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Antique Radio Classified
A.R.C.--The National Publication For Buyers And Sellers
Of Old Radios And Related Items--Published Monthly

The Early Development of Radio in Canada, 1901-1930
Edited by Robert P. Murray

reviewed by Ray Bintliff, W1RY

WEB EDITION

The subject of this book is described quite well by its title. However, there is a final chapter that extends the book's time frame into the 1940s and tells about the Thorcraft Radio Company that was formed in Canada in 1947.

In the United States, we tend to focus on our own manufacturers. But as radio collectors, we should be aware of the activities in other countries as well. This book provides an opportunity to extend our radio knowledge beyond our borders.

While Marconi's early work in Canada has been well publicized, it seems that other aspects of Canadian radio have not been given equal treatment. This book fills that gap nicely.

Some of the material contained in the book has appeared previously in other publications such as AWA's OTB, Review, and Journal and Antique Radio Classified, as well as a number of other radio club publications. Fortunately, Murray has updated and combined these multisource articles into a single publication.

 
Book cover
The Early Development of Radio in Canada, 1901-1930

 

The book is not "pure Canadian" because it covers the radios produced by Canadian Westinghouse and the Canadian General Electric Company. Readers will recognize their similarity to the U.S.-made sets sold by RCA. Some other examples of U.S./Canadian relationships appear in the book. But for the most part, Canadian radios are the prime subject. Included are the activities and products of the Canadian Marconi Company, the National Electric Signaling Co. (NESCO), Rogers Radio, Ltd., and lesser known Canadian firms.

One chapter that I found to be of particular interest was the Mercury Super Ten radio, also produced in kit form by the H.M. Kipp Company, a motorcycle dealer. The book describes the various Mercury models and how Kipp worked around patent restrictions. Like the rest of the book, this chapter is "profusely illustrated," as they say in the trade. It is worth mentioning at this point that all of the photographs in the book, including the very old, are of good quality.

Another interesting chapter covers a lesser known company, W.W. Grant Radio, Ltd. and its "Voice of the Prairie" series of radio broadcasts.

Canadian Marconi and Rogers Radio receive full treatment with some great illustrations. Rogers also produced vacuum tubes and acquired rights to the McCollough AC tube, another link to the U.S.

As mentioned previously, the RCA radios produced by GE and Westinghouse and their Canadian counterparts are covered in detail.

The book's final chapter tells the story of Hank Thorkelsson who started manufacturing radios in the 1940s. His Thorcraft line of radios included a 32-volt farm set, a battery set, and a number of AC/DC models.

So if you want to learn more about the Canadian Radio industry's early period and some of its colorful characters, The Early Development of Radio in Canada 1901-1930 is just the book for you. It makes interesting and informative reading. The supporting illustrations are icing on the cake.

The Early Development of Radio in Canada 1901-1930 is published by Sonoran Publishing, LLC, in 81/2" x 11" paperback format and contains 154 pages. It sells for $26.95. Copies may be ordered from A.R.C. and other A.R.C. advertisers. Be sure to check with the suppliers for ordering and shipping information.

(Ray Bintliff, 2 Powder Horn Lane, Acton, MA 01720-2014)

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