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

In "Art of Jazz," A Multivocal Exhibit
Harvard Magazine, February 8th

Whitfield Lovell's After an Afternoon is comprised of 37 stacked vintage radios, playing recordings of a Walter Winchell newscast, The Marlin Hurt and Beulah Show, and Billie Holiday. Photograph courtesy of the Cooper Gallery. Whitfield Lovell's After...Read more

Antique Radio Podcast Player
The Observer Star, February 6th

Note: If you commented on this post and your comment is missing, I'm very sorry; A technical glitch caused me to lose all the comments. Please comment again. One of my favorite things in the world is The Thrilling Adventure Hour (TAH), a stage...Read more

West Valley man brings antique radios back to life
KSL.com, January 30th

The West Valley City resident jokingly describes it as a hobby that just grew out of control. Since he started becoming interested in radios about five years ago, the engineer estimates he has restored about 150 antique radios in his free time. "I just...Read more

Vintage Radio: The Contributions Of "Amateurs"- Giving Radio A Voice
WSHU, January 28th

Last month we looked at Marconi and his pioneering work in the advancement of wireless communications. In the early days of radio, prior to government regulation, anyone with the knowledge could build a transmitter and go on the air. Even after the...Read more

Radio collector discovers rare military device, donates it to the Indiana War ...
Bryan-College Station Eagle, January 19th

Doug Christensen purchased this rare military radio online and donated it after seeing a request from the Indiana War Memorial Museum. Radio collector discovers rare military device, donates it to the Indiana War Memorial Museum. Photo courtesy of Doug ...Read more

Antique radio club turns up the dial on upcoming expo
C&G Newspapers, January 13th

FARMINGTON HILLS — Dust off your old radios and electronics and see what they're worth — or find your own gadgets — during the Michigan Antique Radio Club's Vintage Electronics Expo 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Costick Center, 28600 W. 11 Mile Road ...Read more

Collection of carbon tax may not be "forever": Alberta environment minister
580 CFRA Radio, January 11th

CALGARY - Alberta's environment minister told an oil and gas conference Monday that she hopes the government's broad-based carbon tax won't have to be collected forever. Shannon Phillips used an 18-minute speech to the Conference Board of Canada's ...Read more

Vintage radio hobby turns eBay business for ex-petroleum engineer
NewsOK.com, November 9th

Retired petroleum engineer Jim Collings sells vintage radio equipment on eBay from his home. [Photos by ... He finds merchandise at radio club meets in the Midwest, South, and Southwest, on eBay and through the Oklahoma Vintage Radio Collectors...Read more