cw/ssb Ham TransceiverVintage Heathkit Aa-151 Integrated Tube Amplifier, Parts/restorationUnbuilt Kit 1955 Heathkit Tc-2 Vacuum Tube Checker Tester Unassembled Heath KitHeathkit Sb-200 Amplifier/ New Harbach Pwr Supply Board And Soft Start-very NiceHeathkit Sb-300 Receiver Old Vintage RadioKnight Kit Model V-44 80-10 Meter Vfo Unbuilt Heathkit Am/fm Digital Clock Radio #gr-1075 Kit -nibHeathkit, Hr-20,hx-20 And Hp-20 Heathkit Aa-32 Tube Amplifier, Parts/restoration Not Working.Heathkit Model Hw-99 Cw 80,40,15,10 Meter Transceiver Vintage Heathkit Test Lab, 5281, 5282, 5284, 2410, 1210, Oscilloscope10-4205Heathkit Sb-610 Monitor ScopeUnbuilt Heathkit Im Distortion Analyzer #im-5248 Kit -nibUnbuilt Heathkit Ham Radio Station Console #sb-634 Kit -nibNice Heathkit Heath Pro Equip - Regulated H.v. Power Supply - Model Ip-2717Heathkit Exhaust Gas AnalyzerHeathkit Hd-1422a Ariel Or Antenna Noise Bridge Qrp AtuNice Heathkit Pro Equip - Ig-4244 - Precision Oscilloscope CalibratorHeathkit Seneca Vhf-1 TransmitterHeathkit Model Hw-12 Ssb 80 Meter Transceiver Heathkit Gr-54 Swl / Ham Receiver; Great Condition, Six Tubes. No ReserveHeathkit Et-3400 With Eta-3400 Terminal Vintage Microcomputer Working Circa 1977Heathkit Id-2090 Barograph Kit - UnassembledHeathkit Sa-5010 Memory Keyer Model Sa-5010Ham Radio EquipmentHeathkit Hetereodyne Crystals 4 Sb-401, Sb Line Rigs. Excellent. No Reserve2x 6bq5/el84/7189 Mono Tube Amp Amplifier Heathkit Aa161/aa13/ua1/ua2/ea2/ea3Heathkit Gc-1107 Digital Alarm Clock Kit - UnassembledHeathkit Sa-2040 Tuner National Nc-98 Shortwave Communications Receiver With Heathkit Q Multiplier Qf-1Heathkit Solid-state Amateur Radio Receiver Model Sb-303 Vintage Heathkit H-11a/digital Lsi-11 Heathkit Sb-604 Speaker Ham Radio Heathkit Hd-1410 Electronic Keyer (iambic) For PartsHeathkit Antenna TunerHeathkit Hw 16 Radio TransceiverHeathkit Model Ci-1080 Exhaust Gas Analyzer In Original Case!Unbuilt Heathkit Lin/log Sweep Generator #ig-1275 Kit -nibHeathkit Model Ar-3 Ssb/am/cw Shortwave And Ham ReceiverHeathkit Model Sb-634 Swr/wattmeter/clock/phone Station ConsoleHeathkit Model Ek-2 Broadcast/shortwave/ham ReceiverUnbuilt Heathkit Video Game W/target Gun #gd-1380 Kit -nibEstate* Vintage Daystrom Heathkit Aj-12 Stereo Tube Tuner Clean Not WorkingNice Heathkit Heath Pro Equip - Digital Memory Oscilloscope - Model Id-4850Heathkit Rf Generator Ig 5280Heathkit Hp-23b Power Supply For Tube Rigs, Works And Looka ExcellentVintage Heathkit Tc-2 Tube Checker Tester - Wood Trim Base