Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Collector's Corner - Old Table Radios

I've said it before and it bears repeating - if you have at least three of something it ceases being clutter and becomes a collection.

Today's collection is old tube type table radios.

Come on in, they're not all this old.

Collecting old radios doesn't have to be a rich man's hobby. Of course if you asked a serious collector, I would not be considered a serious collector.

I don't collect based on value, or rarity, or investment potential. I buy radios based on what they look like. One of these radios was a hand me down from my parents. All of the others I bought because I liked the way they looked.

This one is from 1939

It's the old timer of the bunch.

The white one above is called an Aeroscope Gloritone. It is the exact same radio as an Admiral that was sold during the same time period. Neither Admiral or Aeroscope made the radio. It was manufactured by Continental Radio (If I remember correctly) and then labeled Admiral or Aeroscope or whatever.

This is a 1948 Motorola

It was not working when I bought it
I paid five bucks for this Motorola because it didn't work when I got it. These radios only have five tubes in them. When they don't work it's usually one of these five tubes (which are still available today) or a handful of capacitors. I may have to put five or ten dollars in it. I bought it because it was five bucks, and I know I can fix it.

This is a 1949 RCA.

I like the brass "hood ornament" look of it.
Everybody needs an RCA in their collection, and this one's mine.

1955 Sylvania

This radio was in the kitchen of my parents' house for decades. For the last decade it's been sitting in one storage place or another. I rescued it. Now it sits in my den. For some reason it has the look of a late 1950s Plymouth to me.

1963 General Electric Musaphonic
This is the radio for which I overpaid. Sixty bucks. It was in an antique store and I had money burning a hole in my pocket. I think I still have a mark on my leg where the burn was. You can see that its missing the brass inserts on three of the knobs. It's likely that I will NEVER find these - unless it's on another radio.

Why should a mid century freak like you or me collect these old radios? They're great for accessorizing. You know that once you get the big pieces in place you need to start adding accessories. People had these back in the time period we're re-creating. Well, maybe not a 1939, but definitely a 1955 or a 1963.

We'll be back later with . . . more stuff.


  1. That Gloritone is pretty cool! Great find.

  2. And once it gets a good cleaning, it'll look like a brand new penny. Only in white.