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-220 2kw Linear Amplifier For Ham RadioVintage Heathkit Dx60b Classic Transmitter 20 35 40 100 Heathkit Sb-200 Linear Amplifier With Harbach Power Supply BoardVintage Working Heathkit Hr10b Classic Receiver Dx 20 35 40 100 Heathkit W-5m Mono Block Tube Amplifier Amp - 2 Of 2Heathkit W-5m Mono Block Tube Amplifier Amp - 1 Of 2Vintage Heathkit Daystrom Tube Amplifier Model Aa-100Heathkit Hw 16 Cw TransceiverRare Heathkit Aa-2015 Quad Stereo Amplifier Amp Working Tlc 35 WpcHeathkit Hw 104 Ham Amateur Radio TransceiverHeathkit Hr-1680 Receiver & Hs-1661 Speaker No Reserve!Heathkit Rp-1065 Unbuilt Kit Unassembled - Ho Train Electronic ThrottleHeathkit Sb-401 Ham Radio Transmitter .99 No ReserveVintage Heathkit Model A-9b Tube AmplifierVintage Altec Peerless Heathkit W-5m Ultralinear 6l6 Output Transformer 16309Pair Heathkit W5m Tube AmplifiersHeathkit Sb-220Unbuilt Heathkit Gc-1107 Digital Alarm ClockHeathkit Ua 1 Pair Of Classic Mono Block 6bq5/ El 84 Tube AmplifiersVintage Heathkit Model Sb-104a Ssb/cw 80-10 Meter TransceiverHeathkit 14 Watt High Fidelity Amplifier Model Aa-161 Vintage Mono Tube Amp!Heathkit Ho-5404 Station Monitor And Hoa-5410-1 Pan Adapter See Video!Heathkit Dx-60b Dx-60 Transmitter Vintage Tube Ham RadioVintage Heathkit Model Sb-104a Ssb/cw 80-10 Meter TransceiverVintage Heathkit Aa-81 El34 Tube Power Amplifier RebuiltHeathkit Hw-22 40 Meter TransceiverHeathkit Hd-1410 Vintage Electronic KeyerHeathkit It-28 Capacitor CheckerHeathkit Gw-21 Vintage Radio Transceivers Pair Working * Nice!Heathkit Gc-1a Mohican Gen'l Coverage Radio ReceiverHeathkit Dynamic Tube Checker Model Tc1Heathkit Transceiver Sb-102 Not Working Heathkit Hw-100 Hw100 Ssb Transceiver Ham RadioVintage Heathkit Dx-35 Amateur Transmitter With CrystalsRare Heathkit Model Hdp-121 Hi-z Dynamic Desk Mic With Amphenol 2 Pin ConnectorHeathkit Sb 604 Desktop Speaker-testedHeathkit Hp-23 Hp-23 Power Supply For Transceiver Hw-100 Hw-101 EtcHeathkit T-3 Visual Aural Signal Tracer Eye Tube Lights Up Sound Comes ThroughHeathkit Tc-2 Tube TesterHeathkit Sb-110 Transceiver 6 Meters For Ham RadioHeathkit Model Ps-23 Ps23 Power Supply For Transceiver Hw-101 Hw-100 EtcHeathkit Sb 600 Desktop Speaker-testedNice Heathkit It-12 Signal Tracer For Ham Radio Test Bench, Receivers It12Ultrasonic Cleaner, Heathkit Gd-1151Heathkit Dx-40 Radio TransmitterHeathkit Hd-1410 Vintage Electronic Keyer Ham Radio Accessory IambicHeathkit Rg-8 Rf Signal Generator Serviced Tested Clean * Nice!Heathkit Sb-401 Radio TransmitterVintage Heathkit 4 Input Utility Tube Amplifier A-9c As IsHeathkit Sb-614 Station Monitor Ham Amateur Radio Transmitter Accessory VintageHeathkit Vf-1 Vfo - WorkingHeathkit Sa-5010 Umatic Memory Keyer Vintage Heathkit 6 Transistor Radio As-is For Parts Or Repair ReadUnbuilt Heathkit Model Ig-82 Vacuum Tube Sine-square Wave GeneratorHeathkit Ef-2 Oscilloscope Trainer Kit Ham Radio Unbuilt Rare Nos W/ Orig ManualEico Amplifier Preamplifier Knobs For Hf Series. Hf 12 Hf 81 Hf32. El84. 6bq5Heathkit Hw-12 80 Meter TransceiverHeathkit Single Stick Transmitter Heathkit Sb-644a Remote Vfo, With ManualHeathkit Model Im-5225 Fet Mm