EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for January 2004
(Copyright 1996-2003 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
It's that time again -- time to celebrate a new year
with its hope of better things to come, not only in the
world at large, but also in our radio world. If 2003 is any
indication, radio activities and auctions will continue to
proliferate in 2004 and offer exciting opportunities to
upgrade our collections. We can hardly keep up with
the number of reports in our files waiting for publication.
However, we pledge to continue to fulfill our commitment
to keep you informed about everything new going on
in the old radio world, whether it be auction, meet, flea
market, conference, or just plain radio folks getting
And what event fills that description better than
AWA, still the meet of the year, requiring the combined
reports of Larry Babcock, Ray Chase, Ludwell Sibley,
AWA itself, and yours truly. Thanks to all for their efforts.
Though attendance continues to soften, this was a successful
meet where the "old guard" among collectors still
gathered to exchange wares and ideas, as did many
new converts to our hobby.
Familiar participants, like the Chidesters on our
cover, Bob Lozier, Joe Milano, and many others
were everywhere, enjoying the flea market, auction,
seminars, contest, and the general camaraderie. The
heavy flea market activity on the first day was mindful
of the good ol' Canandaigua days.
Of course the ever popular auction, which totalled
$45,000, was a highlight. Among the top items were a
Canadian Marconi battery set selling at $5,500 and an
E.F. Johnson Viking Ranger transmitter at $2,250. It is
interesting to note that this latter item and a Hallicrafters
SX-88 in the Estes Auction, also reported in this issue,
are unusual items. Unusual items, in all categories,
usually command high prices.
We try to include photos of as many of these unusual
items as possible, and auction reports have become
almost an extension of Photo Review. Many readers are
primarily interested in the numbers in an auction report,
but the photos help to pique general interest.
In the AWA report, prewar and postwar FM receivers
are pictured in keeping with the AWA FM radio theme of
the Conference. The Estes Auction photos show such
rare sets as the Liberty Music Shop radio-phonograph
housed in a chest of drawers and the rare Hallicrafters
SX-88 that sold for the tidy sum of $1,800.
The Estes auction, reported by the ever constant Ray
Chase, included a number of items over $1,000. Represented
were such manufacturers as Western Electric,
Penn Wireless, and Grebe, with top dollars going to a
Scott "Sweet Sixteen" in a Warrington cabinet selling
at $3,400. We still have three more Estes auctions in
our pipeline, so stay tuned.
At the other end of the size spectrum among activities
is the Antique Radio Collectors and Historians of Greater
St. Louis (ARCH) Radiofest Swap Meet and Auction
reported by Ron Durbin. Enthusiasm counts even more
than size, and this group seems to have that in spades.
Most of the trappings of a big meet were included -- flea
market, seminar, displays, and auction. Such events,
though small, are important to the continuing strength
of the radio collecting community.
Some people stand out when we think of those who
have contributed much to that continuity. It's been a
while since we've had an article by Alan Douglas, author,
collector, and historian. We're delighted to report
through his description of building an early crystal set
that Alan really does make use of all those parts he picks
up at flea markets. Furthermore, he demonstrates that
a great deal of pleasure is derived from an early crystal
set that can log in stations from Miami, Havana, and
the South Caicos Islands.
Alan's article is an excellent example of the other part
of our pledge -- to keep you informed about the old, as
well as current events. Articles that focus on the history
of radio and the preservation of old radios themselves
are a primary focus of A.R.C.
Photo Review carries the "early" theme further. Among
the early versions of various kinds of sets are a portable
tube radio and a portable transistor radio. In addition,
a Kennedy Type 525 would be highly desirable to any
owner of the Kennedy Models 110 or 220 receivers.
Letters in Radio Miscellanea convey reader excitement
about A.R.C.'s success in providing them
with information directly and in keeping them generally
informed about our collecting world. Though people
overseas receive the magazine later than in the U.S.,
it's good to know that they find it a pleasure. This is all
great news for us as we begin another new year.
A.R.C. Benefits. Be sure to take advantage of A.R.C.
benefits: a toll-free number (866) 371-0512; the Web:
www.antiqueradio.com; Discover, Visa, American Express,
and MasterCard accepted; books shipped free
in the U.S. by book rate; and to current subscribers, a
ten percent discount on all book orders.
Coming Radio Events: There are a total of 34
events listed this month: 28 meetings; swap meets in
five states -- New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Ohio, South
Carolina, and New Mexico; and one auction. Try to
make at least one event and keep in touch with fellow
collectors through the long winter months.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover pictures Buford and Jane Chidester,
authors of the book Classic Cones, selling some
of their handsome wares at AWA this past August.
The speakers shown are, left to right: an RCA 103
cloth tapestry speaker; a Tower "Ship Speaker";
and a Tower "Castle Cone." On the Chidesters'
book rear cover, a photo reveals a major collection
in their home. At AWA, they looked as if they were
having such a good time that your editor decided
a photo was in order.