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

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Plateful of vegan
Business Standard, April 18th

The latest is the month-old Paradigm Shift which occupies the top floor of a four-storey building and is a lovely, airy space with beautiful old wooden furniture, lamps and an antique radio that unfortunately does not work. The young proprietor, Sowmya...Read more

Talking #Easter on “Made for Life” Radio
Patheos (blog), April 14th

vintage-radio-2-1400144-m I am happy to share my recent conversation with Amanda Thompson, the coordinator of Marriage and Family Initiatives in the Archdiocese of Chicago and the host of the great radio program “Made for Life“. Here's a look at the ...Read more

Community calendar
HeraldNet, April 14th

Puget Sound Antique Radio Association: Meets at noon April 20 (third Sunday) at the Cedar Valley Grange, 20526 52nd Ave. W., Lynnwood. Dedicated to the preservation and restoration of antique radio and wireless. More info: 425-478-3643...Read more

H&M, Alexander Wang announce collaboration with party at Coachella
Los Angeles Times, April 13th

The outside area was transformed into a 1950s neighborhood block party with lawn furniture, picnic tables and vintage radios. Guests crowded around a retro fridge stocked with Twinkies and Oreos, and lined up to grab grilled cheese sandwiches...Read more

Reception Lets Hams Meet in Person
Radio World, April 10th

His radio station is filled with vintage radio gear, and it is here that he took WPX honors, working 11 countries in 30 minutes with 10 watts. Pete's amateur radio credentials began in 1965 at age 13 with call letters WN2RNW (Novice), and a few months...Read more

Antique Radio Collectors & Historians
Webster Kirkwood Times, April 4th

ARCH club members show off vintage radios every month in Kirkwood ... "I got addicted to radio when I was in grade school, and by the time I got to high school, I had a radio shop in Elsberry," said Edward Hausgen, a veteran of the Antique Radio...Read more

A World of Vintage Radio - On Our Doorstep
Newstalk 106-108 fm, March 21st

There is a mythic quality to Pat Herbert. When Tom Dunne and the team arrive in Howth on a sunny and blustery March afternoon, Herbert warmly welcomes us to the Martello Tower. He is surrounded, floor to ceiling, by vintage radios, valves, crystal set ...Read more

Rare vintage radio donated to Lincoln school museum
The Lincolnite, March 20th

A project by a Lincoln school to create an archive of RAF material has been improved with a rare new addition. A rare R1155 Lancaster radio was donated to William Farr School to add to its collection of items, after owner Ian George (50) read about a ...Read more