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]

AntiqueRadios.com

AntiqueRadios.com

Alan Voorhees' reference resource for vintage radio collectors includes a photo gallery, article library, PDF archi… [read review or visit site]

Radiomuseum.org

Radiomuseum.org

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]

Radiophile.com

Radiophile.com

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]

Radio-Guy

Radio-Guy

Steve Erenberg's extremely wacky and well-done collection of vintage mad-scientist devices and contraptions. Writte… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage Awa Bakelite Empire State Australian Valve Radio Wireless1919 Wireless Radio Receiving Station * Crystal & Tube Detectors * Pre-broadcastVintage 1940s John Vassos Rca Pre-war ( Channel 1 ) Old Art Deco Television Simplex Model D "deluxe" Oval Shaped Tombstone In Great Playing ConditionVintage 1955 Jet Age Atomic Red Motorola Old Retro Crack Free Bakelite RadioNational Nc-183d Radio Receiver Ham Amateur Shortwave Vintage Tube Reciever Vintage 40s Arvin Art -deco Old Mid Century Bakelite Swirled Catalin Color RadioVintage 1940s Fada Art Deco Old Yellow Catalin Bakelite Bullet Radio No Cracks Vintage 1925 Grebe Excellent Radio Receiver With Tubes , Great Brass Trim Beautiful Original 1938 Zenith 15-u-269 - Video PlayingVintage 1920s Rca Westinghouse Radiola Type Rs Antique Tube Amplifier Radio Philco Radio Pristine Deco Hippo Bakelite M-46-420 Marbled Finish 6 Tube WorkingVintage 1930s Silvertone Tombstone Depression Era Machine Age Art Deco Old RadioPristine 1941 Prewar Troubador Bakelite Tube Radio * Exquisite Jet Age Gem!Excellent, Working Victor "airwavefone" 1-tube Radio * Klitzen Mfg. * Racine WiVintage Astatic Mid Century Art Deco Old Rocket Fin All Chrome MicrophoneAntique Ge General Electric Model K-63 Superheterodyne Tube Radio As-is/untestedZenith Model 5s127, For Restoration,shipping $25.00 Anywhere In The Cont UsVintage 1940s Emerson Art Deco Antique Old Green Bakelite Midget Tube RadioBeautiful Johnson Viking Ii Hf Am/cw Transmitter With Ssb Linear ModificationVintage 1930s Restored Austin Art Deco Old Antique Wood Pattern Clock RadioTom Thumb By Automatic Radio Art Deco Cabinet In Green Playing And PerfectVintage 1957 Sony Tr-86 Japanese Transistor Radio In Red & White + No Cracks !! Top ! Full Automatic Saba Freiburg 15m Tube Radio, With Motortuning.1965Zenith Icon * 1951 Race Track Model * Art Deco Bakelite Tube Radio * Must See!Rare 1940's Baby Addison L2 Peanut Butter Color Tube RadioVintage 60s Antique Pepsi Cola Antique Old Soda Machine Transistor Radio Works Vintage Western Union Beautiful Radio Telegraph Antique Sounder & Working Exc., Working 1922 Crosley Model Vi Radio W/ Wood Tuners & Ceramic Tube SocketsRare!! Vintage 1938 Airite Desk Set Radio 4010 W/ Waltham Clock Bakelite Case NrOld Antique Wood Trav-ler Vintage Tube Radio - Restored & Working Table TopVintage 1940s Old Rca Antique Ribbon Microphone Matching Chrome Rca Table StandVintage Hammond Art Deco " Skyscraper " Old Antique Depession Era Bakelite Clock1925 Neutrowound C6 Radio C 6 Very Nice!Vintage Jvc Rc-m70jw Boombox Ghetto Blaster Cassette Recorder Tape Player Radio~Vintage 50s Old Philco Jet Age Retro Jetsons Mid Century Antique Bakelite Radio20's Radio Atwater Kent Coupling Original Look"atwater Kent" Model #4340 Radiodyne Breadboard RadioNational Hro-50t Radio Receiver Ham Amateur Shortwave Vintage Tube BandswitchedVintage Detrola 335a Network Dial Tube Radio Art Deco Wood Cabinet Nice!Beautiful Restored 1938 Zenith 12-s-265 - Video PlayingFederal Model 59 Complete Panel Mounted For Display Ex Awa Museum Beautiful CondVintage Klh Model "twenty One" Fm Table Radio-henry Kloss-cambridge-tivoliWorking Antique Vintage Zenith L600 Transoceanic Tube Radio Vintage Emerson Raymond Loewy Modernistic " Gold Facade " Bakelite Old Radio Vintage 1950s Motorola Old Atomic Mid Century Bakelite Radio Modernistic JetsonsZenith 5-s-320 Vintage Tube Table Radio - RefurbishedRare 1940's Baby Addison White With Baby Blue Trim Tube RadioOld Antique Wood Supertone Vintage Tube Radio - Restored Working Deco TombstoneVintage 1938 Howard 240 Tube Radio "the Flip" Wood Cabinet Magic Eye Push ButtonVintage Carad Stereo Tube Pre And Power Amplifier, Made In Belgium ! 10 TubesTom Thumb Midget Radio For Parts Or RestoreMint 1925 Metro Electric 25" Double Cone Speaker * Restored By ChidestersVintage 1940s Old Majestic Art Deco Depression Era Antique Bakelite RadioOld Antique Wood Philco Vintage Tube Radio - Restored & Working Table Top RadioExc., Working 1923 Miraco Ma-4 Battery Radio With Good Northern Electric PhonesDeforest Reflex Type D-10 W/ Loop Coil Antenna Antique Tube Radio Speaker HornVintage Old Bendix Radio Unique Glass Lightup Advertising Sign See Glass CloseupVintage Crosley Tube Radio Vintage 1960s Lafayette " Drive In Movie Speaker " Microphone Deco Table Stand

