Top positive review
7 people found this helpful
An excellent book
on 4 January 2010
Author Tony Thompson is an established writer on vintage radio, and this book is certainly a fine example of his craft. Hardbound and superbly illustrated throughout with full colour photographs of radio sets, reproductions of adverts and vintage articles, this book is a delight and very easy to read. Whilst it is aimed primarily at the radio collector, rather than the electronics engineer or enthusiast, Tony explains basic radio and electronics theory and circuit operation in a particularly straightforward style that will appeal to all readers. The use of 'sidebars' provides easy access to relevant information about specific personalities, inventors, radio sets and design styles whilst not interrupting the reader's flow through the main text - something many books fail to achieve.
The book covers the 1920s to the 1960s and includes early transistor receivers as well as traditional valve sets, all arranged in a chronological sequence that demonstrates how radio styling followed the fashion of the day, from Art Deco through streamlining and austerity, to the angular modernism of the 1950s and onward. Tony's understanding of design influences, and the personalities behind them, is put across to the reader very well indeed, and Tony comments comprehensively on the social changes that swept Britain over the same period.
My favourite section of the book was Chapter 14, where the author describes the renovation of a wooden radio cabinet with the aid of clear step-by-step photographs, and we see the 'basket case' radio restored to showroom condition. Tony goes on to describe a number of techniques for cabinet restoration and provides numerous hints and tips based on long experience. There is also an excellent section on how bakelite, catalin and urea formaldehyde cabinets were manufactured, together with restoration techniques.
The book concludes with a comprehensive reference section and list of further reading, specialist suppliers and relevant websites. For the newcomer to this hobby, the social historian or the experienced enthusiast, this book is an essential addition to the bookcase or workshop shelf.