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

Homemade High Voltage Caps
Hackaday, August 2nd

The brown paper wrapper reminded us of old caps you might find in an antique radio. The best part by far, though, was the demonstration of drawing an arc from a high voltage power supply with and without the capacitor in the circuit. As you might...Read more

Don Draper's "Mad Men" Cadillac Is For Sale Right Now
RoadandTrack.com (blog), July 31st

Most of the items are set dressing—furniture, clothing, vintage radios, old magazines, and dozens of other items that helped make the authentic 1960s milieu that made the show so great to watch. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. But scroll down...Read more

Apple vintage radio spots give 1984 customers the hard sell
Cult of Mac, July 31st

No-one does ads with more consistent high quality than Apple. That's why it's kind of fun to go back to a time when getting the word out about new products was less about pushing out a sleek new video on YouTube and more about radio spots designed to ...Read more

Birch Creek: Catching the antique radio bug
Green Bay Press Gazette, July 28th

Again scouring the many fine antique shops in Door County, I found yet another vintage radio. This was also a 1950s clock radio made by the Automatic ... After about three days of no news from the outside world, I couldn't take it any long and even...Read more

Radio: The All-But-Forgotten Medium With The Biggest Reach
Forbes, July 28th

Iraqi radio collector and restorer Karim al-Aqidi shows old radio sets in his apartment in Baghdad. Aqidi, 56, graduated from art school with a degree in painting, but dedicated himself to his hobby of repairing and restoring radio sets which, for him...Read more

Montclair craftsman refurbishes antique radio
NorthJersey.com, July 26th

Schapira is a longtime fan and restorer of vintage radios. So when he spotted an Adams-Morgan RA-10 radio tuner from 1920 on eBay, he arranged with the Montclair ... Schapira spent his career as far from antique radios as possible: working on state-of...Read more

Mad Internet Rumour of the Day: Paris Hilton Restores Vintage Radios for Fun
Gizmodo UK, July 3rd

Paris Hilton, the inexplicable celebrity who is best known for being inexplicably famous secretly restores vintage radios as a hobby, it has been alleged. Seriously. Alan White over at Buzzfeed got the scoop - reporting on a number of independent...Read more

This Is The Coolest Vintage Radio Ever
Gizmodo, June 23rd

If you were a radio nerd in the 1940s, this was your dream set. Built by Kluge Electronics in Los Angeles, the “California Kilowatt” could not only send and receive messages, but it came with all the bells and whistles — including built-in speakers...Read more