Recent News: Radios

Source: Google News

Five awesome weekend project ideas to get you started with a Raspberry Pi
Tech Times, August 24th

Raspberry Pi users have been creating everything from internet radios using antique radios found in thrift stores to coffee tables that feature a built-in video game unit. The credit card-sized computer is the perfect starting point for anybody that...Read more

Vintage local 'Rock' recording one for the ages, by Steve Gilbert
The Keene Sentinel, August 24th

Alas, no royalties are coming Rock MacMillin's way. But his voice will live in oldies infinity, thanks to one WKBK radio broadcast from Sept. 7, 1961. Guy MacMillin — retired, award-winning, 34-year Keene Sentinel editorial writer, 15-year French...Read more

Philadelphia History Museum's 'Made To Be Played'
CBS Local, August 23rd

“It's called 'Made to be Played,' and it's all about the history of manufacturing of radios in Philadelphia,” explains Charles Croce, with the museum. He says the display offers a vast collection of vintage radios and some other unique features. “There...Read more

12 museums kids will love in metro Phoenix
azcentral.com, August 22nd

Kids' Place offers a performance stage and antique radios, toys and a truck to explore. When you get home, visit the museum's online exhibits, which explore football's long-standing presence in Tempe and the city's architectural heritage. Details: 10 a...Read more

Connecticut's Delightful, Quirky Museums
Hartford Courant, August 20th

If you want artifacts that talk, try Windsor's Vintage Radio and Communications Museum, which goes from the telegraph era to the late 20th century with all manner of radios, televisions, telephones, record players and microphones. I delighted in a...Read more

Secret to longevity from Gresham man, 97: 'Do what you love'
kgw.com, August 8th

He's been collecting antique radios nearly all of his life, and radios ranging from the size of toasters to pianos are scattered throughout his house. "I've been into radios since day one," Meloy said. Meloy is also a master gardener, filling his...Read more

Vintage Radio event rescheduled for Tuesday
Quad City Times, August 6th

A Vintage Radio event hosted by the Senior Voice that originally was scheduled for July has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 12. Everyone who registered for the previous event, which was postponed because of flooding, is registered for Tuesday's ...Read more

3 Vintage radio shows part of one-act plays
Gillette News Record, July 31st

As part of its directors workshop, the Gillette Community Theatre and Campbell County High School drama club is presenting a Vintage Hitchcock Radio Show at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The one-act shows will involve a cast and crew of about a ...Read more