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 Sb-200 Hf Linear Amplifier With Cetron Tubes Clean & Working!Heathkit Sb-1000 Hf Linear Amplifier*** Beautiful Heathkit Complete Ham Station ***Vtg Heathkit Ham Radio Huge Lot Sb-101 Transceiver Sb-600 Speaker Keyer Ac NrHeathkit Sb200 Linear Amplifier With New TubesHeathkit Sb-200 Linear Amplifier Heathkit Sb-200 Linear Amplifier €Heathkit Sb-610 Ham Radio Station Monitor Scope - Vertical Gain IssueHeathkit Hw 8 Qrp Radio TransceiverHeathkit It-28 Capacitor CheckerHeathkit W5-m Vacuum Tube Amplifier With Peerless And Cage AmpHeathkit Hm-2103 Ham Radio Rf Power Load & Wattmeter - Tested And CalibratedNew Old Stock Unbuilt Heathkit Sa-2060a Hf Antenna Tuner!Ultra Nice Heathkit Sa 2040 2 Kw Hf Antenna Tuner Nr Start At $5Heathkit Hw-9 Qrp Cw Transceiver (nice)Vintage Heathkit Sb-104a Ham Radio With Sb-604 Ps/speakerVintage Antique Heathkit Capacitor Checker Model It-11 Tester ExcHeathkit Sb-301 Ssb ReceiverHeathkit Hw-16 80-40-15 MetersHeathkit Sb 300 Loaded And Nice W/ 6 And 2 Meter Heathkit ConvertersHeathkit Sb-401 H.f. 80-10 Meters TransmitterHeathkit Sb-110aHeathkit Sb-620 Spectral AnalyzerHeathkit Receiver Heathkit W 4 Am Tube Audio Amplifier Stereo 6l6 5881 6sn7 Nice Heathkit Sa 2040 2 Kw Hf Antenna TunerVintage Heathkit Model It - 17 Tube Tester / CheckerHeathkit It-2240 Digital Lc Bridge, Unbuilt In Opened BoxHeathkit Hg-10b Vfo For Dx-40 Or Dx-60! Working, Tested, Cleaned, Guaranteed!An Immaculate All Solid State Heathkit Sb-104a Transceiver €Vintage Heathkit Hw-16 Cw Transceiver, Hg-10b Vfo, Manuals, Amateur Ham RadioHeathkit Line Voltage Monitor (im-103)Vintage Heathkit Regenerative Short Wave Radio Receiver Model Gr-81Heathkit Model Hd-1250 Solid State Dip MeterHeath Sd-4801 Vintage Computer Prom Programmer Heathkit With 2732a Rx-1 Heathkit Mohawk Receiver Estate ItemUnbuilt Heathkit Hd-3006 Crossfire Tuning Indicator Ham Radio Rtty UnassembledHeathkit Sb-303 Reciever W/manual And Power CordHeathkit Unbuilt Im-2203 Line Voltage Monitor NosVintage Heathkit Hero1 Robot RemoteHeathkit Ad-1308 Real Time Spectrum AnalyzerPristine Heathkit Sb-101 Needs RestorationHeathkit Extender Board For Hw-104 Sb-104 Sb-104a TransceiverVintage Heathkit Heath Cantenna Rf Load Resistor Model Hn-31Heathkit Hft-9a Qrp Hf Antenna Tuner, Great Condition, 100 Watts - Almost MintVintage Heathkit Hd - 1410 Electronic Keyer With An Ami Receiver Heathkit Sb-600 Speaker And The Hp-23 Power Supply For The Sb 400, 101 SeriesHeathkit - Daystrom Model Aa-100 Tube Stereo Amplifier Super!!Heathkit Sb-401 TransmitterHeathkit Hm-2140 Hf Power/swr Meter Vintage Heathkit Radio For Parts & CrystalsHeathkit Amateur Radio Receiver Sb 301 Excellent Condition Heathkit Hn-31 Cantenna Dummy Load With Manual " No Oil" Ham RadioHeathkit Sb-600 SpeakerHeathkit Sb-401 TransmitterHeathkit Ig-4505 Oscilloscope Calibrator - Ham Radio Test Bench Ig4505Heathkit Id-4803 Eprom Tester Kit In Unopened BoxVintage Heathkit Apache Tx-1 Transmitter Fully Serviced Works Great! Vintage Complete Heathkit Electronics Course With ExperimenterHeathkit Model Sb-634 Station Console, Matches Sb-104, Project