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Philco Collectible Tube Radios: Attractive and Fun

Antique tube radios are fun to collect. Not only are they evocative of the 1930s and 1940s era of families gathering around the radio for entertainment and information, but they are also attractive pieces of furniture. You can find affordable used Philco radios listed for sale on eBay in many different styles and models.

Types of Philco antique radios
  • Cathedral - Cathedral radios are also known as "beehive" midget radios. This style is named 'cathedral' because of the rounded and ornate tops of the tabletop consoles, which resembles church cathedrals.
  • Inclined sounding board - This style of console features a speaker that is mounted on a large board that is tilted upward at an angle.
  • Highboy - The highboy is a floor model with legs. Philco highboy consoles are typically not as long as the enclosed portion of the console, unlike many other highboy radio consoles.
  • Lowboy - A lowboy is another floor model with legs. The legs are shorter than those on a highboy, making it more compact.
  • Tombstone - A tombstone console is a rectangular table model that is taller than it is wide and has a flat top.
What materials are Philco tube radios made from?

Philco tube radios have been manufactured in a variety of materials over their years of production. These are some of the common materials of antique Philco tube radios you will see for sale on eBay:

  • Wood
  • Plaskon (plastic)
  • Bakelite (plastic)
  • Catalan (plastic)
  • Beetle (plastic)
Model number nomenclature of Philco Tube Radios

Most Philco radio models have a five-digit model number. The first two digits signify the year the set was manufactured, and the numbers after the hyphen are the model.

Where can I find the model number of a Philco Tube Radio?

Philco radios made in 1928 have a metal tag with the model number, and the tag is attached to an aluminum shield. If the shield is missing, there will be no other identification on the radio. Models made between 1929 and 1932 have the model number located on a large gold label which has "PHILCO RADIO" at the top of the label. The model number is located underneath it.

Vintage Philco radios made from 1933 through 1934 and a few models made through 1936 continued to use a gold label, which was smaller than previously and was attached at the back of the console. Philco began using a small blue sticker with white letters in 1935. These stickers had the words "CHASSIS TYPE" followed by the model number. In 1938, Philco began placing the model number as a stamp on the back of the console.

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