Zenith 5-S-319 Restoration - Before Zenith 5-S-319 Restoration - After

The antique radios shown on this site either are or have been in my personal collection. Some left before I began posting them here. Others are not yet to the point where I wish to display them. I have rarely purchased a radio in good condition for one reason: I love to bring radios back from the dead, rescued from the trash heap and returned to their former glory. The Zenith 5-S-319 above is one example though some of those pictured on this site were far worse. I try to recreate the "when it was new" experience with 50-75 year old radios. My experience has covered the full range from small plastic radios to a Sparton Nocturne. A Ham Radio operator at 14 and an electronic technician for over 40 years, restoration of antique radios became my passion.

If a radio has a finish or covering that is in excellent condition, I will only clean and polish it but will also clean and polish brass, chrome and plastic parts that will make it look as new as possible. (Some restorers prefer the "aged" look on the brass but in most cases, I don't think the brass looked 50 years old when it was new so I polish it.) If the finish or covering is badly worn, I will completely refinish or recover the set trying to maintain the original look as best I can. Many collectors may disagree with my philosophy, but to me an antique radio that doesn't work is not nearly as attractive or desirable as one that does. I update the electronics by adding new polarized cords at the expense of originality, replace all electrolytic and paper capacitors whether they are still operating or not and always replace selenium rectifiers with newer silicon diodes for one reason: an unrestored set is not safe to operate. The design of many of these old sets made electrocution possible simply by plugging the set in backwards. 50 to 75 year old capacitors and selenium rectifiers are fire hazards. If it is not going to have the electronics restored, the plug should be cut off for safety.

The radios are categorized first by Manufacturer and then by Model and available using the links below.