Kerosene Radio (Jun, 1956)

“Hold on ma, let me go light the radio!”

Made in Moscow for use in rural areas, this all-wave radio is reportedly powered by the kerosene lamp hanging above it. A group of thermocouples is heated internally to 570 degrees by the flame. Fins cool the outside to about 90 degrees. The temperature differential generates enough current to operate the low-drain reciever. Regular listeners may want fur lined union suits, though: it works best in a room with open windows.

  1. marco vidal says: August 4, 20072:07 pm

    Estimados señores, les ruego me envien información relacionada con el radio a kerosene, me interesa mucho conocer de que forma se producía la energía a partir del combustible mencionado.

  2. Evelin Rau says: September 25, 200711:20 am

    En el Museo tenemos una y funcionando.

  3. Ruben Minutta says: September 25, 20076:27 pm

    I work for a museum of old radios and related, i have very interest on how work this radio, what tubes use and how energy produce the thermocouples. if you can apport some information i will be very thanks.
    Les agradeceria mucho si pudieran aportarme alguna informacion sobre esta radio como que lámparas usa y cuanta energia producen aproximadamente las termocuplas, ya que trabajo en un museo de radios antiguas y objetos relacinados.
    Cualquier informacion será bienvenida. Desde ya muchas gracias.

  4. Charlie says: September 25, 20077:03 pm

    I’m sorry, that’s all the information I have.

  5. Avery Montembeault says: November 5, 20079:06 am

    It looks like an early 50’s Grundig Radio, made in Germany. I have a simelar one sitting in my living room, and to this day it still gets better recception and sound quality then some of my transistor based radios. The fact that its german made may lend some credence to this particular radio being found in Russia at that time.

  6. Bruce Richardson says: January 7, 20088:25 am

    There’s a better picture of the kerosene lamp on this web page. .


  7. carlos r di rocco says: January 30, 20082:08 pm


  8. carlos r di rocco says: January 30, 20082:14 pm

    PERDON MI MAIL ES [email protected]

  9. Ruben Yitzak Goldsteig says: February 22, 20082:03 pm

    Amazing. I’m sure it will surface soon as a new product with a lot of glory from NM labs.

  10. johnson says: May 28, 200910:54 am fascinated by the use of thermocouples…can anyone direct me anywhere in india where they are produced? have a wild idea to put one in my bike helmet to cool off the hot weather in india…:-)

  11. Firebrand38 says: May 28, 200912:47 pm

    More info on the Russian generator. But let’s post in English from now on, OK?

  12. Tim says: September 25, 200912:22 pm

    Hmmm…I guess Cyrillic doesn’t come through on comments. 😛

  13. jayessell says: September 25, 20094:31 pm

    I think you want the reverse of a thermocouple if you want to put one in your helmet.

    Wiki for Thermoelectric cooling

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Abridged)

    A Peltier cooler, heater, or thermoelectric heat pump is a solid-state active heat pump which transfers heat from one side of the device to the other side against the temperature gradient (from cold to hot), with consumption of electrical energy. Such an instrument is also called a Peltier device, Peltier diode, cooling diode, Peltier heat pump, solid state refrigerator, or thermoelectric cooler

  14. jayessell says: September 25, 20094:37 pm

    Google for ‘refrigerated helmet’.
    There’s a 22 year old magazine article describing it!

  15. JDT says: January 6, 20108:49 pm

    If it works best in a room with open windows, why not hang it outside the window? open the window to light it, and the close it. The cord can come through the window, and the flame protected from wind with a glass enclosure and chimney much like a lantern.

  16. Arglebarglefarglegleep says: August 18, 20107:12 pm

    Currently available lamp/radio for UK use.…

  17. jayessell says: August 19, 20103:40 am

    Thanks Argle!

    PS: Paraffin is British for Kerosene.
    I don’t know what they call the stuff candles are made from.

  18. Davo says: July 16, 201111:30 pm

    It’s a little unfair to label this as useless tech. It works, and provides a means of powering a radio in places where mains electricity is unavailable, and batteries are scarce and expensive.

  19. Davo says: January 20, 20123:48 pm


    In the UK, candles are made from wax.

  20. Toronto says: January 20, 20124:09 pm

    Davo: We usually say wax, as well, but paraffin is used to mean petroleum based wax, vs bees wax or soy wax.

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