Antique and Vintage Radios

I've been tinkering with radios, televisions, and other electronic devices for over 60 years. In my misspent youth, it was often a matter of repairing and modifying things so they no longer had any hope of working—and then cutting them up for parts. Now, many years (and a few pounds) later, I'm a bit more careful.

The current period began almost 20 years ago, when I stumbled into a pristine and untouched Philco 116B in an antique store in Bishop, CA. For newcomers to this quaint hobby, the 116B is one of the classics from the mid 1930s. Mine is still pristine and untouched, but I promise to get to it very soon.

My current focus is sets from ~1930-1932. Many of these are characterized by a combination of rather primitive electronics and “brick schoolhouse” construction. They present some unique restoration challenges, not the least of which is lifting them onto the workbench.

In these pages, I'll be documenting some of my restorations, and will offer some how-to tips, tutorials, and eventually some specific repair services.

Current Projects

Here's a snapshot of what I've been working on. Each of these will eventually get it's own page.

From left: Clarion Jr, Kolster K60, Majestic 52
General Electric S-22

Majestic Model 52

The heaviest “table-top” radio I have ever seen. “52” means that it comes with a small stand to make it into a floor model. When I bought it, I almost could not lift it.

This thing is the ultimate Brick Schoolhouse. During rebuilding, I had the distinct feeling that I could drop the chassis on the floor and it wouldn't miss a beat.

GE S-22

This is the General Electric equivalent of the RCA “Superette” R-7. It is only slightly lighter than the Majestic. It comes from Rhinebeck, New York, and was carried on the train to Annapolis (nice workout!!)

Kolster K-60

Another heavy one—on a par with the GE

Clarion Junior

This is towards the low end of the offerings of the period, but it still seems to be well-made. This one is waiting for some new transformers to be wound. This means that it is waiting for me to finish my coil winder—but that's another story.

Resources and Services

The ultimate resource for antique and vintage radios is here: http://antiqueradios.com/  I am an active member there. The site offers a very broad selection of information, tutorials, etc., as well as links to all manner of sources of parts, repair services, etc.


Here I will offer a few tutorials on subjects that come up quite frequently.


I'll be offering a few specific services dealing with specific problems encountered—e.g. re-winding coils. I have not decided if I will take on complete restorations


I will try to link to all the resources that have helped me over the years.