Burbank, Ohio -- June 16, 2007
REPORTED BY RAY CHASE
This auction included items from Brent Musen's collection and Larry Porter's estate, as well as from other consignors. It seemed like a large assortment of goods, but the sale ended at about 3:30 p.m., earlier than usual due to Richard Estes' faster selling pace and a series of side auctions (conducted on the side as the main auction continued) for the paper and book items, bulk tube lots, and most of the parts and test equipment. Unfortunately, I could not cover these, so I did record only about 485 entries in the main auction, again less than usual.
Regarding the side sale, I have to say it almost breaks my heart to now see the Tektronix scopes sell for little or no money these days. It seems like only a few years ago that I coveted having one to work with as a technician. Well, it seems like a few years; probably many more than that -- such is progress and our memories.
As is the usual format, there was a low value auction held in the checkout area before the main auction on Saturday morning. The selection of goods this time was larger than normal and included eleven TVs and a few surprise items. This auction started at 8:45 a.m. and ran until about 9:55 a.m., just in time for the main auction. I did record some select items during this sale and they are included in a separate detail listing.
The main sale included about 75 nice wood table sets, four or five with chrome trim; a good supply of plastic table sets, many console radios and TVs. There were many flats of parts including a large selection of knobs, two racks of paper, magazines, and books that I could not tally. The selection of tubes was somewhat larger than normal. For my personal delight there were some very nice early battery superhets, and four of them managed to follow me home for my own collection.
A very ornate front panel is on this United Lan-Sing 150 produced by the United Engine Co., Lansing, Michigan. This 5-tube set with built-in speaker sold for $275.
But the star of the sale had to be the RCA CT-1 color TV console. This set carried an NBC label but no indication of RCA anywhere. Still, everyone agreed that it was a legitimate model of the first color TV RCA offered. One of Richard's employees had acquired it at a prior local auction when it went begging for an opening bid. The employee did not know what it was, and initially did not really want it, but took a chance and bought it for little more than the cost of a McDonald's hamburger.
Obviously, he was thrilled upon finding out what he had and was ecstatic when it sold to a phone bidder for $10,000. Very few of these sets exist today. They were initially only loaned out to RCA or NBC executives to get field test and user feedback data.
The weather for this sale was very good, and though I counted 160 bidders, the turnout seemed light. The Friday evening viewing was not well attended, although quite a few additional consignments came in during the evening. The audience was heavier in the morning but really started to dwindle about 2:00 p.m., and as indicated, the sale was over by 3:30 p.m. At least five console radios and a couple of pretty nice TVs could not draw an opening bid, so they were held for a future sale.
A 3-dialer Marv-O-Dyne Model 612-C by the Amber Manufacturing Co., New York City. This battery-operated set included a meter for monitoring filament voltage.
This 4-unit set is in uniform cabinets, but sports three different labels. The left two cabinets are marked "George W. Walker Veri-Unit" and appear to be tuned RF stages. (George Walker is credited as the manufacturer of Victoreen radios.) The third from the left cabinet is marked CARCO, mfg. by Carter Manufacturing Co., East Cleveland, Ohio, and probably is a detector stage. The right cabinet is labeled Audio Unit, The Carter Mfg. Co., Cleveland Ohio. The 4-cabinet combination sold for $250.
The Pocket Radio, manufactured by the Auto Indicator Co., measures 4" x 12" x 2" deep. The four controls are labeled "Rheostat," "Coupling," "Wavelength," and "Condenser." In good condition, except for a chip in the case, it sold for $225.
RCA's first color TV, the Model CT-1, was the high-dollar item in the auction. It sold for $10,000.
A warning: Auction prices are not current values. Our selection of auction items is not necessarily complete. A listing such as this cannot adequately include the condition of cabinets, chassis, transformers, tubes, the operating status of the set, and the inclusion of incorrect, restored or replica components, etc. Auction prices are the result of the excitement of the auction process, the skill of the auctioneer and the specific interests of the participants. Nevertheless, auction prices serve as useful references and as another element in the value determining process. The possibility of error always exists, and if we are notified, corrections will be reported.
Obviously, if your van is full or you did not bring a means for carting away bigger items, it does not matter how low the price goes. On the other hand, Richard will make arrangements to hold items for later pickup. It appeared that many of the prices were competitive from a buyer's standpoint and quite a few nice radios found a new home.
The total main auction sale price that I recorded was about $42,500, but, of course, $10,000 of that was for one item. And that excludes whatever was realized on the several side auctions.
Items from the early auction have been merged with the main auction listing. Many wooden table model sets in this early auction sold for $20 each.
e=excellent, vg=very good, g=good, f=fair, p=poor, unk=unknown condition, N.O.S.=new old stock, wk=working, nwk=not working, WT=with tubes, NT=no tubes, BB=brass-based, TT=tipped tube, SW=shortwave, PS=power supply, PB=push buttons, WE=Western Electric. All prices have been rounded down to the dollar. Some low cost items and items in poor condition or non-specific descriptions are omitted. See print version of A.R.C. for complete auction listing.
Ray Chase has been a radio enthusiast and a collector of many types of radios for years. Currently, he specializes in World War II electronics equipment, as well as early battery superheterodynes. He also has an extensive collection of radio documentation and ephemera.