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]



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Recent News: Radios

Source: Google News

That's 'Hillarious'
WND.com, April 20th

This is the largest online archive of vintage radio shows I've found that are available for free. Searching for a search engine. Which search engine are you using? CNN Money reports that Bing crossed the 20% threshold in search for the first time in March...Read more

Tri-State Radio Fest to feature vintage equipment in Center Twp.
Timesonline.com, April 19th

Enthusiasts of vintage radios and early audio equipment can tune in to the Tri-State Radio Fest. The family-friendly event, sponsored by the Pittsburgh Antique Radio Society and the Buckeye Antique Radio and Phonograph Club of Akron, is set for May 3...Read more

Odd folk-art finds from grandma's attic might be valuable
Columbus Dispatch, April 19th

radio vacuum tubes. Is there a market for them? A: People who repair old radios need old radio tubes. You should contact someone who repairs old radios to see whether he is interested in buying the tubes, or search online for restorers of vintage...Read more

The DIY Designer: Colorful furniture makeovers (with photos)
Nooga.com, April 18th

If you have read my articles for a while or ever visited my blog, Rain on a Tin Roof, you know that I am not scared of a little, or a lot, of color. In my opinion, too much color is always a good thing. Here are some of my favorite colorful furniture...Read more

Bringing back the vintage radios
Herald Review, April 18th

In 2003 and 2007, he entered crystal sets to the Northland Antique Radio Club, in which he won first and second place, respectively, for his radios. The 2007 model, with the help of a large antenna mounted outside of his home, has picked up radio...Read more

Search for that vintage radio sound
Northern Star, April 16th

RADIO Mango is a radio production company based in North Lismore, run by Frank and James Moylan. The brothers are looking for three or four female performers (and maybe a baritone) who can sing in four point harmony, for an upcoming live radio ...Read more

Experience Vintage Radio - Live!
Northwest Public Radio, April 9th

Radio sounds very different today than it did in its early years, but at heart it is still a source of entertainment, news and discussion. Take a trip through decades of Washington state's broadcast history on April 25, when you can enjoy a live...Read more

Vintage radios to be auctioned off at Antique Powerland
Statesman Journal, February 17th

Tucked inside some are original paperwork, operating instructions, even a ribbon or two from Northwest Vintage Radio Society shows. The auction is being endorsed by the society, in honor of the late Mike Parker, a former member. It is also being billed...Read more