Radios

The first radios used wireless telegraphy to send audio signals in Morse code. In the late 1890s, these radios were used by ships to improve ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communication. Aviation began to experiment with radio around 1910, and during World War I, radio was used as a communication tool by the military. It was after World War I, during the '20s, that radios began to appear in private homes and radio broadcasting stations were developed for the public.

During the '20s and '30s, radio became a leading source of information and entertainment for the public. The importance of radio grew during World War II when governments relied on it to relay news and propaganda to their citizens. The entertainment provided on radio also began to change during World War II from serial programs to music. Today, the radio is a source for popular music and special-interest talk shows.

Early radios were nothing more than glass tubes mounted on a board. Later, the tubes were encased in metal or wooden boxes. By the '20s, radios became more elaborate, with radio cabinets constructed of wood in elaborate styles to make each radio look like a piece of furniture. Early plastics such as Bakelite became a popular exterior for radios during the '30s and '40s.


Quick Facts

  • Antique radios can be identified by the model number, which includes a combination of letters and numbers. The name and model number is usually stamped somewhere on the inner components of an antique radio
  • The first commercially-successful car radio was produced by the Galvin brothers in 1930. In an effort to identify their product as a motorized Victrola, they branded the radio Motorola
  • The first transistor radio available to the public was the Regency TR-1, produced in a joint effort between Texas Instruments and Industrial Development Engineering Associates. It appeared on the market in 1954

Recommended Items at Auction

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Those Vintage Years of Radio by John Snagge and Michael Barsley hardback book with dust cover 247
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Those Vintage Years of Radio by John Snagge and Michael Barsley hardback book with dust cover 247
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COX P-47 Thunderbolt Airplane 3 Channel Radio Con
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DEMON DRUM. CIRCA 1900. VINTAGE RADIO KING ORCHESTRA DRUM H...
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Radio console, Germany, 60s/70s,
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bp parity badge
1 RADIO + 5 OGGETTI DI VARIO TIPO
Oct 21, 9:00 PM CEST
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6 Extra Large Sound of Philadelphia Radio Posters
Oct 26, 10:00 AM EDT
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bp parity badge
Ducati Reflex Housing OR 4401/1
Oct 30, 10:00 AM CEST
Ducati Reflex Housing OR 4401/1
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Est: 2,800 kr- 3,400 kr
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CAROL CHANNING SIGNED VONS CLUB CARD & RADIO SHACK CARD
Oct 21, 9:00 AM PDT
CAROL CHANNING SIGNED VONS CLUB CARD & RADIO SHACK CARD
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Est: $25- $50
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Sellers Who Sell Radios


Lettieri Auction & Appraisal

Lettieri Auction & Appraisal

Apple Tree Auction Center

Apple Tree Auction Center

Auction Team Breker

Auction Team Breker