-phile  suffix   A lover of; one that has a strong love of, or preference for, something
[From the Latin -philus, beloved]
and other old things
Welcome to my antique radio museum on the Web.  Choose your category from the navigation bars below and on every page of this site.

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Wood Radios | Plastic Radios | Transistor Radios
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Why do I collect old radios?
[1939 Emerson model AU-213]These appliances, from the 1930s and 1940s for the most part, were created in what is perceived by many to be better times.  I wasn't alive, or an adult, in the 1930s, 40s or 50s, so I can't say if I agree that those times were better.  (I suspect they weren't.)  But one thing is certain:  Radio was better then.  Both the broadcasts and the sets themselves.

Each radio is a time capsule, echoing much about the era in which it was created and used.  I can't help but imagine the lives and times of their designers, purchasers and users.  I ask myself why design and marketing decisions were made, what programs were heard through these very radios.  I think about how our culture was transformed by these devices.

[1941 Coronado model C640]These objects were once taken for granted by their owners, to be discarded as the detritus of everyday life.  Now, however, they are not.  Freed of the need to function as necessary appliances, they can be seen for what they are: works of art.
  What old radios do I collect?
[1934 Atwater Kent model 145]My first interest was wood table radios from the 1930s, but my interests broadened to include consoles and plastic radios, as well as radios from the 1940s, 50s, and even—gasp!—transistor radios from the 60s.  Lately, my interests seem to have narrowed again, to wood and plastic sets from radio's "golden age" from 1933 through 1942.  During this 10-year period, radio cabinets benefitted from the influences of the Art Deco and Streamline Moderne design styles.  Radios matured technically during this decade as well, progressing from poor-performing midget sets for the cash-strapped Depression-era buyer, through complex high-performance multiband receivers, to the cheap-to-make throwaway sets of the early 1940s that worked quite well despite being very simple.

I have restored the chassis of most of my radios to original working condition.  I like to listen to them, yet I'm disappointed by the dearth of decent programming on the air.  I operate my own milliwatt-power AM transmitter and play my own music and programs from the 30s and 40s, but I wish I lived within range of a station that would do it for me.

Home | What's New? | Site Map | Links | Help
Wood Radios | Plastic Radios | Transistor Radios
Record Players | Recorders | Ham Radio

Do you want to learn more about collecting antique radios?  Amazon.com is an excellent source for books on this subject.

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