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]

AntiqueRadios.com

AntiqueRadios.com

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

Radiomuseum.org

Radiomuseum.org

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]

Radiophile.com

Radiophile.com

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]

Radio-Guy

Radio-Guy

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

New Cummer exhibit 'Whitfield Lovell: Deep River' looks at African American ...
Florida Times-Union, May 23rd

“Pago Pago” consists of a portrait of an African-American soldier seated in a bamboo chair with 15 vintage radios stacked beneath the portrait, accompanied by the sound of Billie Holiday singing “I Cover the Waterfront.” The first large area of the...Read more

BBC Radio 4 Extra shows there's still a place for nostalgia in the digital ...
Radio Times, May 22nd

There's nothing 'extra' about Radio 4 Extra – it's the only place to find a fix of vintage radio. In truth, I very rarely listen 'live' to Radio 4 Extra, preferring to sift through what's on iPlayer before drifting off to sleep. And my radio panning...Read more

Why Radio 4 Extra is leading the radio revolution
Telegraph.co.uk, May 22nd

When the BBC launched its digital radio networks in 2002 it was more as a statement of intent than something for which the public was obviously clamouring. Digital radios cost well over £100 back then while iPhone and tablet listeners were figments of...Read more

Our Town: Art, politics and life
Tehachapi News, May 21st

We love antiques stores. He searches out vintage radios, records and magazines, while I head for the books and look for old musical instruments and anything to do with cats, dogs or horses. As we drove on, Peter added, “Why doesn't Tehachapi have a...Read more

Waterbury: Palace "I Love Lucy" show recalls TV's Golden Age
Torrington Register Citizen, May 20th

Now, their authentic “Lucy” experience will be taken even further as the Palace Theater teams up with the Vintage Radio and Communications Museum of Connecticut to offer patrons the chance to see the icon sitcom the way it originally aired with a pre...Read more

From The Mailbag
WSHU, May 19th

The www.radiomusem.org website, which is sponsored by the European Antique Radio Society, has some information on your model. ... The wooden version was valued by The Radio Collector's Directory (Grinder 1995) at $900, but that was a while back...Read more

Conewago Township couple moves into new home two months after fire
Evening Sun (subscription), May 15th

Inside, Al Arndt kept his treasured collection of antique radios, which he had been compiling for years. His hobby was finding and ... They lost the home they loved, one-of-a-kind keepsakes and his entire radio collection in the blaze. "I couldn't...Read more

Antique Radio Society tunes in to niche hobby while preserving radio's rich past
Timesonline.com, May 7th

CENTER TWP. -- With new cell phones and mobile gadgets being released ad nauseam, radios are considered relics, especially to those who line up outside Apple stores waiting for the latest iWhatever...Read more