Antique radios - page 2& Co., Davidson Hayes Mfg. Co., U.S. Radio & Television Corp. and perhaps a few other companies. Only Sears "Silvertone" radios were sold in larger quantities by mail order.
Not all of the brand names are as well known. Gilfillan Co. was formed as a smelting and refining company and started making and selling radio parts in 1922. From 1924 to 1948, they produced complete radios and became the largest radio manufacturer on the west coast.
That brief list does not include these other fine, old, and well-known brand names: Admiral, Crosley, Belmont, Emerson, GE, Hallicrafters, Magnavox, Philco, Philips, Raytheon, Stewart-Warner, and Trav-ler. Any radio with these names, and many more, would be a nice addition to an antique radio collection.
Amateur radios, also called ham radios, are a special field of collecting that the average hobbyist shies away from. Another special area includes military radios as used by ground troops, aircraft, and ships, etc. They even had their own club - The Military Radio Collectors Group. Both of these special areas are not as popular as the home radios, but some people find them quite interesting and many collections of home-type radios will include a few.
Whether you are new to the hobby, or an old-timer, a book of values can help avoid the mistake of buying an old radio you think is worth a great deal and then discovering it has little value. Don't forget that old radios, like most collectible items, usually increase in value from one year to the next. There are many available, but two popular books are the Complete Guide to Antique Radios: Tabletop,, by Mark V. Stein (Radiomania Pub., 2001). Another by the same author is The Complete Guide to Antique Radios: Pre-war Consoles, (Radiomania Pub., 2000). Another popular book is the Collector's Guide to Antique Radios by John Slusser and the staff of Radio Daze. Most collectors will eventually want to attempt some repairs, so the Antique Radio Restoration Guide by David Johnson (Wallace-Homestead Book Co., 1992) might help you prevent a headache or two.
There may be a local club in your area. One of the best national organizations is the National Radio Club, Inc. You can reach them at P.O. Box 5711, Topeka, Kansas 66605. Some clubs even specialize in a specific brand name, but they are too numerous to list.
You don't have to have extensive knowledge of radios to enjoy this hobby. A few cheap radios from your local flea market or yard sale will get you started, and some could turn out to be valuable.
by Robert A. Rinker