Since I was a kid I have enjoyed looking at the old radios as they glowed and had that warm sound. My first experience with these radios was while they still made tube radio’s which of course makes me feel a bit old but hey, in 1966 we got a TV, it wasn’t color but we got one! I actually have a set now that’s very similar to the set my parents bought and it even works! This is a 1957 RCA Victor, we bought it to watch old Twilight Zone’s and other old programs.
I for some reason don’t have a picture of the radio that sparked my interest in antique radios (on this computer anyway) but I found one that’s similar. It was the radio that my Grandmother had purchased in the late 50’s and I listened to radio shows known today as “Old Time Radio” but back then there were still shows being played live, soon after they all went off the air CBS would air shows on “Radio Mystery Theater” and so would WGN. This is the little radio I would huddle up to when we visited my Grandparents. Her radio was more of a tan color, but you get the idea.
When my Grandmother died the radio was lost so a few years back I went searching on eBay and found a bunch of them. I bought 6 of them and restored them as best I could and gave each family member one to remember Mormor (translated, mothers mother). Their faces lit up and they loved these little radios and they all still use them today. When my Mom died I received her radio and I’ll be holding onto that one until the day I die.
My first real antique radio came from a collection I purchased from a co-worker who had been let go at a company I worked for. They were letting people go because the company was for sale, anyway, his bad luck was my good luck. If I remember correctly I bought the entire collection for less than $100.00. Most of the radios were junk and this radio you see here was so filthy I almost said no to the deal, it was almost white with grime. Knowing it didn’t work didn’t help much either but I also figured he needed the money so I bought them. The radio is a Howard Model O or 0, not sure which because there is literally nothing about this radio anywhere. I have almost every guide and book about most all radios but this one gets no mention, so either it’s worth a lot, or not much. Who cares, we love it.
It turns out the radio is gorgeous! It took me the better part of a whole day cleaning the scum off and then polishing it up to what you see here. Original finish with just a few chips in the front. I have since had the electronics restored and it’s the one radio we will never get rid of. So for a few years this was all that was on display at our house, along with a few smaller radios.
In 2004 while on a trip to Minnesota we found a store dedicated to selling antique radio’s and radio memorabilia. we found this radio, a 1938 Zenith 12S267, expensive even in its day and ridiculous expensive today. We bought it, of course with every intention of keeping it forever.
Soon after I bought it I wanted to hear radio programs from the same era the radio was built. What to do? Build an AM radio station of course!
I figured while I was at it I might as well go AM and FM so I built an FM transmitter antenna to go with the FM transmitter, go big or go home right? I also built a computer and added a mixer so I could transmit from different sources, all at the legal limit. It looks different now but you get the gist.
So now I could hear music on either AM or FM and the entire house could pick up whatever old time radio I was broadcasting. I often set it up so it would broadcast for days, mixing in news broadcasts from the times and even WWII broadcasts. I was working from home more often then so I could enjoy it while working. Then I added a new hobby, HAM radio, as you can see I was busy. We drove to Dayton Ohio and on May 17th 2008 after studying all night, literally we headed over to the Dayton Hamvention and I passed the test that day.
As you can see my head was so filled with other things we completely forgot about camping and RV’s. Since my mother died Nov 29th 2009 my perspective on life has changed, actually, our perspective has changed, what was important to us before isn’t so much anymore. I was living to work instead of working to live and enjoying life. My hobbies were as I look back, selfish and didn’t include my wife even though she gave me her blessing. More so because she knows my mind, it’s doing 500 mph all the time, these hobbies helped. What they also did was take us further into debt, helping out family did as well, some things that can’t be said here did more damage but we are at where we are at and are now moving towards living life again and giving up some of the trappings that are keeping us hostage to the credit card companies and material things.
This may have been TMI for some people and that’s ok, that’s what the close window button is for right? For others it may explain my postings a bit, I tend to ramble, sometimes repeat subjects and maybe even sometimes whine a bit (stop agreeing with me!! ) but as a buddy of mine says, I’m just Erik trying to be Erik (he says it with his Indian accent and a funny look on his face, gotta love him). Till next time…