Home: Antique radio
Antique radios are radio receiving sets that are collectible because of their age and uniqueness. Although collectors may differ on the cutoff dates, most would use 50 years old, or the pre-World War II Era, for vacuum tube sets and the first five years of transistor sets.
Home made and experimental
The Console radio was the center piece of every house back in the era of radio , they were big and expensive running up to $700 back in th late 1930's mostly for the rich , these radios were place in hallways and living rooms . most console radios were waist high and not very wide , as the years went on the got shorter and wider. Most consumer console radios were made by RCA , Philco , General Electric , Wards Airline , Montgomery Ward , Westing house , radio-bar and many more they were all affordable . Others like Zenith , Scott , Atwater-Kent , were mainly for the rich as there prices ran into the $500-$800 range in the 1930's and 40's .
Table top wood radios
Table Top radios came in many forms , " Cathedral Style " Which had a square box with a roof , these types of radios are most commonly known as a antique radio . " tombstone style " were rectangular boxes that were tall and skiny like a tombstone . " Table Top " they were in the shape of boxes useually small and square or were very short and wide . The table top radios were useually place in the kitchen , Bedroom and out on the porch of houses .
The availability of Bakelite allowed designers to create much smaller and less expensive units, allowing radio to be installed in the kitchen and the bedroom. Bakelight radios were much safer to have in the home than wooden radio consoles, since they did not burn in fires but just melted. However, Bakelight radios had problems with melting from the heat of the vacuum tubes, they also had problems with stress of holding themselves up, causing thin hair-line cracks in the plastic. When these radios were dropped they would smash apart, unlike radios with wooden consoles.
The plastic era
The availability of brightly coloured thermoplastics provided the freedom to produce free flowing designs. Some plastics are slightly translucent and are prized by collectors.
Early transistor sets
Invention of the transistor led to many small radios that did not need a 15 second to 1 minute minute warmup time that many earlier vacuum tubed radios did. (Tube radios designed to run on batteries tended to have warm up times of a few seconds.) You just walked up to the radio, turned it on and heard the music playing over the radio almost instantly. They were available in many sizes from console to table-top to radios the size of your finger. Transistors are still used in today's radios, and are not as good quality as the radios that used vacuum tubes. Vacuum tube radios were hand-made by a factory worker and were unique to each company. Transistor radios are now made by computers and are alike between every company leaving them hard to service and highly generic.
Early American sets - Regency, Motorola
Most radios are only valued by the amount some one will pay for them . Catalin plastic radios and high end console radios sell at the top of the market . Cathedrals , Tombstones and large table tops are 2nd in the range and wood/bakelight table tops are at the bottom of the market place and sell for less than $40 each .
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