A.R.C. -- THE NATIONAL PUBLICATION FOR BUYERS AND SELLERS
OF OLD RADIOS AND RELATED ITEMS -- PUBLISHED MONTHLY
The Collector's Guide to Antique Radios, Fourth Edition
by Marty & Sue Bunis
REVIEWED BY DICK DESJARLAIS
From Antique Radio Classified
(Copyright 1997 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
Marty and Sue Bunis must have lost sleep over how to improve their popular series, The Collector's Guide to Antique Radios. Having used their fourth edition since it hit the shelves earlier this year, I can say to Marty and Sue, "Sleep easily you've done it again."
This edition, as with the first and third editions, features the attention-getting "Ace Radio Repair" drawing by Bill Bell, this time with a bright purple border. Another Bill Bell illustration "Magic Box" appears on the cover of the second edition.
It is tempting to rush ahead to the pages where so many vintage radios are listed and pictured, but the reader should take the time to review the helpful material on pages 4-6 regarding pricing, basic radio terms and descriptive Information. Missing from this edition is the usual listing of Radio Clubs. It is understandable that subscribers to A.R.C. would consider such a listing to be redundant, since a complete listing of clubs and meet schedules is updated monthly. However, a club directory in Bunis would be helpful to nonsubscribers and new collectors/dealers seeking radio clubs and activities in their localities.
This fourth edition, with 248 pages, features nearly all of the information from the first three books, along with new models, many new photographs and updated pricing. Worth noting is a change in price listings. For the first time Bunis uses a price range for each radio, varying in increments from $5 to $100 and up, depending on the radio's value. For example, the RCA Model R-7A "Superette" tombstone is listed from $100 to $130, the Philco Model 54C mantle radio from $70 to $80, and the Crosley Model VIII portable from $500 to $600.
Baby boomers will appreciate the expanded listings and new photos of the later, more affordable plastic radios of the '50s and '60s. As in the third edition, transistor radios are no longer listed. However, you will find over 2,500 models exclusively listed in the third edition of Bunis' Collector's Guide to Transistor Radios.
If a fifth edition of the Collector's Guide to Antique Radios is published in the future, some attention should be given to the lack of any photos for several manufacturers listed; for example, Amrad, Belmont, Browning Drake, Farnsworth, Federal, Freshman, Kolster, Mitchell, Remler, Truetone, Tuska and others. Regarding Amrad, Browning Drake, Federal, Freshman and Tuska, a case could be made to have included more photos of battery sets.
Nevertheless, this fourth edition is another excellent effort in the true Bunis tradition. Collectors need not only this volume, but also Ray Bintliff's The Radio Collector's Foto Finder, an index to illustrations in all four Bunis editions.
"Collector's Guide to Antique Radios, Fourth Edition," is available in an 8 1/2" x 11" softcover format at $18.95 from the publisher, Collector Books, P.O. Box 3009, Paducah, KY 42002-3009; Marty and Sue Bunis, 32 West Main St., Bradford, NH 03221; and A.R.C. and other A.R.C. advertisers. Be sure to check these suppliers for shipping information.
(Dick Desjarlais, 48 Foster St., Littleton, MA 01460)