Michael Katz is a lot more than just a guy who markets radio grille cloth.
He is a true fanatic of vintage radios.
A Long Island resident, Michael has been collecting radios from all over the globe for more than 30 years, with a stockpile of nearly 300.
He attends radio conventions up and down the east coast, and exhibits his collection for local libraries and organizations.
Many of his radios go back to the days before he was born and he even has a few from the 1920s.
Michael’s fascination with radios began in 1983 when he discovered one he really liked at an antiques show.
After putting it in his house, he decided he needed more and … the rest is history.
Early on, he decided to specialize in rare and unusual sets. Having seen so many of some of the same radios at almost every show took away some of the "magic" of those radios, and Michael decided to collect the most decorative, uncommon and unique sets he could find.
In 2020, Michael exhibited his radio collection at the Bethpage (N.Y.) Public Library.
Where's the grille cloth?
A few years later, Michael noticed that there was no satisfactory reproduction radio grille cloth being manufactured – anywhere.
This was an issue for collectors who wanted to restore and repair their radios.
He did some research, made a bunch of phone calls and was able to make contacts in the garment industry.
Michael then enlisted a mill to make a reproduction radio grille cloth that was historically accurate. He has been marketing grille cloth on and off for the past 30 years.
In 2021, Michael formalized his business and launched Radio Grille Cloth, along with a website for collectors to order a wide variety of speaker fabric.
Calling all collectors
He enjoys displaying his radio collection and chatting up other collectors at the conventions. “It’s important to introduce the hobby to new collectors,” says Michael, a CPA by day. “It’s also an opportunity to obtain radios that I would otherwise never see.
“I am always looking to add to my collection. If you have a set that you might want to part with, I am always open to seeing what you have.”
And he cautions fellow collectors to repair their radios properly: “The wrong grille cloth can ruin the look and lessen the value of your prize radios.”
For more information about Michael Katz and his vintage radio collection visit the Press page.