Some Things You May Like to Know About Vintage Radios

Working or Non-Working?

Radio Health and Safety Warning – Old radios carry high-voltage current that can cause injury or death.  Unless you know what you’re doing, don’t plug in, switch on or poke about with a vintage radio, especially if it’s been languishing in a shed or attic for decades.

P1070903The design and potential state of the wiring puts you at risk of a serious electric shock. Sorry to start with a downer but we do want you to stay safe.  Whilst a restored radio may cost more than a non-working model, factor in the sourcing and replacing of parts and the time and expertise that’s gone into its restoration. All Wayne’s Radios are safety-tested and sound-checked before they leave the workshop. If you go with a prop, it may look pretty good, but trust me, you’re only getting half the enjoyment.  You want it to be safe and sound good. Only buy a non-working radio if you only want to look at it.


Designed by Robin Day

Designed by Robin Day

How Much Will it Be Worth?  To a serious collector, the value of a vintage radio could be high, depending on the scarcity, age, design, and overall condition. Some sets are sought after because they were the first of their kind, the last ones remaining, manufactured in small numbers or can be identified as designed by specific designers.


To the rest of us?

Although not measured in pounds, the value of a vintage radio can be so much more.

tumblr_my3gy0behe1rgdasjo1_1280Beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder and if you like the look of it, it sounds good, it’s within budget and it fits in with your style, it’s the radio for you and, to you, will be worth a bomb. People become very emotionally attached to their radios.


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Which One Should I Choose?

Early radio cabinets were made of wood and relied on the skill and craftsmanship of the cabinet maker to produce a good looking radio.  If you’re after a classic or traditional look from the thirties to the fifties, there’s plenty to choose from. Table top or floor-standing. If you’ve got the room, go the whole hog and get a radiogram.


What about Bakelite?

To some people, a vintage radio can only mean bakelite. The development of polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride, to give it its technical name, made more sophisticated moulded cabinet designs possible and brought some colour to the world of radio. P1070895Bakelite is strong, of its time and has properties well suited to the job of housing hot valves and wiring. The downside is it’s brittle and less likely to survive a knock. Oh and bakelite tends to come in any colour, as long as it’s brown or cream.


P1090642

But What if I Need Some Colour in my life?

The brightly-coloured radios in this country tend to be painted. Go for one of our radio rescues. Colourful Catalin or plastic radios exist but suggest an import.


Or If I Want Something A Bit Different?

Radio cabinet designs are distinctly different from country to country. It’s usually easy to spot if a radio isn’t British, particularly if it’s an American or European model. American radios resemble American cars.  Think industrial, chrome and grilles.  Whilst French radios were heavily influenced by art nouveau with colourful curvy lines.

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familial1


 

Not Different Enough?


A Wayne’s Radio Art-attacked radio could be just the thing you’re looking for. Finished with ephemera and vintage images sourced from damaged and distressed books to give you a one-of-a-kind radio and piece of art.P1090036


How much would a vintage radio cost?

All depends on your personal specification and budget.  A high-end brand or model will always cost more. As a rule of thumb, if it cost a lot when new it will sell at a premium today as the electronics and cabinet production were the best available at that time and you will be getting the best-looking and best-sounding machine for that era. Prices for a restored working or modified radio range are based largely on size and era.  The older it is, and the bigger it is, the more it’s likely to cost you. Prices range from as little as £80 to over £300.

P1090138If a good looker is most important to you, you can go for a complete restoration with restored cabinet or, if you prefer you can choose one of our upcycled or paint finished radios. Don’t worry, back in the day, radios were produced in their thousands so there are still plenty out their for the purists to get hold of and, if you’re choosing one of of our funked-up radios, you can rest assured it was so tatty, badly damaged or dangerous when we originally found it, it was destined for landfill.  We love radios.  Any radios of real historical interest are left well alone.  Just take a look at our signature radio before its transformation and you can see exactly what we mean.  We rescue radios.

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We keep vintage radios

looking good and staying useful in our modern digital world.

 

25 comments

  1. macingosh · April 6, 2013

    As a longtime radio- AND vintage-design addict, I absolutely love your blog. Keep on keepin on! Best regards from Munich

    • waynesradios · April 7, 2013

      Thank you very much for your kind words and encouragement.

