Pittsburgh Antique

Radio

Society

Celebrating 100 Years of Radio Broadcasting and 35 Years of PARS Historic Preservation

History

Preservation

Community

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!

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 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!

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 telephones, microphones and art deco radios. The fee for this optional catered event is only $18 per person–and worth every penny. 

Upcoming Events

PARS HAS A FULL SLATE OF MEETINGS EVERY YEAR !!!

Please see the EVENTS & DATES page for many more events. A quick preview of 2022-2023 events is below…

2023 Tri-State Radio Fest !!

SUNDAY, April 23rd

8:30Am – 4PM

Center Stage Banquet Hall, 1495 Old Brodhead Road, Monaca, PA  15061

$5 General Admission

Flea Market Tables!

200-Lot Auction!

Contest: Emerson Radios!

The Tri-State Radio Fest is PARS largest annual event with a large flea market in the morning followed by a 200-lot auction starting about noon. TSRF also features a radio contest with cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place! The 2023 edition of TSRF will be the 17th time we have brought this event to Western Pennsylvania. Connect with all your antique radio friends once again at TSRF 2023 !! Masks are optional.

NOTE that this is a SUNDAY event.

PARS Spring Clinic – March 25, 2023

Contest: Airline (Montgomery Ward) Radios !!

Start: 03/25/2023 9:00

Our famous SPRING CLINIC! Members may bring any radio in to our expert panel for diagnosis and low-level repairs. Bring in your unworking dog radio and leave with a repair plan for bringing it back to life!

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 $7.
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 June Meeting –  June 3rd 2023

06/3/2023 9:00

CONTEST:  Auto-Store Radios! Firestone, Goodyear, Western Auto, Trutone, etc.

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 $7.
Noon: Brief business meeting
Noon-2PM: More chat time for those who want to stay.

PARS Summer Picnic – SUNDAY July 16th 2023

07/16/2023 10:00

CONTEST: CB Radios

MAKE NOTE: The Picnic is on SUNDAY.

The much-loved PARS 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 by PARS. It is asked that attendees bring a dessert or a dish to share, plus a folding chair in case more seating is needed. 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 Pavilion.

PARS Presentation

MEMBER PRESENTATIONS WANTED!!

If you want to talk about the history of a particular radio brand you love, or your restoration of that prize plastic AA5 clock radio in your collection then please speak up! We’d LOVE to give you some presentation time at one of our meetings. A projector and screen are available for your visuals. Please DO make a presentation at a PARS meeting! You will be glad your did! 

Similarly, the PARS Oscillator–our quarterly newsletter–is also looking for your radio-related article, history, pictures and anything else you would like to share.

Send an email through the web site contact form and we will connect you with the right person to make your presentation or newsletter article happen! BIG Thanks!

PARS August Meeting – Saturday August 26th, 2023

PARS Officer Elections

08/26/2023 09:00

CONTEST: Stand-Alone Radio Speakers

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 $7.
This meeting will include elections for PARS Officers.

Stand-alone speakers were a fixture on radios from the introduction of the type 71 tube until they fell out of favor in the early 60’s–only to get new life with the coming of “stereo” sound!. This contest will surely be a good one!

PARS Fall Auction – Saturday September 23rd, 2023

09/23/2023 09:00

CONTEST: General Electric 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 $7.
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.

PARS Meeting – Saturday October 29th 2022

Fall Radio Clinic

CONTEST: Police Radios *See note below

10/29/2022 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 $7.
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 Police Radios, by which we mean * A Receiving radio with a dial segment or band covering a past or present police band. It could anything from a one-band radio extended up to the 1700s, a separate band covering the old MW police band or newer VHF bands, or even a VHF-only radio. But NO SCANNERS.

PARS Holiday Luncheon

December 3rd, 2022

Contest: Transistor Radios, not Novelty

12/03/2022 10:00

PARS MEETING and Holiday Luncheon
Saturday, December 3, 2022
Held at Brentwood Presbyterian Church, 3725 Brownsville Road, 15227.

Contest – Transistor Radios, not novelty.

It is always a plus if you can include something  in your contest entry display that adds context — manuals, ads from magazines and similar materials.

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

PARS Winter Warmup Meeting!!

January 28, 2023

CONTEST: Silvertone Radios !!

01/28/2023 09:00

Another January Meeting! Here we go challenging Mother Nature’s snow machine 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 $7!
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.

We can huddle around some warm tubes and listen to some old time radio!

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
century.

 

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

Bob Knowlton, President - R.L.Knowlton@comcast.net

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

John Busalaachi, Board - jsbus3231@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 2019-2020-2021-2022 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.