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]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

1938 Zenith 12-s-265 Antique Zenith Shortwave Radio - Beauty In Pittsburgh Pa.1940 Scott Philharmonic, 30 Tube, Chrome Chassis, Working ConditionVintage 1950s Emerson " Band Shell " Old Bakelite Radio & Automotive Dash ThemeVintage 1949 Philco Boomerang Jetsons Atomic Mid Century Old Space Age Radio !Atwater Kent Ak Model 4660 Breadboard RadioOld Vintage Zenith Console Black Shutter Dial Radio Australian Made Astor Gs Widows Peak Bakelite Valve Radio C1949Vintage 1920s Near Mint Crosley Model 50 Museum Display Portable Antique RadioStunning 1936 Rca Model 9t-10 Tombstone Radio 9 Tubes Tuning Eye, Solid Cabinet1923 Atwater Kent 4550 Breadboard Radio PlaysRare!! Workrite Walker Multi-unit One Tube 1920s Battery Radio Bc, Sw, Etc.Gorgeous Wood Vintage Air Castle 4002 Am/sw Tube Radio W/tuning Eye & Restored Rca Victor Mod 8x682 Ebony Bakelite Am / Short Wave Tube Radio From 1949 WorksRare 1930s Pla-pal Radio With Liquor Cabinets With DecantersZenith 1936 Tube Farm Radio Model 1936~ Vintage Estate FindVintage 50s Old Zenith Brass Symphony Hall Eames Design Am - Fm Tube Radio L@@kVintage Old Rca Bk-5a Art Deco Radio Best Sounding !! Ribbon Antique MicrophoneVintage 1920s Lemco Old Antique Pre Depression Era Crystal Radio Receiver Fada Bullett Bakelight Catalin Radio Model 1000 In Working Order Needs Work.Air-way Type F Receiving Set Serial No. 16928Antique Bbc Revophone Crystal Radio Set + Headphones + Instruction Card - BoxedVintage 1930s Classic Old Crosley Cathedral Art Deco Depression Era RadioZenith R7000-2 Trans Oceanic Portable Shortwave Radio - Nice - No ReserveAntique All Metal Atwater Kent Type L Radio Speaker ~ Vintage Estate Find1926 Grebe Mu-1 Battery Radio * Excellent, Working Synchrophase With Good TubesVintage Old 1930s Excellent General Electric Depression Era Bakelite RadioVintage 1920s Old " Universal " Carbon Pre Depression Era Microphone & StandVintage Old Rca Art Deco Mid Century Radio Studio Ribbon MicrophoneVintage 1940s Old Near Mint Emerson Antique Bakelite Radio Rare Color CabinetNo Reserve Vintage 1920s Grebe Model Mu-1 Synchrophase Tube Radio Receiver UsaOld Westinghouse H-126 Little Jewel Refrigerator Vintage Tube Radio Bakelite Vintage 1939 Old Zenith Art Deco Depression Era Antique Bakelite Tube Radio Vintage 1930s Atwater Kent Gothic Depression Era Antique Rare Model Tube RadioToshiba Vintage Radio Pocket Transistor With Fixed Speaker Dock Original Nice!!!Vintage Old Sylvania Radio Television Antique Lightup Glass Advertising SignMega Rare Art Deco Hamilton Sangamo Synchronous Motor Clock W Bakelite C. 1940'sVintage 1950s Art Deco Numechron Working Digital Old Clock Antique Mid Century Vintage 20s Old Rca Victor Antique Radio Preforated Paper Facade Nipper SpeakerRare Art Deco Fada 1000 Bullet Yellow With Red Trim Bakelite Tube Radio C. 1946 Restored! Splendid! Braun Sk 2/2 Kleinsuper Tube Radio By Dieter RamsVintage 50s " Mitchell " Regency Tr-1 Worlds 1st Antique Transistor Radio In BoxVintage Old Antique Wood Table Top Tube Radio Philco Model 40-115 A Must Have !Stunning Vintage Retro Mid Century Maroon Sparton 132a Tube Am Radio Serviced1937 Zenith Tabletop Tube Radio Model #6-d-219Vtg (1938) 6-s-330 Zenith Tombstone Black Dial Tube Radio~ Beautiful CabinetAntique Wooden Crystal Radio Set - BoxedG.e. Deco Bakelite Radio Gorgeous Restoration M-115, 5 Tube Excellent Player!!Crosley 628 Bakelite Am / Short Wave Tube Radio From 1937 Recently ServicedVintage Old Wood Antique Tube Radio. Make & Model Unknown "magic Tunning Eye"Vintage Antique 1937 Art Deco Stewart Warner Radio R-1811-aAntique 1914 Crosley Super Trirdyn Special Regenerative Receiver ~ Radio PartsVintage Old Wood Antique Tube Radio Zenith Model 6s527 Very Pretty RadioAtwater Kent Model 82 For Restoration Antique Crosley Vintage Tube Radio Art Deco Restored And Working Sparton Vintage Tube Radio$1: 1939 Philco 39-25 Tube Radio Am / Sw Shortwave One Owner! Plays BeautifullyElectronics Assistance Corp. R-390a/urr Short Wave Radio ReceiverAwesome Vintage 50's Crosley Dashboard Tube Clock Radio D25-mn (maroon) Works1971 Grundig Satellit 210 Transistor 6001 Am/fm & Sw Multiband Wood Finish** Estate Sale ** Stromberg Carlson Awp-8 Shortwave Radio ** No Reserve **

Recent News: Radios

Source: Google News

In "Art of Jazz," A Multivocal Exhibit
Harvard Magazine, February 8th

Whitfield Lovell's After an Afternoon is comprised of 37 stacked vintage radios, playing recordings of a Walter Winchell newscast, The Marlin Hurt and Beulah Show, and Billie Holiday. Photograph courtesy of the Cooper Gallery. Whitfield Lovell's After...Read more

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

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

Vintage radio hobby turns eBay business for ex-petroleum engineer, November 9th

Retired petroleum engineer Jim Collings sells vintage radio equipment on eBay from his home. [Photos by ... He finds merchandise at radio club meets in the Midwest, South, and Southwest, on eBay and through the Oklahoma Vintage Radio Collectors...Read more