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

Playhouse in the Park's "Magical Playground" of Props Destroyed by Fire ...
WKMS, July 29th

One of the props they had lost was a vintage radio and sure enough soemone called offering a radio from the 1930s. Local theatres are also stepping in to help: Murray State's Theatre Department, Market House Theatre in Paducah, Purchase Players in ...Read more

What's in My Loft? Jean Robaire, Toy Factory Lofts
LA Downtown News Online, July 28th

3) Vintage radios that work? Who cares, Robaire says. It's how they look that matters. “I started collecting these about 25 years ago. Some I found in antique stores, others I got right from eBay. I've always been a huge fan of Art Deco design and...Read more

Birthplace of Country Music Museum Opens
WVTF, July 28th

They'll be produced out of one of the museum's exhibits--in what looks like a vintage radio studio with a 1946 Raytheon Console gutted and now holding state of the art equipment. To celebrate the 1927 Bristol Recordings, the Birthplace of Country Music ...Read more

The Golden Age of CB Radio, by Aboubacar Ndiaye
Splitsider, July 28th

Some in the press and elsewhere started wondering whether other media industries would survive in this new environment, as more and more people forwent expensive cable packages and movie outings, and instead gathered around their vintage radios to ...Read more

Deb Miller's 15 Top Picks for the 2014 Philadelphia Fringe Festival
Phindie, July 26th

A co-production by Philadelphia's newest theater company dedicated to the works of the Bard and the city's foremost purveyor of vintage radio entertainment, the collaborative performance of the hit comic-book series includes live Foley sound effects...Read more

Freedom on display at the Newseum, July 26th

Display cases line the walls, one of which shows how reporting has changed with technological developments. Antique radios and televisions sit beside Bill Gates' keyboard. Likewise, a case explains how reporting in the courtroom has changed and...Read more

Vintage Radio Breakfast is back on the menu
Quad City Times, July 23rd

Now that the floodwaters are gone, the several hundred seniors who had reservations for the July 8 Vintage Radio Breakfast Program at the Freight House Reception Hall can enjoy it from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12, instead. Expect a call to confirm ...Read more

Retiree restores antique radios
Peabody Gazette-Bulletin, July 9th

Inside a workshop behind his Hillsboro home, Pete Klassen tunes Internet radio to music of the 1940s and '50s, while repairing radios made in the '40s and '50s. Outside of the workshop and within the same garage, Klassen has a hundred other antique ...Read more