Paul Litwinovich

WSHU Chief Engineer, author of Vintage Radio series

Paul caught the radio bug as a child. By age 12, he had taught himself the basics of vacuum tube theory.  He began repairing old, discarded radio sets, the kind that we now call vintage sets.  He loved listening, too, to local programs, DJs who picked their own music, talk shows designed to inform, not shock the listener.  But his favorite listening was to short wave radio, with its magic of music and programming from all around the world.

Hobby led to career.  Paul was a design engineer and engineering manager in the broadcast industry  for 14 years before coming to WSHU in 1990.  He holds an FCC commercial radio license, and an extra class Amateur radio license. And, oh yes, he's still restoring and collecting vintage radio sets, for more than 45 years now, and counting.  

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Vintage Radio
2:53 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Farewell To An Old Friend

The 1920s Radio Shack logo.
Credit Posted to Pinterest, contributor unknown.

With all of the publicity given to RadioShack, its bankruptcy, and possible reorganization in the past few months, I decided that it was only fitting to take a look at the electronic retailer’s long and interesting history.

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Vintage Radio
1:07 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

From The Mailbag

D Clearfield Deluxe TRF-6-RC .
Credit Gary of Rockaway, N.J. Used with permission.

I received many comments about last month’s Trans-oceanic article, mostly about the fond memories from past owners of the radios, and a few questions about them as well. In addition, Gary of Rockaway, N.J., shared this picture of his Clearfield glass dealer’s display radio and a short story of how he obtained it.

Gary writes:

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History Of Portable Radios, Part 2
12:39 pm
Fri March 27, 2015

Zenith Trans-Oceanic, The "Royalty of Radios"

Zenith Model 7G605, the first in the line of Trans-Oceanic radios.
Credit P. Litwinovich collection.

Last month, we took a look at the beginnings of what would be the age of connectivity on the go, the battery portable radio. This month I'll feature a line of battery powered tube radios that brought the technology to its pinnacle. The Zenith Trans-Oceanic series of shortwave portables would stretch from 1941 through 1982, with tube models produced until 1963. The radios performed so well, and became so popular, that they earned the nickname "The Royalty of Radios."

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Portable Radios, Part 1
12:27 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

You Can Take It With You

Edwin Armstrong’s homemade portable radio, circa 1923.
Credit Columbia University, Wikipedia, and others, photographer unknown.

In today’s age of mobile devices we can hardly imagine being on the go and not being connected at the same time. It was not always the case. As soon as radio became popular with the masses, the desire for portability, and hence the ability to stay in touch with what was going on in the world from anywhere became a priority. It was however, not a goal that would be easily achieved with 1920s era technology.

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Vintage Radio
4:01 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Catalin: The Crown Jewel Of Table Radios

Motorola 50-XC, circa 1940.
Credit P. Litwinovich collection

As the country emerged from the Great Depression, and with war looming on the horizon, Americans were looking for something to cheer them up. The radio industry answered with Catalin cabinet radios. Catalin is a brand name for the popular thermosetting polymer developed by the American Catalin Corporation in the 1930s. It is an early plastic made from phenol formaldehyde resins. Early on, radio manufacturers had sought an economical replacement for costly wood cabinets.

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