I have collected radios since about 1984, but there has always been at least one of these in the house for as long as I can remember. Personally, I love the richness of the woods, the glow of the dials, and the rich sounds of the speakers. As I see it, these radios are one of the few things out there built specifically to be magical. Imagine what it must have been like: The family would gather around after dinner, dim the lights, flip the switch and watch this thing begin to glow and speak to them from faraway places. Nothing like it had ever really existed. It told them stories, it gave them news, it played music. TV, for whatever reason, never pulled off this sensation. Maybe it takes less imagination than radio, maybe it was just that in TV, the image is everything, so the packaging almost always left something to be desired. It's hard to say.

Usually, at any flea market, there are a couple of old beater radio sets that look as if the cat has been using it as a scratching post since about 1956. One looks at these and says, "Gads (or something to that effect), what sucker is going to buy THAT?" That would be me. I usually buy the really rancid ones (because they're generally cheap) and do what I can to restore some semblance of their former dignity. I match the colours and finishes to the best of my ability, and if I can't get them running, I know people who can. My partners in crime are my father, who has done much to shield me from my mother's influence, (what do you want THAT for?) and my friend Dan. Between them, there is little electronically that cannot be fixed. My responsibility is basic electronics and cabinet rebuilding.

I have a fondness for Canadian-designed and made sets. Unfortunately, these are very hard to ever find in the guides, most of which are American. Even US companies which had branch plants up here tended to produce Canadian model numbers, so it's hard to even find equivalent US numbers. I have never been as fond of the early plastic sets, but having seen some of the Catalin sets, I understand why people are obsessed with them.

Over the years, I have worked on over 50 models, though a lot of them are no longer in the collection. Many have gone as wedding or Christmas gifts, others in trades, and a handful I have even sold. These pictures represent a small portion of those that have come and sometimes gone. They have been divided up into various sections to give the whole thing some semblance of order.  At the very bottom is the "project" - one of the nastiest repairs I've ever undertaken.

(click for a list of individual sets)
A-RCA    Rog-Z
A-M   N-Se   Sp-Z
back to starting page
home page