EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for January 2001
(Copyright 1996-2000 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
At last we can say Happy New Millennium without reservations. The year 2000, prologue to the 21st century, is slipping into the past, and we look forward to another 100 years of the unexpected and the extraordinary. But, we collectors savor the past, in particular the century that witnessed the maturity of radio and the whole telecommunications phenomenon. Among the pleasures of reflecting on that era is knowing that interest in the preservation of radio history passes in some measure from generation to generation. Consider our lead article on the Grebe auto radiophone.
When the pieces of the past fit neatly into the present, what's a collector to do? In the case of Ron Frisbie, he had the foresight to suggest bringing three elements together in an article: first, his friendship with Grebe, Jr.; second, his own Grebe collection; and third, the 1919 Radio Amateur News featuring A.H. Grebe, Sr.'s, auto radiophone. Enter A.R.C. as the catalyst.
Managing Editor Dorothy Schecter then took the material and put together a story of past and present. It combines the Grebe experiment described in the 1919 magazine with more Grebe history and photos of Grebe, Jr., in poses similar to his father's. Our thanks to Ron for sharing his inspiration with A.R.C. readers.
As is often the case in developing an A.R.C. article, something that complements the whole just happens to come along. David Spivey had sent in a charming 1920s photo of "Dorothy and Margaret" -- the only identification on the photo -- listening to a Grebe CR-8. How could we resist including them? Though A.H. Grebe had his manufacturing ups and downs, he would be gratified to know that his sets, so enjoyed by these children of the 1920s, are eminently collectible today.
Coincidentally, another "father/son in radio" scenario is touched upon in Radio Miscellanea. A letter from Mort Leutz to the authors of our June 2000 Leutz article expresses gratitude for recognition of his father's work. As with Grebe, the son has not followed directly in the father's footsteps, but interest lingers in a different form. Leutz enjoys being a Ham radio operator and uses his father's logo on his QSL card.
These radio links, whether generational or simply between friends, are certainly the stuff of radio history and preservation. We like to follow up on them whenever possible.
The 1920s seem to be in vogue in this issue. Bruce Ralg's success story about a 1-tube Airline set is a wake-up call for collectors. Take a close look at whatever you may be offered. A seller may not really know what he has and may undervalue it. Fortunately, Bruce had a second chance to acquire something he had dismissed, and he ended up with a rewarding purchase. You'll hear more on this subject next month when Dick Desjarlais writes about his "yard saling."
We can always rely on Richard Arnold to come up with another interesting chapter in his search for the out-of-the-ordinary. The Philco 38-40 has an unusual Art Deco styling and operates on both 110 VAC and 6V DC -- more than enough interest to give it space among the desirable sets in many collections.
Two very good auctions are included this month. The indefatigable Ray Chase reports on the Ruhf estate auction. This was the second installment of this auction, and so it did not offer a plethora of big ticket items. But, a definite highlight was the Metro Electric speaker selling at $1,250, while a stand-out item was the unique home-brew superhet using nine eye tubes. Many collectors went home with lots of literature that will really enhance their collections.
A Harris vintage radio auction is sure to be a quality event, and Jim Boellstorff always sends a detailed report. This one features the Howard Bergstrom collection in which many desirable early manufacturers were represented. A Grebe CR-18, a Kennedy 110 and a 220, and a Radiola VII-B all sold for over $1,000 each. A very good literature section was also included.
Ray Bintliff reviews an Australian publication, From the Wireless to the Web, by Peter R. Jensen. This is an impressive book, full of information and 350 illustrations covering a century of telecommunications history in a succinct 300 pages. Ray obviously believes that this is a fine book to add to your radio literature library.
Photo Review has several interesting sets, but probably few of us have heard of the 1925 Woolworth battery set with the nice glass front. Somehow we don't associate the five and dime store with early radio, but why not?
Radio Miscellanea contains another success story regarding Mae West -- that lady is certainly a star among antique radio collectors. We're also happy to tell you about Antique Radio Magazine -- though published in Italian, this well illustrated magazine does have valuable information about American sets.
Internet. Each month we have many positive responses to our Web site. We remind you to check it out and to read the ads as soon as they are released.
Coming Radio Events. There are nearly 40 events listed for January 2001. Among them are the 8th Annual Cabin Fever Meet in Ohio and the Carolinas Chapter of the AWA Winter Swap Meet. If you make it to the New England Antique Radio Club's Swap Meet on January 27 in Nashua, New Hampshire, or to GBARC's Radio XXXII on February 18 in Westford, Massachusetts, make sure to drop by the A.R.C. table to say "Hi."
Happy Collecting and Happy New Year from all the A.R.C. staff.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
On the cover is A.H. Grebe, Jr., in Ron Frisbie's Ford Model A roadster on September 14, 2000 a scene that re-creates a photo of A.H. Grebe, Sr., in the August 1919 Radio Amateur News. Thanks again to Ron Frisbie for making this cover and lead article possible.
Happy New Year! Here is a larger view of this month's cover!