We recently stumbled upon a gold mine of beautifully made videos showcasing antique radios and their paths to complete restoration. One such treasure trove of vintage radio restoration videos is the YouTube Channel "Restore Old Radios" operated by tube junkie Don demonstrates his creativity by using Versimold to repair a drive belt used in the tuning condenser of a Zenith 5S29 tube radio.
(Photo credit: ElectronicProducts.com)
The Zenith 5-S-29 was introduced in 1935 at a retail price of $39.95 - a whopping $694 in 2016 dollars! Obviously this was a luxury item for households that wanted the latest and greatest in an emerging technology so manufacturers ensured that their products were packed with reliable components and the cabinets were an expression of modern Art Deco styling.
(Photo credit: TubeRadioLand.com)
Surprisingly, vacuum tube technology in radios had a very long lifespan, enjoying popularity for over 50 years since their adoption in the marketplace. Today, we've surpassed conventional radio technology in our homes and cars, favoring satellite radio that can stream almost crystal clear signals with little interruption. Still though, there are those in the world that continue to admire the beauty of admittedly obsolete technology that helped shape our modern world by transmitting the stories that affected us so intimately and made our planet just a little bit smaller. Antique radio restoration for these folks isn't just about a personal hobby, but like archeologists and historians, they are preserving history, ensuring that our past isn't drowned out by the inevitable tsunami of semiconductors and smartphones.
Check out Don's playlist documenting his journey in restoring a vintage Zenith 5S29 tube radio: