Mark Twain Library Press Release - July 25, 2016

“Retro Radio Farm”

Refurbished Vintage Radios On Display at Mark Twain Library

REDDING, CT, July 18, 2016 – A stop at an antique shop in 2012 sparked a passionate hobby and led Redding’s Allen Chiang on a mission to breathe new life into vintage radios. A sample of the radio collection is on display at the Mark Twain Library through the summer.

 Chiang will conduct a Gallery Talk on the display on Saturday, August 13 at 3 p.m.

“This is just a stunning collection – there’s such a wide variety of styles and colors,” said June Myles, former Library board president who arranges the Library’s art displays. “We’re thrilled we can share these vintage radios with the community. It’s a treat for people of all ages!”

The display includes over 50 vintage radios, copies of old advertisements and examples of the old radio vacuum tube machinery.

The radios are rebuilt using the same circuitry and as much of the original components as possible, which ensures a great sound quality, Chiang said. The only added feature is Bluetooth MP3 technology, which allows people to use downloadable or streaming music.

“These radios just kind of spoke to me… I think the old technology is just warmer and more organic,” said Chiang, who works as director of  Engineering Operations at a Shelton software company. “There’s only so much warmth and quality of sound you can get out of a modern speaker.”

Chiang scours antique shops, tag sales and the internet for old radios and refurbishes them in his basement workshop.

“Some of these radios have been in garages or left out in the rain for years. I’ve even found dead mice in some! I patch them up, fix broken cases, repair and paint them,” Chiang said.

Chiang said his customers have come from as far as Spain and Saudi Arabia. He said people buy his radios for all different reasons. Some like them because they match their house décor and others have fond memories of a certain model.

Sign up for the Gallery Talk online, at the Library or call 203.938.2545. Refreshments will be served.

For information on the exhibit, visit the Library during regular hours, or visit the website,

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Contact: Maggie McIntire

Adult Program Coordinator

July 18, 2016

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