Jack’s Journal: Collecting Radios

He was born loving ham radio’s ability to connect with the world.  He went to college and learned the technical ins and outs, and a career in radio engineering was established.  He then began the long process of finding, buying, repairing and collecting old radios.

 “It was of interest, I just kept buying one right after the other for a number of years.  Looking back now about 50 years.  So I’ve got a lot of radios,” said radio collector Jack Lieschman.

About 1000 to give you an idea! In the beginning, radios where part of the living room furniture, eventually getting smaller.  The oldest were made of wood, with large cabinets and they had personality.

“Absolutely, the first radios were all handmade, because there were no commercial manufacturers. Most were in wooden boxes!  It wasn’t until maybe the 30’s.  Then BakeLite or Catalin came around.  Then they could mold designs into the cases,” said Jack.

Yes all shapes and sizes, and dials and faces. Jack collects lots of broadcast odds and ends, but radios are his favorite. They are displayed all throughout the house.

Sometime in the 50s, radios grew legs and became smaller.  The term transistor radio became the way to describe the small portable radios. Those too came in every shape and size, and the changes continue.

“Since that period of time, the technology has just exploded.  You can put a radio inside a birthday card!”