The ‘golden age of radio’ may be gone, but antique radios are still going strong. Whether you’re interested in a specific manufacturer (RCA, Philco, Zenith, Crosley, Emerson) or style (catalin, transistor, cathedral or console), there’s a radio out there for you.

You can identify most antique radios by model number, which can include any combination of letters and numbers. If you don't see a manufacturer's name, look inside the chassis, as it may be stamped on the tubes or other components.

The earliest radios were typically bare components (e.g. glass tubes) mounted on a board. Later came plain wooden or metal boxes, and by the late 1920s, elaborate cabinets designed to look like real furniture. Cathedral and tombstone style wooden cabinets were popular during the 1930s. And Art Deco style radios made of Bakelite, Catalin and other early resins or plastics (Plaskon, Beetle, etc) became popular during the 1930s and 1940s. Transistors were introduced in 1957, displacing tubes and enabling miniaturization.

Although you may be able to play an unrestored antique radio, note that its capacitors are likely to fail without warning (and may also pose a fire hazard), so replacing them pre-emptively is advisable.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Jim's Antique Radio Museum

Jim's Antique Radio Museum

Jim Tripp's showcase of radios from the 1920s to late 1950s, organized by style and theme (wood, console, plastic, … [read review or visit site]

The Radio Attic's Archives

The Radio Attic's Archives

This photo gallery of over 7800 vintage radios, categorized by manufacturer and model number, is a group effort wit… [read review or visit site]

Alan Voorhees' reference resource for vintage radio collectors includes a photo gallery, article library, PDF archi… [read review or visit site]

This vast archive and community of radio collectors features over 120,000 radio model listings and 350,000 photos a… [read review or visit site]

Phil's Old Radios

Phil's Old Radios

This extensive collection of antique radios includes beautiful photos and detailed historical descriptions. The sit… [read review or visit site]

John Pelham's collection of wood and plastic radios from the 1930's and 40's. What sets this site apart is the deta… [read review or visit site]



Steve Erenberg's extremely wacky and well-done collection of vintage mad-scientist devices and contraptions. Writte… [read review or visit site]

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Recent News: Radios

Source: Google News

#RoyalsOdyssey: Finding fans of 'America's team' on the road to SF
Kansas City Star (blog), October 20th

Lawrence stepped inside the studio to stand next to not only Abraham's quirky and whimsical porcelain pieces, but also next to a vintage radio containing Abraham's ashes. The artist, in his 70s, died in September. “Do you want me to get my hat...Read more

Spinner celebrates 33 years: Local publishers host fundraising gala, October 20th

A custom-tailored suit donated by Joseph Abboud, a vest donated by Mother Freedom, an antique radio donated by New Bedford Antiques at Wamsutta, silk scarfs made by artists Nicole St. Pierre and Mary Monteiro, items donated by Decas Cranberry ...Read more

Call Box: Old Sears mural lives on at Main Library
Florida Times-Union, October 17th

Dear V.M.: George Lewis, a member of the Jacksonville Antique Radio Society, said he can fix any mechanical phonograph made between 1895 and 1925. He's been buying, selling and trading old wind-up machines as a hobby for about 40 years and has ...Read more

Museum of Radio and Technology channels memories of a bygone era
Charleston Daily Mail, October 16th

BOB WOJCIESZAK/DAILY MAIL The museum has 400 antique radios, including this Atwater Kent from the 1920s. BOB WOJCIESZAK/DAILY MAIL Shelves are lined with tubes, components, batteries and various paraphernalia for repairing antique equipment...Read more

Collector travels across Australia to secure antique radio
Christian Davies Antiques (blog), October 2nd

Australian Robert McGregor recently travelled almost 1,000 kilometres to bid for a unique radio at auction. The AWA Radiola Model 4 was made in 1925 and is in its original condition. After searching for this particular set for 23 years, McGregor...Read more

Creel's radio collection given to Alabama Historical Radio Society
Gadsden Times, September 28th

George Creel, a United Methodist minister who pastored churches in Gadsden and across North Alabama for more than 60 years, had a hobby of restoring antique radios and phonographs. He was a renowned expert in ... The Creel family has donated their...Read more

'Antique' radio draws enthusiast to Canberra
Southgate Amateur Radio Club, September 22nd

Robert traveled nearly 1000 km from his home in Terang, Victoria, to the auction in Canberra. "It's an Australian-made radio from an Australian company, so that's the appeal. There might be two or three left, there's not many. They're rare to procure...Read more

Antique radio draws enthusiast to Canberra
The Canberra Times, September 20th

Robert McGregor of Terang paid $2600 for this 1925 AWA Radiola Model 4 at a Canberra auction. Photo: Graham Tidy. After 23 years, an Australia-wide search came to head on Saturday when a grinning Robert McGregor put in the winning bid for a 1925 ...Read more