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

Antiques collection offer windows into the past
Washington Times, July 26th

It happened the day his uncle cleared a lot with a bulldozer. Medlin watched until he noticed that his dog went under the wall of small building on the lot. Medlin, 8 years old at the time, had to have a look. He crawled under the wall and discovered a...Read more

Montclair craftsman refurbishes antique radio, 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

Alameda: California Historical Radio Society to hold benefit
Paradise Post, July 22nd

The day's activities will also feature an auction of vintage radios and a flea market of electronic odds and ends, as well as the presentation of this year's class of the "Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame." Stan Bunger of KCBS Morning News will serve as...Read more

Jack's Journal: Collecting Radios
9&10 News, July 20th

So I've got a lot of radios,” said radio collector Jack Lieschman. About 1000 to give you an idea! In the beginning, radios where part of the living room furniture, eventually getting smaller. The oldest were made of wood, with large cabinets and they...Read more

10-person group to perform radio programs to mark Pleasant Hills Library's 70 ...
Tribune-Review, July 19th

While most of the performers are amateur actors, Jeanne Miller has experience with old-time radio shows, having built a group of senior citizens who have performed together for more than a decade. “Vintage Radio Players” members are volunteers who want ...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

Lots o' Links
Radio World, December 16th

I've been doing some research related to some work with building an LPFM in Dover, Ohio, so I've managed to stumble upon some great links related to technology. One or two aren't related to this work, but they were cool enough to save. You may want to ...Read more