Retro clock radio
A complete guide to vintage clock radio buying and collecting
Modern clock radios are a product of a long process of practical evolution.
When radios became a common home appliance in many households, it did not take long for industrial designers to apply innovative features on them, which paved the way to the original designs of clock radios to materialize.
When early models of clock radios were available in the market, they immediately became a hit to many consumers.
They simply loved clock radios for their great advantages. They were not just a source of information and entertainment, but also a great help to keep them on time.
Who invented the clock radio?
It was not very clear who first thought of the idea of incorporating the clock into the radio. But the first known inventor who said to have utilized the idea was the French designer, Raymond Loewy, in 1931.
Loewy successfully integrated his clock design into a radio for Westinghouse Company.
The result was what he called the Skycraper clock-radio imitators, a 54-inch tall Columaire Jr.
What is retro clock radio?
Today, when we think of retro clock radio, the picture that comes to mind is an old-school portable radio set with a clock, usually battery powered. The first vintage clock radio as we know it today was designed by James F. Reynolds in 1940s.
Reynolds had not only combined the clock and the radio, but he was also the first who put an alarm system on it.
As with the common alarm clocks during that time, which were too loud that they could rouse the heaviest sleeper with a sudden jolt, clock designers tried to come up with an idea of making a clock that would feature a gradual wake alarm.
In 1950s, Herbert Merrill Dimond had finally figured out the issue by inventing the clock radio that first featured the snooze alarm.
At present, both vintage collectors and savvy buyers would prefer to buy retro clock radio for its classic design – a great reminiscent of its glorious past.
Noted retro clock radio makers
Due mainly to its strong claim to have first manufactured the first retro clock radio in history, the Westinghouse Electric Corporation is on the top among popular vintage clock radio makers.
Westinghouse’s antique clock radio models are sought after by collectors worldwide.
Other notable vintage clock radio makers also include G.E., Hallicrafters, TIMCO, Zenith, Trav-ler, Sparton, Bose Wave, Timex, and SuperSonic.
Antique and trendy retro clock radio collectibles
If you are into antique clock radio collecting, try then to find a rare Columaire Jr designed by Westinghouse, a Zenith model AM/FM clock radio, or a GE Tombstone Clock Radio.
Or if you seek for trendier retro-style clock radio, your sure bet are the Bose Wave, Timex, Audiovox, Coby, GBX, SuperSonic, Revo, and Crosley. Depending on the range of your budget, you can surely find a good model that is just right for you.
One great example, which you can see in the picture, is a singularly trendy and flashy retro-looking clock radio that has a built-in system that allows you to charge your Apple iPod.