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.


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Recent News: Radios

Source: Google News

Current Events - Southside/Beaches
Florida Times-Union, October 24th

Antique Radio Sale and Swap Meet, presented by Jacksonville Antique Radio Society, noon-4 p.m. Sunday, Avonlea Antique Mall, 8101 Philips Highway. Free admission. (904) 386-8332 or jarsradioclub.com. Cemetery Tour, presented by the Beaches ...Read more

Photo gallery: Royals Odyssey
Kansas City Star, October 23rd

Peter Max Lawrence stands next to a vintage radio containing Eric Abraham's ashes. The artist, in his 70s, died in September. “Do you want me to get my hat?” Lawrence asked, and trotted upstairs to retrieve it. Baseball cap: KC, vintage. Lawrence is...Read more

Royal highway: A journey across a blue nation
Kansas City Star, October 23rd

Friday night at 7, a team of young Kansas City Royals players will trot out onto a baseball field where nearly every one of the 42,000 spectators roaring around them wants to see them fail. When the throng rises with deafening cheers, it will be for...Read more

The Killer Elite
Metroland, October 23rd

Sam Peckinpah's 1974 spy thriller The Killer Elite, new on Blu-ray from the boutique, Internet-only specialty label Twilight Time, is a movie that's gloriously of its time. Practically every scene is infused with post-Watergate, post-Vietnam cynicism...Read more

What if Age Is Nothing but a Mind-Set?
New York Times, October 22nd

Perry Como crooned on a vintage radio. Ed Sullivan welcomed guests on a black-and-white TV. Everything inside — including the books on the shelves and the magazines lying around — were designed to conjure 1959. This was to be the men's home for ...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