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

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The Radio Attic's Archives

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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

Local collectors start own 'picking' business
McDuffie Mirror, March 26th

Examples include high-priced cameras, vintage radios and stereos, old farm equipment, computer games and Tiffany-style lamps. “Overnight, we went from scrounging to having so much stuff we did not have enough time to inventory it all,” Black said...Read more

'American Pickers' eyeing Schoharie County
The Daily Star, March 22nd

Those items include vintage radios, motorcycles and bicycles, movie memorabilia, advertising including signage, military artifacts, folk art, vintage musical equipment, vintage automotive items, turn of the century toys, and vintage clothing among...Read more

Vintage radios get second life at Ottawa Antique Market
Ottawa Citizen, March 21st

A man with a passion for recycling and repurposing materials brings antique radios back to life at the Ottawa Antique and Vintage Market. Ottawa's Jeff Jenkins guts the insides of antique radios from the 1930s to the 1970s and swaps it with new technology...Read more

Volunteers chip in as flood threatens Elgin man's memorabilia
Chicago Tribune, March 16th

Its first floor and basement are crammed with thousands of pieces of memorabilia such as antique radios and TVs, 33 rpm record albums by the crateful, period lamps, magazine covers and historic photos. So, when flooding from a broken water heater ...Read more

i Ready O repurposes old iPhones as vintage radios
Gizmag, March 4th

According to figures just released by Gartner, Apple sold 191.4 million smartphones last year. Sure, a bunch of these are probably being tightly gripped by smiling new owners, but undoubtedly a great number were bought to replace older devices...Read more

Watch: Criterion's Three Reasons To Check Out 'Fellini Satyricon' Plus Vintage ...
Indie Wire (blog), March 3rd

When he wasn't creating top ten lists, director Federico Fellini filled his time by creating one of the most celebrated filmographies ever. Last week, everyone's favorite boutique home video label Criterion released a lovingly restored “Fellini...Read more

Kickstarter: I Ready O - turn your old iPhone into a vintage radio
Retro To Go, February 26th

The idea is simple, to turn your iPhone into a vintage radio. Specifically a radio from the mid-20th century, not unlike a vintage Dieter Rams design for Braun. You can use it horizontally and vertically, with that handle also doubling up as a stand if...Read more

Vintage radios to be auctioned off at Antique Powerland
Statesman Journal, February 17th

Tucked inside some are original paperwork, operating instructions, even a ribbon or two from Northwest Vintage Radio Society shows. The auction is being endorsed by the society, in honor of the late Mike Parker, a former member. It is also being billed...Read more