The stunning 5-tube Synchrophase, from A. H. Grebe in Chicago, was introduced to the world in late 1924. This antique was an expensive and prestigious radio with very good performance. This unique art deco visual design has never been repeated. Each of the upper tuning dials has a corresponding fine-tuning dial below. This radio is beautiful inside and out.
Hailing from New York City, Freed-Eisemann was founded in 1921 and built some of the sturdiest radios made at the time. Their trademark bakelite front panels were very distinctive. This radio, Model 48, was exceptional for it's beauty and it's voltmeter on the front panel, used to monitor and adjust the tube filament voltage.
The Trego Radio Company was one of the first antique radio manufacturers, started in 1921, that was headed by a woman, Mrs. Nellie Trego. In addition to the Tri-Cities brand this company also made radios for Montgomery-Wards. The Tresco-X shown here is a very basic radio that uses only 1 tube, and sold for $25 in 1923.
The Reichmann-Thorola Company was an early radio manufacturer. The Model 55 shown here was an advanced radio for it's time, and sold for $115 in 1925.
Made in Chicago, this is one of the nicest radios I have. The case presented some restoration challenges due to shipping damage, but turned out fine. The interior is like new and cleaned up looking spectacular! This radio sold for $115 in 1925.
The C. D. Tuska Company in Hartford, Connecticut produced radios from 1921 through 1925. These radios are highly sought after as one of the first companies to build and sell radios in the US. It is likely they went out of business due to the 1926 recession.
Stromberg-Carlson was a major player in the telephone and telegraph industry prior to radio broadcasting. Their move into radio brought a vast amount of engineering talent to bear on this effort. The radios they produced were solid, over-engineered mechanically and good performers. The hardware on these radios will last a LONG time!
A. C. Dayton made radios from 1922 to 1929 and were probably impacted by the 1929 stock market crash, as were many other radio manufacturers. The X-L-5 shown here was made in 1925 and uses 5 tubes. Inside the radio is a paper instruction page in excellent shape.
This is the Hetro-Magnetic Super 5 radio Made by Mercury Electric Corp. I believe this was made around 1925. The model number marked on the chassis is UV1020. I can find no information on this radio so it may have been assembled from a kit or home-built.
This radio was one of the first portable "super-heterodyne" radios made. I originally bought this radio for parts but wound up restoring it. The batteries are stored in the compartments on the left and the right. This 5 tube radio uses two tuning controls. The original owner would have had paper inserts to go inside the dials to allow station marks to be made.
Crosley radios are some of my favorites. Powell Crosley began building radios after his kids showed him a "crystal set". The rest is history. These radios clearly outline a technology path that is rapid in it's transformations and implementations.
This is a beautiful little speaker from 1927. This radio was acquired on eBay in one of those lucky wins. The interior is really clean. This working speaker sounds good too. I like to hook this up to my radios to listen to them.
Powell Crosley was the "Henry Ford" of radio. His influence extended to broadcast and movies.
Moving from the telephone technology to radio, this manufacturer made solid hardware!
Big, beautiful and solid, these radios were meant to last more than one lifetime. They were there at the beginning.
Grebe built the best radios available in 1925. He built a radio station (WAHG) which later became CBS.
RCA was formed after WWI and soon became the largest radio manufacturer in the world.
Lee DeForest invented the triode vacuum tube which was the foundation for radio technology at it's birth.
Based in New York City, Freed-Eisemann produced some of the best built radios of the era.
Supreme made some of the best tech tools available which included the innovative "Diagnometer".
Two of the greatest makers of communications receivers ever. See why here!
This is a collection of beautiful radio hardware. You have to be a real tech geek to appreciate this!
My name is Steven Johannessen and I am an artist, musician, composer, web designer and an antique radio collector. One of my passions is for restoring the antique radios which you can see in this gallery. My own lifelong interest in vacuum tube technology coupled with what I have learned from working with antiques has allowed me to restore many of these fine early radios to almost new, working condition.
This website was created to showcase these beautiful old radios from the birth of broadcasting. This modest collection was started in 1997 and went online in 2007. The radio collection gallery was moved to it's current location - StevenJohannessen.com - in May 2011. Please feel free to contact me with any comments or inquiries about the collection or this website. New radios will be added to the gallery, so bookmark this site and come back again to see them. Thank you for visiting this site and for your continued support!