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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Hubby's Hobby

Many people don't know his "real" name... that's because he's often referred to as "that radio guy"! LOL! He had always enjoyed radio and tv as a child. But, it wasn't until we moved into our home in 1997, that he actually had the space to refinish, repair and tinker.

One of the radio shows we attend twice a year is in Kutztown, PA. The main building is Renninger's, where they have a farmer's market section and a section where folks have booths where they sell their goods. Some stuff is antiques and some of it is just stuff they hope someone will buy and repurpose... you get the idea! ;-) 

Anyways, about 2-3 years ago, "that radio guy" found this 1937 Philco console at one of those booths... the Lady at the booth said... 20 bucks takes it!... And so, he did!

After testing and repairing the chassis... sanding and refinishing the cabinet... cleaning up the dials and knobs... and some fine tuning... I'd say it looks fantastic! All dressed up to be a family heirloom!

This is a picture of the top of the cabinet. How can a person not find beauty in and appreciate the attention to detail that was put into these radios when they were "made"? 
This is a closer picture of the front to show the dial and the original knobs. 
And here is the chassis... the parts that make it sing! Yes, those are genuine vacuum tubes!

There are some folks out there that enjoy the sheer beauty of these radios, and place them about their homes as decorations and pieces of fine furniture. Then, there are the folks that also enjoy the unmistakable warmth in the tone of hearing it actually play their favorite radio station! Most antique radios can be restored to their original beauty and function. An important note, however... should you buy one... PLEASE have someone test the electronics BEFORE plugging it in. Age has taken it's toll on some of the electricals in some of these pieces, and plugging them in (without testing) could cause more damage to the chassis, or may even cause a fire. Local radio groups exist in every state and would be happy to help you get your radio back to the way it was "back in the day". 

Thanks for stopping by! 


  1. That is so great your husband has a hobby! He did a beautiful job on it!

  2. WOW! What a great hobby!
    The radio is a work of art. When I was a very small child (ages ago!!!) my father worked for an electronics store in Hanover, PA and he brought home out of date vacuum tubes. Don't know what happened to them...

    Thanks for sharing! Especially good warning about the wiring problems. That goes for old lamps, kitchen appliances, etc.

  3. Forgot to ask- how tall is it???

  4. Wow..I like that and I remember my Grandmother having an old radio like that.
    Thanks for the tips on having them tested before plugging them in..I wouldn't have thought of that :)

  5. Thanks for sharing. What a beautiful piece and the fact that it works. WOW!
    My brother has the old radio that my parents owned. It is huge. I'm sure it doesn't work, though.
    Pug hugs :)

  6. Wow, what an awesome job your husband did on that radio. It is beautiful! Thanks for sharing his handiwork with us. What a great hobby!!

  7. That "radio guy" is surely talented in the re-finishing department!


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