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 1930s Old Unmolested Classic 12 Tube Zenith Walton 12-s-232 Robot DialVintage 1930s Art Deco Old Cb Ham Radio Amperite Machine Age Chrome MicrophoneVintage 1941 Zenith 7s530 Wood Table Top 3 Band Am Fm Sw Tube Radio - WorkingVintage 1948 Philco Near Mint Old Ebony Bakelite Radio , Modernistic Jetsons !!Vintage 1920s Old Amplion " Dragonfly " Near Mint Original Radio Horn Speaker Vintage 1950s Old Rca Art Deco Antique Mid Century Working Ribbon MicrophoneOld Antique Wood Climax Vintage Tube Radio - Restored Working Art Deco TombstoneVintage 1920s Rca Radiola 26 Old Beautiful Antique Radio Receiver And Tubes Dl Vtg 1920s Zenith 4r Long Distance Tube Radio Receiver Amplifier Not TestedVintage 1940s Fada Art Deco Old Catalin Bakelite Mid Century Antique Tube RadioWorld Radio Labs Globe Scout 65a Ham Radio Transmitter 1950's Clean! Good Tubes!Zenith Model 5-s-319 Brass/copper Oval Race Track Dial ~ WorksOld Antique Wood Rca Victor Tube Radio - Restored & Working Art Deco Table Top1936 Firestone Airchief: Model R-1661-a, Ultra Rare Beautiful, Working! Nice!!Vintage 1936 Antique Clinton Deroyla Wooden Case Vacuum Tube Am Sw Radio1938 Zenith 12-s-266 Robot Shutterdial (completely Restored - See Video!)Beautiful 1938 Prewar Zenith Classic Icon! Bakelite Tube Radio * Black Dial Gem!Antique Zenith Waltons 12-s-232 Tube Radio 8" Speaker 49-183Vintage Old 1920s Rca Ornate Pattern Motif Working Antique Radio Speaker Vintage 1950s Dahlberg Coin Op Mid Century Old Antique Bakelite Tube RadioVentage Antique 1937 Art Deco Climax General Television Am/shortwave RadioVintage Old Excellent Antique Microphones Blowout Sale All For One Low Price1938 Zenith 6s-229 Black Dial Tombstone Radio. Original Finish,Emerson Radio "atomic Age" Stunner 5 Tube "hot Pink&ebony" Mid Century Working!!Vintage Fada 845 Cloud 1947 Catalin/bakelite Art Deco RadioNice Old Antique 1940's Crosley 66tc Tube Wood Am Sw Radio Restored Works GreatExc. 1924 Burns Horn Radio Speaker W/flower Bell & Orig. Driver * Works GreatAirline Radio Stunning Bakelite Original Mid Century 1951 Working 5 Tube Set! 1939 Stewart Warner Antique Am & Shortwave Radio Model 03-5s1 WorkingFantastic Sony Icf-2010 Air/fm/lw/mw/sw Shortwave Radio Receiver - Brand New !!!1924 British 1-tube Battery Radio W/good Filament Cossor Valve & Plug-in CoilsZenith Table Top Short Wave Radio. Rare Vintage Model.Mint-in-box 1920 Fada Wireless Radio Crystal Detector Wards Airline Radio "postwar" Bakelite Original 1946 Gorgeous Working 5 Tube! 1969 Philips Antoinette Transworld De Luxe 22rl798 Am/fm 7 Band World RadioAntique 1900's Duck Navy Type Loose Coupler Receiving Slide Tuner Radio MarconiPhilco Radio "atomic Age" Stunner 5 Tube "salmon Orange" Mid Century Working!!!!Vintage 1951 Antique Zenith Racetrack Facade Rare Green Color Bakelite RadioVery Collectable 1938 Zenith Chairside 9 Tube Radio-9s244-fully Restored1939 Emerson Antique Radio Model 238 Simply Beautiful Working Ingraham CabinetRca Victor 115 Dramatic Skyscraper Design In Fine Condition And Playing WellVintage 1940s Dewald Near Mint Rare Midget Art Deco Old Marbled Bakelite Radio 1975 Sailor Type 109 Sp Marine Radio 5 Band Sw-lw-mw-nw-fm Made In DenmarkHickock Model 600 Mutual Conductance Tube Tester - Working WellRare ..echophone Model S-5 Cathedral Tube Radio Antique German Ww 2 PeopleArvin Am And Shortwave Radio 1938 Model 618 Antique Vintage1919 Frost Radio Navy Type Loose Coupler For Wireless Sets * Excellent Condition1910 Manhattan Electric (mesco) Coherer Detector For Early Wireless Radio Cat's Whisker Galena Crystal Wireless Set Receiver 1924, Marconi-eraAntique Truetone D-711 Tube Am Short Wave Radio Rola Speaker D CorpOld Antique Wood Emerson Vintage Tube Radio -restored Working Ingraham Table TopSony Shortwave Pll Synthesized Receiver Icf-2010 Clean & Works Air/fm/lw/mw/swAntique Model 143 Rca Victor Wood Tombstone Radio, As IsOld Canadian Independent Telephone Co.crystal Radio Complete & Good ConditionAntique Tube Sonora Wood Table Radio Model No. Rcu-208Wilcox Gay A-15 Tombstone Wild Deco Style And Grill Quality RepairSony Icf-2010 Air/fm/lw/mw/sw Pll Synthesized Receiver, In Good Condition.Antique Wards Airline 62-306 "dial" Tube Am Short Wave Radio Vintage Beetle Tube Radio Truetone Stratosphere 278-5q Marbled Plastic Deco

