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Welcome to the New Zealand Vintage Radio reference site.

Our mission is to photo-catalogue as many NZ-designed, manufactured and distributed valve radios (that's tube radios for our American visitors) as possible, preserving them for future generations while also providing a handy reference for restorers and enthusiasts.

Alongside this will be the history of those pioneering manufacturers and brands, some of them on the cutting edge of technological innovation in the radio field.

100 Years of broadcasting in New Zealand!

100 years ago on the 17th of November 1921, Professor Robert Jack, supported by technicians John Sutherland and Edgar Finlayson, fired up the mic at the University of Otago. Not much is remembered of what is now recognised as the first 'official' radio broadcast in New Zealand, but the song "Hello My Dearie" was played.

Here is some information on the man behind the mic, and the founder of 'Radio Dunedin' (the fifth-oldest radio station in the world!), which still exists today on 1305AM - and FM, but nobody uses that fandangled technology... 😉)

NZ History: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/people/robert-jack
About Robert (Robbie) Jack: https://teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/4j1/jack-robert
Radio New Zealand, brief history of Radio in NZ: https://www.rnz.co.nz/collections/resounding-radio/the-story-of-radio-in-nz-1921-1996

MODEL IN THE SPOTLIGHT

An Army Education Welfare Service
radio built during WWII to help retrain
soldiers for civilian life.

Every now and then we'll update this with a model that is worth a look for one reason or another. Either because its famous, its interesting, or because we did a lot of work researching it and we'd just love to show off that work.

Much of the information we have has come from restorers and collectors, from the NZVRS and from old periodicals / newspapers (a special thanks to the team behind PapersPast) - and from the incredible books written by the late John W. Stokes - The Golden Age of Radio in the Home and More Golden Age of Radio.

A very special thankyou goes to the New Zealand Vintage Radio Society who strive to keep the knowledge and passion for these radios alive. If you're not a member then please consider joining. Membership has its privileges.

A quick note on images: Many of our vintage radios are becoming hard to find let alone photograph. The images on this site have been assembled from various sources including private and public collections, the web, and online auction sites. It is not our intention to ever 'steal' photos, however if you find a photo that belongs to you then please contact the site admin for attribution, modification or removal.

IMPORTANT: We need your help - information on manufacturers and radios, schematics, photos... if you have anything to contribute please do. If you can email it, then send it to the site admin