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

First Coast Happenings
Florida Times-Union, October 29th

Antique Radio Sale and Swap Meet, presented by Jacksonville Antique Radio Society, noon-4 p.m., Avonlea Antique Mall, 8101 Philips Highway. Free admission. (904) 386-8332 or The Great St. Augustine Chowder Debate, 12:30-4 p.m., ...Read more

Host festival kicks off the holiday season
Elk Valley Times, October 28th

Take a look at Dr. Jerry McKinney's antique radio collection, enjoy the High Tea: Lace, Linens & Luxury and stop by Sir's Fabrics to vote on your favorite quilt or create a custom elf hat. No Christmas festival would be complete without a visit from...Read more

Continentals, Assemble! Sleepy Hollow Builds a Team.
io9, October 28th

So, let's just point out that instead of a white dude with a pier full of vintage radios and delusions of romantic interest, there's apparently a grumbly Shawnee biker just hanging out in town, waiting for a team of supernatural crime fighters he could...Read more

United States of Rage and Love: Green Day - "Homecoming"
PopMatters, October 27th

Interestingly, the production sounds a bit old-fashioned here, as if we're hearing it through a vintage radio—or a phone, as the first few lines are spoken by the protagonists mother, who tells him, “My heart is beating from me / I am standing all...Read more

Lisa Davis: My big, fat science project
Anniston Star, October 26th

The worktable was covered in boxes of unpacked china, but my son managed to clear off a corner and carve out a small workspace, squeezed in between an unused dining table and an antique radio. He screwed four 2x4s together for the base, and then the ...Read more

'Dirty Dan' haunts Bellingham
The Register-Guard, October 26th

Winter, who formerly built satellite dishes, had established the Bellingham Antique Radio Museum in the mid-1980s. He set it up like a radio shop of the 1930s, where townspeople gathered to listen to the broadcasts of music and news. ... His own...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