Antique Emerson Radios



2015-06-26 11:16:07

Antique Emerson Radios are original radios produced by the Emerson Radio Corporation.

History and Description

Emerson Radio Corporation was renamed Emerson Phonograph Company in 1915 and the first factories were opened in Boston and Chicago in 1920.

In the same year, following competition from commercial radio, it went into recievership.

In 1922 it was sold to Benjamin Abrams, and went into radio manufacture, renamed Emerson Radio & Phonograph Corporation in 1924. Emerson introduced the first radio-phonograph combination, but the company remained obscure until 1932 when it produced the "pee-wee" radio. The company converted to military production from 1941 for the duration of World War 2.

Emerson is credited with producing the prototypes for the self-powered radio, clock radio, and transistorized pocket radio.

Guide For Collectors

Emerson radios were highly thought of because of the innovatations which the company spearheaded.

In contrast to some radio manufacturers who continued to produce radios incorporated into high quality, expensive pieces of furniture, Emerson saw a rise in sales during the Depression, thanks to a policy of producing small, affordable sets.

They also produced novelty models. This enabled them to tap into the market at the period where commercial radio became widely popular. Tubes, circuits and other components are available for sale online, along with expert advice for restoration.

The Classic Radio Gallery website carries an index of antique radios linking to photographs which may be of use for prospective buyers to identify specific models. gives a wealth of information for the collector and enthusiast, including tips on restoration.


  • A yellow Bakelite Tombstone Emerson Radio was sold by Hartzell's Auction Gallery, Inc. for $1100 in October 2008.
  • An Emerson Mickey Mouse Radio was sold by Philip Weiss Auctions for $1000 July 2006.
  • An Emerson Disney Mickey Mouse Radio was sold by Morphy Auctions for $1300 December 2007.
  • An Emerson Transistor (the world's first pocket radio) was sold by Affiliated Auctions for $100 in August 2008.
  • A Snow White Radio by Emerson was sold by Showtime Auction Services for $600 in October 2008.
  • An Emerson art deco tabletop radio was sold by Clars Auction Gallery for $225 in May 2008.
  • An early US 'Emerson Radio & Phonograph Corporation' radio was sold by Davidson Auctions for AU$500 in March 2007.
  • An Emerson 'Aristocrat' Catilin Radio was sold by Fairfield Auction, LLC for $400 in May 2001.
  • An Emerson Mickey Mouse Radio was sold by Morphy Auctions for $1000 in December 2007.
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