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

Source: Google News

Tirana, Breaking Free From Communist Past, Is a City Transformed
New York Times, August 28th

It was filled with HoxhasTime relics. Antique radios lined shelves next to Communist-era books. At the bar, which serves 25 flavors of Albanian liquor called raki, garden rakes hung upside-down from the ceiling with wineglasses slotted between their teeth...Read more

Pop music albums being released today include:
Youngstown Vindicator, August 27th

Collectors must be interesting characters with a vast collection of things for sale, such as old motor scooters, advertising signs, bicycles, toys, vending and pinball machines, movie posters, antique radios, diner collectibles, sports memorabilia and...Read more

Asia Specific: Indian films to enter Busan International Film Festival
The Indian Express, August 27th

The Indian film in the category is Hari Vishwanath's Radio Set, about an old Arunachalam man who finds comfort in his vintage radio set. While the 'Wide Angle' category will feature Umesh Agarwal's Jai Ho, Vivek Kajaria's Durga and Nagesh Kukunoor's ...Read more

TV show American Pickers seeks collectors
Youngstown Vindicator, August 27th

Collectors must be interesting characters with a vast collection of things for sale, such as old motor scooters, advertising signs, bicycles, toys, vending and pinball machines, movie posters, antique radios, diner collectibles, sports memorabilia and...Read more

Hastings Electronics and Radio Club
Hastings and St. Leonards Observer, August 27th

The club supported the 10th Essex Living History Group annual WW1 spectacular with a Special Event Station, GB2WWI (Whiskey Whiskey India) at Batemans, Rudyard Kipling's home, on the weekend of 1-2 August. This year's event was to commemorate ...Read more

Vintage Radio: Going Mobile
WSHU, August 26th

Nowadays we take for granted the ability to just turn on our car radio when we want news, music, or entertainment while traveling about. Such convenience was not always the case. Prior to the 1930s, the car radio would have been considered a novelty at ...Read more

Vintage radio play of Sherlock Holmes at Kearny Public Library, August 25th

A theatrical presentation of "Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of Baskervilles," complete with Raconteur Radio actors, will be performed on Sept. 12 at 2 p.m. at the Kearny Public Library, 318 Kearny Ave. The vintage radio play of Arthur Conan Doyle's...Read more

Radio Collectors From Across The Nation Attend Ham Fest In Huntington
WCHS-TV8, August 8th

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Ham radio operators from around the Tri-State converged on the Tri-State Fire Academy in Huntington Saturday. Amateur radio operators from around the country came together for everything from discussions on the history of radio to ...Read more