Pittsburgh Antique



Celebrating 100 Years of Radio Broadcasting and 30 Years of PARS Historic Preservation




Radio History For All

Don Polito--In Memoriam

Don Polito--In Memoriam


It is always difficult saying goodbye to someone we love and cherish. Family and friends must say goodbye to their beloved Donald P. Polito (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), who passed away on September 21, 2020. He was loved and cherished by many people including : his wife Carol Polito; his children, Lori Zubik (Charles), Dawn Lynn O’Brien (Ian), William Signori and Angela Williams (Connor); his grandchildren, Tatum, Chad, Ireland, Olivia, Logan, Bryce, Dominick, Brooklyn and Blaise; and his siblings, Thomas Polito (Donna Cassidy), James Polito, Joseph and Catherine Polito, and hundreds of friends in the Pittsburgh Antique Radio Society.

Karl Laurin--In Memoriam

Karl Laurin--In Memoriam


Karl Laurin was born, a steelworker’s son, at McKeesport, PA in 1939. A grade school interest in
radios was inspired by their colored wires and availability. This led to the rescue and repair of
them in the neighborhood. A stint at Penn State preceded an Air Force enlistment and service as
a missile systems analyst technician on an Atlas F launch crew. In 1965, it was back to the TV
service bench until a faculty position opened up at Greensburg Institute of Technology. After
retirement, an amateur radio licence was acquired but a greater interest in antique radios led to
membership in the Pittsburgh Antique Radio Society (PARS) since 1996.
Karl has had 70+ articles published in our newsletter, The Pittsburgh Oscillator. His book of fictional radio short stories called THE 3 STRIKES CAMP STORIES is still available through the PARS web site at pittsburghantiqueradiosociety.org. He will be missed.

Chances are very good that you’re carrying a radio with you right now! Only you call it a cell phone! In a mere 100 years, radio has transformed our world so completely that you think nothing of having that radio in your purse or pocket. Pittsburgh Antique Radio Society seeks to preserve the history of that transformation.

2020 was an historic anniversary. It was the 100th birthday of Broadcast radio–radio for news and entertainment–and it all started here in Pittsburgh with radio station KDKA. Please browse our web site. You will learn a lot about the people and technology that brought KDKA to life – and put radio in our lives forever. Then use the form on the CONTACT US page and let us hear from you!

PARS Activities

The Pittsburgh Antique Radio Society plays an active role in the tri-state community. Here is a sampling of what we do.

Regular Meetings

The club has 8 meetings each year. Every meeting features a themed contest, a slap-dash flea market, a Subway lunch and a brief business meeting. Camaraderie and warm friendship is always  on the agenda–and plenty of time is allowed for mingling and chat. 

Themed Contests

Our radio contests are centerpieces of each meeting.  For each contest, members bring in radios and ephemera to show their work and receive the recognition of their peers.  The first, second and third place winners are selected by 11 members randomly chosen from the attendees. The quality of work and the variability of entries is inspiring. Any collector would enjoy a PARS radio contest.

Meeting Flea Markets

Any member is free to bring in anything they want to sell and set up on a table in the back of the hall.  Meeting flea markets are casual and most items change hands at very reasonable prices. 

Clinic Meetings

In March and October PARS meetings feature radio clinics where four to six of our expert radio restorers set up an antique radio test bench. Any PARS member can bring in a radio to be serviced for free. Services and parts are limited. But many typical radio complaints can be dealt with. And much can be learned by just watching PARS experts at work! No guarantees. Your radio must go home with you whether it’s fixed or not. So whatever work is needed, it must be able to be accomplished during the 5-hour meeting window of the clinic, 9AM to 2 PM. 

PARS Special Events!

The Pittsburgh Antique Radio Society hosts 3 annual special events which are among our best-attended functions. These include the Tri-State Radio Fest, plus our Picnic and Holiday Luncheon. Please see our NEWS & EVENTS page for this year’s schedule.

Tri-State Radio Fest

The Tri-State Radio Fest is PARS largest annual event with a 70-table flea market coupled with a 200+ lot auction. TSRF also features an interesting contest with cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. One or more fully-restored raffle radios add to the fun! The 2020 edition of TSRF would have been our 16th year for this event if we had not been forced to cancel it. TSRF 2021 will be better than ever. STAY TUNED!

