EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for January 2006
(Copyright 1996-2006 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
With the advent of the New Year here in New England, and, in fact, in the entire northern sector of the U. S., winter in its full snowy garb has settled in. On the one hand, January means fun on the slopes, grog by the fire, and attention to radio projects long dormant on the workbench; on the other hand, it can mean frigid temperatures, icy travel conditions, and cabin fever!
In general, we can assume that such winter hazards weren't on Powel Crosley's inventive mind when he came up with the subject of our lead article -- the Icyball refrigerator. Instead, Crosley was bent on marketing a product that would solve such summer hazards as spoiled food and the scarcity of cold fluids. Needless to say, the solution was not a radio.
This unlikely Crosley product caught Ray Bintliff's eye in an unlikely place for a New Englander -- an Idaho Historical Society Center. What was Powel Crosley doing marketing a refrigerator? Naturally, Ray couldn't resist consulting Crosley expert Dave Crocker, who had written an article about another unlikely Crosley product -- the Moonbeam aircraft. The result is an article about a Crosley nonradio product that kept its cool even in the extreme heat of a store fire.
If this doesn't strike you as improbable, read how the Icyball system works. Who knows how many more unique Crosley products might be hidden away in a forgotten archive.
Happily for our usual purposes, collectors like Richard Arnold stick to radios that can be repair projects in a warm workshop. Just the ticket for a winter's day. Richard's GE Model 410 is another of his success stories -- a second look, a little TLC, and a very satisfactory radio, good for daily listening.
Ed Ripley's Emerson "Sunbeam" radio project was even more ambitious. It takes a special vision to see that a Sunbeam electric heater fan wouldn't be complete unless it had radio innards. It also takes persistence to find a chassis that fits. Ed's painstaking efforts to create an Emerson "Sunbeam" black box radio are described in detail, with photos included. Here's proof that there's more than one way to salvage a chassis.
As we look forward to the new year of radio events, we're still catching up on reports on past ones. Michigan's Extravaganza is a long-standing 2-day event that has grown steadily and became more successful over the years. It appears now to have topped all others in attendance -- over 1,200 this year.
The reasons for this success are multiple, but the primary one is that the flea market with its set starting time (Le Mans) is open to all. This is key to attracting new collectors and making up for the inevitable attrition any hobby suffers.
Another ingredient for success is the informal free reception with live entertainment to which all registered attendees are invited, rather than a banquet at an additional cost. Include all the usual offerings of a successful meet -- an auction, presentations, a contest, drawings, a Ladies' Luncheon -- and you have success, big time.
It's also a plus for the growth of the hobby to report on the success of a first-time event -- the Tri-State Spring Radio Fest, the combined efforts of the Pittsburgh and Buckeye clubs. These clubs once had separate events, but combining them makes sense in these hurried times.
Despite poor weather conditions, there were 55 vendors in the flea market and over 200 attendees. Richard Estes presided over the auction of more than 225 lots, and plans for a second year event are already underway. The enthusiasm engendered by such events spells good news for all of us who want to keep interest in radio collecting strong.
A.R.C. Benefits. Continue to take advantage of A.R.C. benefits: a toll-free number (866) 371-0512; Discover, MasterCard, American Express, Visa accepted; the Web, www.antiqueradio.com; books shipped free in the U. S. by USPS media mail; and for current subscribers, a 10 percent discount on all book orders.
Coming Radio Events. Beat the onslaught of cabin fever by getting out to at least one event this month. Listed are 25 meetings, four swap meets, and one auction to choose from. A little camaraderie will go a long way in the winter doldrums.
Happy Collecting and Happy New Year!
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Do you think you've seen this month's cover before? Well, if you've been a subscriber since January 1986 or 1996, you're right. It so happens that this same Father Time speaking into his WLW microphone greeted the New Year on the covers of exactly 10 and 20 years ago. Since everyone engaged in our hobby must believe that longevity is to be commended, we couldn't resist repeating this cover for our 258th issue. Besides, what could be more appropriate than an old geezer welcoming a young 'un, which is our hope for the future.