Toy Crystal Radios Volume One--the complete photo guide to collectible models

Perhaps the funniest book in this series, the text in this book was no doubt inspired by the sheer fun of the radios themselves. There’s some goofball radio theory in here, purporting to answer the question, “just what is a crystal radio anyhow?” And some true confessions from my highly-ordinary middle-American youth.

The radios in this book are grouped in three basic categories: Pocket models, Rockets & Space, and Everything Else. Many in the latter category are what are called “novelties,” which, to me, means a radio that tries to look like something else—a pen, a watch, a plane. An interesting sub-group among the novelties are the crystal sets that look like miniature table radios.

History tells us that the first radios were crystal radios. Beginning in the 1920s, amplifiers were added to radios to make them loud enough to power speakers. But the crystal set survived, mainly as a toy, in the ’30s and beyond. That’s what this book is about and if all this sounds curious and interesting to you, visit to get a copy.

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