Recent News: Radios

Source: Google News

#RoyalsOdyssey: Finding fans of 'America's team' on the road to SF
Kansas City Star (blog), October 20th

Lawrence stepped inside the studio to stand next to not only Abraham's quirky and whimsical porcelain pieces, but also next to a vintage radio containing Abraham's ashes. The artist, in his 70s, died in September. “Do you want me to get my hat...Read more

Spinner celebrates 33 years: Local publishers host fundraising gala
SouthCoastToday.com, October 20th

A custom-tailored suit donated by Joseph Abboud, a vest donated by Mother Freedom, an antique radio donated by New Bedford Antiques at Wamsutta, silk scarfs made by artists Nicole St. Pierre and Mary Monteiro, items donated by Decas Cranberry ...Read more

Call Box: Old Sears mural lives on at Main Library
Florida Times-Union, October 17th

Dear V.M.: George Lewis, a member of the Jacksonville Antique Radio Society, said he can fix any mechanical phonograph made between 1895 and 1925. He's been buying, selling and trading old wind-up machines as a hobby for about 40 years and has ...Read more

Museum of Radio and Technology channels memories of a bygone era
Charleston Daily Mail, October 16th

BOB WOJCIESZAK/DAILY MAIL The museum has 400 antique radios, including this Atwater Kent from the 1920s. BOB WOJCIESZAK/DAILY MAIL Shelves are lined with tubes, components, batteries and various paraphernalia for repairing antique equipment...Read more

Collector travels across Australia to secure antique radio
Christian Davies Antiques (blog), October 2nd

Australian Robert McGregor recently travelled almost 1,000 kilometres to bid for a unique radio at auction. The AWA Radiola Model 4 was made in 1925 and is in its original condition. After searching for this particular set for 23 years, McGregor...Read more

Creel's radio collection given to Alabama Historical Radio Society
Gadsden Times, September 28th

George Creel, a United Methodist minister who pastored churches in Gadsden and across North Alabama for more than 60 years, had a hobby of restoring antique radios and phonographs. He was a renowned expert in ... The Creel family has donated their...Read more

'Antique' radio draws enthusiast to Canberra
Southgate Amateur Radio Club, September 22nd

Robert traveled nearly 1000 km from his home in Terang, Victoria, to the auction in Canberra. "It's an Australian-made radio from an Australian company, so that's the appeal. There might be two or three left, there's not many. They're rare to procure...Read more

Antique radio draws enthusiast to Canberra
The Canberra Times, September 20th

Robert McGregor of Terang paid $2600 for this 1925 AWA Radiola Model 4 at a Canberra auction. Photo: Graham Tidy. After 23 years, an Australia-wide search came to head on Saturday when a grinning Robert McGregor put in the winning bid for a 1925 ...Read more