      • catherine wilde · November 1, 2014

        My husband has an old Ferguson radiogram circa 1950 in working order. Have you any ideas on where we might sell it…he doesn’t want to put it on eBay. It is in excellent cond…we also have no idea of its value today…..any ideas help would be appreciated…perhaps you could reply to the email address

  2. letouzel · May 20, 2013

    Hello and thank you for popping over to my blog. I love all things Vintage and think you are doing a great job! I will add you to my blog roll Regards Kazz (Lé Touzel)

  3. LondonUnveiled.com · June 28, 2013

    thanks for visiting and following my blog – Its great to get exposure to yours too.
    All the best, Ian.

    • waynesradios · June 28, 2013

      We often visit London and it’s good to know what to look out for.

  4. Debbie · September 27, 2013

    Do you have a shop?

    • waynesradios · September 27, 2013

      Hi Debbie. We sometimes have radios in Heather Brae in Shropshire or Henry Gregory Antiques Portobello Road, but more usually people just like something they see on here or on our facebook page, or ask for a radio that is a certain size or era and we look some out from our collection and send some pictures for them to choose from. .http://www.heatherbraeshropshire.co.uk/
      http://henrygregoryantiques.com/

  5. Gill Baker · October 27, 2013

    Hello Wayne,
    Can I send you a radio I own already for conversion? It is a Radio Rentals Bakelite valve radio, from the late 50s I think.
    Thanks, Gill

    • waynesradios · October 27, 2013

      Hi Gill
      Yes we can do a radio you own, if it is suitable for conversion. Email us the Make and Model number and we can find out if it is suitable and let you know a price.
      email waynesradios@gmail.com

  6. ian · December 2, 2013

    At last! I’m not crazy after all (mwah hah haaah hahhh etc…)
    OK, so at least I’m not alone after all.
    I have a modest (the missus thinks its large) number of 50s-70s Hacker/Bush/Roberts converted for MP3/DAB/Podcast replay. Look and sound better than any MP3 black box docking station.
    Keep spreading the word.
    Bille Holiday is best served via Bakelite!

    • waynesradios · December 10, 2013

      Couldn’t agree more

      • waynesradios · January 24, 2014

        Hi Ian
        Sorry for the delay in replying to you. If you could email some photographs and some information about the condition, how much you would like for the radio and where you are based we can let our customer know and we’ll get back to you. waynesradios@gmail.com

        Many Thanks

        Maddie

  7. Brian Gray · January 21, 2014

    I have an ECKO AD37 dated 1936, is it of any interest for you to buy

    • waynesradios · February 7, 2014

      Sorry about the delay Brian. Have only just got back to wordpress today.

      How much would you want for the radio and where are you based? You could email us with some more info and pics waynesradios@gmail.com or are we too late?

  8. sixpixx · August 24, 2014

    A whole blog site about radios… I LOVE the internet. Thanks for popping by and liking my photos.

    • waynesradios · August 25, 2014

      It’s a pleasure. The only problem is rationing the time spent looking at stuff to make sure there’s still time to do stuff. Thanks.

      • sixpixx · August 25, 2014

        Too true… It does suck you in some days and before you know it, you’ve lost half a day.

  9. michael · August 26, 2014

    After a recent visit to Romania, I can source lots of 40’s 50’s Soviet produced radios. Are these popular?

    • waynesradios · August 27, 2014

      Hi Michael
      Wayne has no knowledge of Soviet radios and is not sure how easy it would be to find the schematics and parts for them but is always interested in a radio! Why not email waynesradios@gmail.com with information about where you’re based, maybe a couple of pictures of examples and how much you think they would cost or how you think this arrangement might work. Thanks

  10. Rachel Burr · November 22, 2014

    Hi there. I just entered a question on your Facebook page and would love to have some information on a radio I just purchased. It is a Perth which is made in London England. I attached pictures. I have not been able to find anything at all. Could you help me?? Here is what i know… Perth Radios LTD. Model Riveria. Serial number RGI 25057. Thank you for your help! Rachel Burr

    • waynesradios · November 23, 2014

      Hi there Rachel. We’ll do a little research and see if we can find out any information about your radio and get back to youl

      • waynesradios · November 23, 2014

        I’ve sent you a message via facebook with what information I can find.

  11. Ashley Lily Scarlett · January 8, 2015

    A cool endeavour, to be sure.

    • waynesradios · January 8, 2015

      Thank you for your kind words. It’s nice to know there’s someone out there.

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