Celebrating 100 Years of Radio Broadcasting and 35 Years of PARS Historic Preservation
Radio History For All
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!
The Pittsburgh Antique Radio Society plays an active role in the tri-state community. Here is a sampling of what we do.
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.
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.
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 and 2021 editions of TSRF would have been our 16th and 17th years for this event if we had not been forced to cancel them. TSRF 2022 will be better than ever. Please go to the EVENTS AND DATES page for details.
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!
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 telephones, microphones and art deco radios. The fee for this optional catered event is only $18 per person–and worth every penny.
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
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!
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, Monaca, Pennsylvania 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
Bob Knowlton, President - [email protected]
Jeff Pleva, Treasurer - [email protected]
Chris Wells, Secretary - [email protected]
Andy Manko, Board - [email protected]
Ed Kaczkowski, Board - [email protected]
John Busalaachi, Board - [email protected]
Joe Patrick W3KWZ, Editor of The Pittsburgh Oscillator (PARS Quarterly Newsletter) - [email protected]
Rex Kraeuter, Club Historian & Publications Manager- [email protected]
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 2019-2020-2021-2022 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.