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

Antique Radio Podcast Player
The Observer Star, February 6th

Note: If you commented on this post and your comment is missing, I'm very sorry; A technical glitch caused me to lose all the comments. Please comment again. One of my favorite things in the world is The Thrilling Adventure Hour (TAH), a stage...Read more

Kenosha History Centers seeks private collections for upcoming exhibits
Journal Times, February 5th

Examples of past displayed collections include antique radios, smoking pipes, vintage toys and ceramic glassware. Collectors are asked to contact Don Shepard, executive director, at, 262-654-5770, ext. 104, or Chris Allen, ...Read more

Close-up | Tracey Langford of Virginia Beach
The Virginian-Pilot (subscription) (blog), February 3rd

Men's and women's clothes from the 1920s through the present fill the 800-square-foot shop, while big band music plays from an antique radio. Langford remembers visiting antique stores as a child and spinning around in circles with wide-eyed amazement ...Read more

West Valley man brings antique radios back to life, January 30th

The West Valley City resident jokingly describes it as a hobby that just grew out of control. Since he started becoming interested in radios about five years ago, the engineer estimates he has restored about 150 antique radios in his free time. "I just...Read more

Vintage Radio: The Contributions Of "Amateurs"- Giving Radio A Voice
WSHU, January 28th

Last month we looked at Marconi and his pioneering work in the advancement of wireless communications. In the early days of radio, prior to government regulation, anyone with the knowledge could build a transmitter and go on the air. Even after the...Read more

Radio collector discovers rare military device, donates it to the Indiana War ...
Bryan-College Station Eagle, January 19th

Doug Christensen purchased this rare military radio online and donated it after seeing a request from the Indiana War Memorial Museum. Radio collector discovers rare military device, donates it to the Indiana War Memorial Museum. Photo courtesy of Doug ...Read more

Antique radio club turns up the dial on upcoming expo
C&G Newspapers, January 13th

FARMINGTON HILLS — Dust off your old radios and electronics and see what they're worth — or find your own gadgets — during the Michigan Antique Radio Club's Vintage Electronics Expo 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Costick Center, 28600 W. 11 Mile Road ...Read more

Collection of carbon tax may not be "forever": Alberta environment minister
580 CFRA Radio, January 11th

CALGARY - Alberta's environment minister told an oil and gas conference Monday that she hopes the government's broad-based carbon tax won't have to be collected forever. Shannon Phillips used an 18-minute speech to the Conference Board of Canada's ...Read more