North Park Picnic

PARS’ late-July picnic is one of our most popular annual events. PARS provides everything major, but members are asked to bring a covered dish or a dessert. Family is welcome and there is no charge. The picnic contest is always built around a fun topic. Recent contests have included transistor radios, novelty radios and radios that also function as something else! The park location has plenty of space for parking and activities. A good time is had by all!

Holiday Luncheon

This family luncheon is PARS’ best-attended annual event, often held the first weekend in December (based on hall availability). Our excellent caterer delivers a delicious luncheon buffet. We have our regular meeting flea market and a contest that the whole family can appreciate such as art deco radios or (on December 7th one year) military radios. The fee for this optional catered event is only $18 per person–and worth every penny. 

Upcoming Events

PARS RETURNS! July 18th!!!

Please see the EVENTS & DATES page for many more events. Our next event is detailed below…


2021 Tri-State Radio Fest

8:30Am – 4PM, Center stage banquet hall, 1495 Old Brodhead Road, Monaca, PA  15061, $5 general admission

The Tri-State Radio Fest is PARS largest annual event with a large conbination flea market and auction, plus a great contest with cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. The 2021 edition of TSRF would have been our 16th year for this event if we had not been forced to cancel it. TSRF 2022 will be better than ever. STAY TUNED!

PARS Meetings  – January through June 2021 CANCELED 

Regretably CANCELED–Another group of PARS meetings lost to he coronavirus.

Normally … 
Held at Brentwood Presbyterian Church 3725 Brownsville Road, 15227
9AM to 11:30 Open Flea Market–Free Tables For Members
10AM to 11:30 Open Chat, Contest Judging, Flea Market
11AM: Possibly a brief presentation and contest winners announced.
11:30AM Lunch– We will have a drink, chips and a Subway sandwich lunch for $6.
Noon: Brief business meeting
Noon-2PM: More chat time for those who want to stay.

Bring a friend to introduce them to PARS and our Hobby.

PARS Summer Picnic – Sunday July 18th 2021

07/18/2021 10:00

Summer Picnic Sunday July 18th 10:00 AM till eve
CONTEST: Microphones

MAKE NOTE: The Picnic is on SUNDAY.

The picnic will be held at the North Park Roosevelt Pavilion which is the same as last year. Drinks, hot dogs and hamburgers, buns and condiments will be provided. It is asked that attendees bring a dessert or a dish to share, plus a folding chair in case more seating is useful. There is good parking adjacent to Roosevelt pavilion and it is an easy roll-up for anyone in a wheel chair. So please park in the parking lot next to the Roosevelt.

 Details – Learn More

PARS Fall Auction – Saturday September 25th, 2021

PARS Officer Elections

09/25/2021 09:00

CONTEST: Crystal Radios

Held at Brentwood Presbyterian Church, 3725 Brownsville Road, 15227
9AM (setup and flea market) to ~ 4PM
We will have coffee and a Subway lunch available for $8.
This meeting will include elections for PARS Officers.

This is one of our bigger events with lots of choice items available.
The auction focus is on Antique and Vintage Radios. Vintage Televisions and Phonographs are welcome, along with Vintage Ham and Audio equipment. No computer stuff or modern electronics please.

  Details – Learn More

PARS Meeting – Saturday October 23rd 2021

Fall Radio Clinic

CONTEST: Curtain Burner Radios with a Resistance Line Cord

10/23/2021 9:00

Held at Brentwood Presbyterian Church, 3725 Brownsville Road, 15227
9AM to 2PM
9AM to 11:30 Open Flea Market–Free Tables For Members
10AM to 11:30 Clinic Experts Diagnose Your Radio
11AM: Possibly a brief presentation and contest winners announced.
11:30AM Lunch– We will have drinks, chips and a Subway sandwich lunch for $8.
Noon: Brief business meeting
Noon-2PM: More chat time and clinic time for those who want to stay.

The contest for this meeting will be Curtain Burners–Any radio with a resistance line cord


 Learn More

PARS Holiday Luncheon

December 4th, 2021

Contest: Telephones

12/04/2021 10:00

PARS MEETING and Holiday Luncheon
Saturday, December 4, 2021
Held at Brentwood Presbyterian Church, 3725 Brownsville Road, 15227.

