A display of antique radios recently graced the Auditorium courtesy of Assistant Director of Nursing Sandy Young and her husband, Bryan Spacek. The collection featured beautiful tube radios from the ‘20s, ‘30s, and ‘40s. Bryan had brands from Philco to Zenith, old military radios, 30-foot antennas, generators, rare brands like Truvox, tube testing equipment…the list goes on and on. These were truly interesting products from a unique time in history.
Bryan said he had gotten into tube electronics as a teenager and has been fascinated with it ever since. After admiring the radios, I could see why. They were all so different; some had beautiful decorations, and they came in so many different shapes and sizes. One small and portable radio from the 1930s needed a 90-volt battery to run it (which, according to Bryan you can’t find anymore…so he rigged up his own 90-volt contraption using 10 different 9-volt batteries). There were also a few that were the size of refrigerators!
Bryan had a number of kit radios, which became extremely popular around this time. Kit radios came in pieces and you put it together yourself and often built your own case. According to Bryan, many radios at this time cost about as much as a new car does today! Kit radios provided a radio for about half the price….oh, how the times have changed.