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The HRSA's 30th Birthday

Australia's largest exhibition of Vintage Radios: It's on this month in Melbourne: 22-23 September at the Springvale Town Hall. We'll see you there!

by Kevin Poulter

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Two highly collectable and much-sought-after historic radios: at left is a Peter Pan bakelite...

The Historical Radio Society (HRSA) was formed by a group of vintage radio enthusiasts in 1982, led by Ray Kelly, who was a formerly  a PMG radio technician. The society’s aims were to preserve vintage radios, plus source circuits and parts.

They could never imagine their tiny group would grow to 1,200 members, one of the largest Vintage Radio Societies in the world. 

HRSA groups meet each month in major cities and regions around Australia to share and exchange information on the golden days of radio – when radio was king and the source of national plus international news, entertainment and education.

A time too, when the larger radios – and later radiograms – were the finest furniture in the home.

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...and an AWA “big brother” Empire Radio.

To attract buyers from the multitude of brands available, magnificently designed radios were manufactured, with superb mouldings in wood and Bakelite – along with creative posters, photographs and magazines.

The world’s radio factories ranged from immense – even by today’s standards (see the Atwater Kent story, SILICON CHIP, March 2012), to many tiny 1-3 man factories, or even based in home garages.

Production included radios for essential services such as the military and the HRSA members have just as diverse interest groups. Each member considers it’s vital to preserve Australia’s radio heritage, given it’s incredibly easy for people to throw out old radios.

Then they are lost forever. 

Horror stories from members remind us how fragile history can be.

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