Contest – Telephones

Since many members will be unfamiliar with your contest entry (not being familiar with old telephones), it would be great if you can include something  in your display that adds context — manuals, ads from magazines and similar materials.

The Luncheon will be nicely catered as we have always done.

 Learn More

PARS Winter Warmup Meeting!!

January 29, 2022

CONTEST: Philco (Anything Philco)!

01/29/2022 09:00

They say it will be a cold day in Pittsburgh when PARS actually pulls off another January Meeting! Here we go challenging Mother Nature again!

Held at Brentwood Presbyterian Church, 3725 Brownsville Road, 15227
9:00AM to 2:00PM

9:00AM to 11:30AM: Open Flea Market–Free Tables For Members.
11:00AM: Possibly a brief presentation and contest winners announced.
11:30AM: Lunch– Coffee/Soda and a Subway sandwich lunch for only $10!
Noon: Brief business meeting.
Noon to 2:00PM: More chat time for those who want to stay.

Bring a friend to introduce them to PARS and our Hobby.

Please come out and show your support for our WINTER WARM UP MEETING!
We can huddle around some warm tubes and listen to some old time radio!

Learn More

PARS Website Highlights

As selected by the PARS Officers and Board members, here are some of the highlights of our web site!

A Bibliography of Frank Conrad

Westinghouse employee Frank Conrad was making radio broadcasts from
his home in Wilkinsburg, Pa. in 1919 and earlier. His work led to the founding
of radio station KDKA in 1920.
This comprehensive bibliography lists his 177 U.S. patents. Some English
and German patents are listed. An attempt was also made to list all
publications by and about Conrad through the late 20th


Get Involved

PARS needs you! Every member must consider how they can make a contribution to the future of PARS. Can you mak a presentation at a meeting? Can you help with the auctions? Write an article for the Oscillator? Write a blog post on this web site? Chair a committee to get a specific project done? Or just add your comment to any blog post on this web site so that it becomes a more interesting discussion. You CAN help. Speak with any club Officer or Board Member to volunteer your support! Do it TODAY!

PARS Meetings

Most meetings are held at the Brentwood Presbyterian Church basement hall located at 3725 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh 15227. Check the NEWS  & EVENTS page on this site for the current meeting schedule.

PARS Special Events

Two of our annual events do not happen at the Church. The Tri-State Radio Fest, PARS' biggest event of the year, is held each April at the Center Stage Banquest Hall at  1495 Old Brodhead Rd, MonacaPennsylvania 15061. The PARS Annual Radio Picnic is held each July in North Park, generally at the Roosevelt Pavilion if we can get it. These two events plus our annual holiday luncheon at the church are PARS' best-attended events of the year. Please see the NEWS & EVENTS page for this year's specific details.

PARS Officers & Board Members

Don Merz N3RHT, President, Webmaster - N3rht@yahoo.com

Vice-President - OPEN

Jeff Pleva, Treasurer - Jeff.Pleva@Verizon.net

Chris Wells, Secretary - Chris55Wells@gmail.com

Andy Manko, Board - JukeboxAndy@Yahoo.com

Ed Kaczkowski, Board - edward.kaczkowski@verizon.net

Bob Knowlton, Board - R.L.Knowlton@Comcast.net

Tom Dixon, Board - maryDixon1@Verizon.net

Joe Patrick W3KWZ, Editor of The Pittsburgh Oscillator (PARS Quarterly Newsletter) - dtekt@Comcast.net

Rex Kraeuter, Club Historian & Publications Manager- dkraeuter@gmail.com






PARS Volunteers

As with most hobby clubs, PARS is entirely staffed by volunteer Officers, Comittee Chairmen and Board Members. New volunteers for these positions are always welcome. To contact any of the current slate of officers and Board members, please see the ABOUT PARS page elsewhere on this web site.

NOTICE: This web page and this entire web site including all photographs, text and content is copyright 2019-2020-2021 by The Pittsburgh Antique Radio Society, Nothing on this web site or in our newsletter The Pittsburgh Oscillator may be republished in any form without the express written consent of a PARS Officer or Board member. Permission must be sought and granted in advance of publication and proper attribution to PARS must appear on the same page, on the same screen or video segment in such a way that it occupies the same space as the republished PARS  information. See the  ABOUT PARS page for PARS contact information.