It's hard to imagine now, but not so long ago people had no immediate connection to the outside world. With a home radio, suddenly they did. It's no wonder people gathered around it to hear the latest news, music, and entertainment. Families danced, laughed, and cried together, or sat rapt with attention to world events. And with their lovely polished walnut cabinets, chrome knobs, and glowing dials with airplane wing needles, vintage radios were just as magical when they were turned off.
Radios today, like everything else, have become a diversion, a way to get away from everything else by plugging your ears with little buds and tuning out instead of in. People miss what they used to have: a sense of connection in a world surrounded by beauty.
Powel Crosley Jr. got his start in radio in the early 1920s by figuring out how to make good ones affordably. Today, Crosley Radio and companies like it are drawing upon the rich history of radio production to make vintage radios with the beauty of yesteryear but the advanced technology of today. Modern electronics sound better, and speakers last far longer, but these vintage cabinets have a beauty that's worth gathering around.
What we loved about old radios was the burnished wood and the big center eye that glowed amber like life itself. It felt good to turn fat pearly knobs, tuning in that perfect reception. Radio sounds warmer through tweedy fabric speaker covers. These are the qualities to look for in a vintage radio.
By sneaking modern technology inside the radio, we don't have to put up with scratchy sound, torn speakers, and bad reception. Modern radio guts run cooler, are far safer, and last longer. If you're a purist with a practical side, you can even get a vintage radio that plays cassettes and CDs, too.
It's all about connecting, remember? So naturally, satellite reception is the latest thing in vintage radios. If the 170 XM radio stations plus your local AM/FM stations aren't enough for you, you can plug in your iPod or MP3 player. All that in a big, beautiful wooden box with lots of chrome and fat knobs and glowing dials. Just the way you like it.