Machine Age to Jet Age III
By Mark V. Stein
REVIEWED BY DICK DESJARLAIS
What can be more useful than having Volumes I and II of Mark Stein's Machine Age to Jet Age radio guides in your antique radio reference library? Why, possessing Volume III, of course!
Stein dedicates Volume III to his "girls, Chloe and Isabel, for tolerating all of those dirty old radios in our home, and for not pulling off the knobs." What a wonderful sentiment, and a tribute to the delicate balance the author has achieved in his love for his family and his love for the history of radio!
As in Volumes I and II, the focus in Volume III is on the evolution of style with the manufacture of table model radios. Commendably, in this third volume the focus extends beyond the 1930-1959 period in the previous volumes, to include the 1959 to 1962 period. Commendably, because this extension takes into account the significant transition from tube radios to transistor radios.
It also acknowledges the burgeoning interest of the baby-boomer generation in radio collecting, especially anything made, not with tubes, but with transistors. Thus, Volume III, with all new listings, serves as a valuable supplement to Volumes II and III. Combined, the radios pictured in these three volumes total over 7000!
As in Volumes I and II, the front and back page color plates clue the reader as to their black and white images to be found between the covers. It is interesting to note that in Volume I, there are roughly six radio photos per page; in Volume II, there are nine photos; and in Volume III, there are twelve photos per page. Of course, smaller images have resulted, but definition and detail have not been sacrificed.
Also, as in Volumes I and II, the first few chapters of Volume III are "boiler plate," but a must for new collectors. These pages can also be used as a helpful refresher for those who are already familiar with the nuances of pricing, condition, and variations in "plastics" used in the manufacture of radio cabinets.
Some departures from the format of the first two volumes are worth noting. Perhaps in an effort to save space (and cost) in a volume that has more than 350 pages, the table of contents has been eliminated, and the "Resource" section has been reduced from 7 to 2 pages.
In addition, the miscellaneous section containing radios of lesser known manufacturers, found at the end of Volumes I and II, has been deleted. However, you will find that many of these manufacturers are now located in the main body of Volume III.
On the plus side, the author of this series has now included the number of tubes and the number of bands for each radio, in addition to the usual data on estimated value and cabinet material. I have been using Volume III regularly, and find it to be a valuable supplement to Volumes I and II.
It's worth noting that the author has also updated Volumes I and II for the year 2001. These 2001 update editions contain an insert with current market values plus hundreds of variations not previously included.
Machine Age to Jet Age Volume III, covering 3,000 radios, with black and white photos and tube and band count information, is available at $29.95. Volumes I and II are available at $24.95 and $28.95 respectively. They may be ordered from the publisher, Radiomania Publishing, 2109 Carterdale Rd., Baltimore, MD 21209, and from A.R.C. and other book sellers. Be sure to check them for shipping information.
(Dick Desjarlais, P.O. Box 629, Littleton, MA 01460-2629)