EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for February 2005
(Copyright 1996-2005 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
One of the most rewarding things about publishing a magazine like A.R.C. is how it inspires readers to share both their ongoing collecting passions and their discoveries. Sometimes those discoveries are the product of obscure companies, or they may simply be downright mysteries. We have more than one such example in this issue and can recall several on our pages in just the last year. Check out Jerry Wieland's Motorola 53LC3 (2/04); Geoff Shearer's Crosley 2C1 (9/04); and Richard Arnold's International Kadette (1/05). Needless to say, there are examples in the Photo Review pages too numerous to count.
Our lead article this month is a case in point. To begin with, Art Redman's current interest in doing research on Pacific Northwest radio manufacturers is in itself an unusual pursuit. However, it led to his discovery of a natural match to his interest -- the obscure Long Radio Works once located on the family farm near Portland, Oregon. Since he doesn't own a Long radio, Art relied on friends for advice and photos -- a great collaborative effort.
Fitting right into this picture of the obscure or mysterious is Art Lebermann's search for the history of his large Sears/Silvertone tombstone labeled "Sears International." The label states that the set was made in the U. S., printed in both English and French -- certainly an indication that it was made for export. But where is the proof? Art would like to find it.
Sometimes a radio looks pretty straightforward at first glance, not at all a candidate for the "rare" or "obscure" categories. But on second look, Richard Arnold's Trav-Ler 5066, is unusual in its number of variants -- color, logo locations, knobs, and even its "smiling" appearance. It also inspired imitation, as other manufacturers made similar sets. A little research often opens up wide-ranging possibilities.
The theme of "rare and obscure" certainly crops up in Erwin Macho's reports on the Dorotheum auctions in Vienna. An unusual, incomplete Ingelen U7 projected to sell at around $500 brought over $5,000 instead. Someone obviously thought this a rare opportunity.
Erwin keeps us attuned to the European market, not only with auction reports but with his contributions to Photo Review. Two very different Macho sets appear on these pages this month -- a 1950s portable and a 1930s pocket crystal set. Other battery and AC table sets and a console round out these pages.
Ray Chase's reports on Estes Auctions have become nearly monthly events and often offer unusual sets. Of the over 600 lots totaling more than $40,000 in this June event, many were the usual suspects -- Atwater Kent breadboards, Crosley, Federal, Kennedy, and RCA battery sets. But, more impressive was the outstanding assortment of Ham gear and Zenith sets offered. In addition, a few obscure sets made the scene -- three different Western coil sets and an Alan 5 Retroflex -- as well as lots of tubes and paper items.
Feedback to articles in Radio Miscellanea are a welcome sign that you readers are paying attention. It's also a pleasure when we find that the Web site has spread the word about some aspect of radio history. An Illinois museum that houses a large exhibit on the Kroehler Company did not know about the company's production of radios. Now they do because of Jerry Wieland's December 2003 article. That's what we're all about -- communicating the importance of radio history and preservation.
A.R.C. Benefits. Be sure to take advantage of A.R.C. benefits when ordering subscriptions and books: a toll-free number, (866) 371-0512; the Web, www.antiqueradio.com; Discover, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express accepted; books shipped free in the U. S. by mail rate; and for current subscribers, a ten percent discount on all book orders.
Coming Radio Events. This is a month for big events: A.R.C. hosts the popular GBARC Radio XXXVI in Westford, Mass., on the 20th; HVRA holds its annual convention in Houston, Texas, on the 4th-5th; and ARCI holds its 25th anniversary celebration and swap meet in Bolingbrook, Illinois, on the 6th. A total of 39 events are listed, so be sure to attend at least one in your area. If you can attend Radio XXXVI, please stop by the A.R.C. table to say, "Hi!"
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover is from a postcard in the John V. Terrey collection. The theme of a valentine balloon connected to headsets seemed the right choice for February. The message side of the card, which also fits into the "obscure" theme of some of our articles, required some research beyond the obvious. The postmark is clearly Budapest, with a date faintly visible as "27 July 23," and the card is addressed to people in Belgium. We found that the stamps were issued between 1926 and 1933, but the message in Hungarian was a challenge.
Surely in the "rare" category is the fact that we just happen to have a Hungarian neighbor who came up with the following translation, possibly referring to a birth: "We received your letter and were very happy to hear that, luckily, it arrived and that it is in the basket. We are greeting mama and papa and good wishes to everyone. Kisses with love, Mama." The happy children floating on the balloon fit any occasion perfectly.
The Zenith Stratosphere pictured on page 30 of the January 2005 issue should have been identified as a Model 1000Z, not a 10007. The Atwater Kent set on the cover of the January 2005 issue should have been identified as a Model 36, not a 37. The clear-case TR-1 in Bill Morris's display pictured on page 7 of the October 2004 issue is owned by Bret Phillips.