Even Shock Jocks Sound Sweet on this Vintage Shortwave Radio

Illustration for article titled Even Shock Jocks Sound Sweet on this Vintage Shortwave Radio

Classic turntables may get all the glamour, but the shortwave radio deserves a place of prominence in the home of any audiophile. For a stylish way to surf the airwaves, try this stunning late 1950s Trans-World T-9, produced by Philco (that's the Philadelphia Storage Battery Company, for those who don't like to abbreviate). Beautiful chrome knobs handle tuning, tone, and band selection, and the package comes with a world map, logbook, and twelve pages of schematics.


Its four-foot antenna can pick up tunes, blast right-wing talk radio, or catch up on the endless, mysterious recitation of Russian numbers. It runs on six 6 D batteries, so it's portable—technically speaking. But at well over twenty pounds, it's probably not the best carry-on item for your flight on Eastern Airlines.


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That's a nice one, but this is the classic radio of the '50s: the Zenith Transoceanic Royal 1000. Most other portable shortwave radios of the era are pretty much copies of this classic.