“I grew up to the sound of radios. My love of radios carried on until I became an adult, and I managed to pass it on to my children,” the university lecturer pointed out.
“I managed to collect up to 400 radios. But now I have 222 as I sold some pieces to make ends meet.”
Denny is all too aware that finding skilled hands to restore vintage radios are just as difficult as finding their parts. “In Bandung, there are only three people who can work with antique radios. And all of them are elderly,” he sighed.
Building up a collection
The dwindling numbers of vintage radio parts as well as those who are able to work them, did not stop Denny from building up a collection of foreign or Indonesian made radios. They included an Austrian Minerva 517E receiver and another Philips radio, the BIN206U.
“The Philips BIN206U is a Dutch designed radio that was manufactured in Bandung after the Philips factory here was nationalized,” he said. “[This particular set] was presented to President Soekarno to celebrate the assembly of the factory’s 100,000th radio.”
Denny hopes to pass his enthusiasm for radios to future generations. “Radios are more than sources for news and information; they are part of Indonesian history. After all, the Indonesian people first heard about the country’s declaration of independence by radio.”
Heni Smith, the owner of the Herbal House cafe hosting the radio exhibition, are among those swept away by Denny's passion for radios. "The radios are in line with the cafe's highlight of heritage and culture," Heni noted.
"Radios also show shifts in values. Previously, they can bring people together, but now we listen to them individually as they are portable, streamed and can be heard in various devices."