EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for February 2006
(Copyright 1996-2006 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
Whenever we feature a postcard or greeting card from the early days of radio on our cover, we're struck by its reflection on the popular culture of the times. Radio seemed to have permeated all aspects of daily living, and the depiction of headphones and radios, often shown with adorable young children, was widespread. To emphasize the communicative power of the airways, images of radio were everywhere.
The concept persists well into today. Consider the number of radio novelties that show up in auctions -- radios designed into models of cars, MacDonald's hamburgers, Mickey Mouse, globes, ships -- the list goes on. A highlight in Ron Ramirez's welcome report of Eric's annual radio auction is an "Official League Ball" radio that sold for $700. It seems that the image of radio in one form or other is here to stay.
As is very evident, we report almost monthly on Estes radio auctions in these pages. However, it's good to know that other auction houses and clubs also include radios in auctions on a regular basis. Another highlight of Eric's annual auction was the RCA black Catalin radio that sold for $960.
The Colorado Radio Collectors annual auction was also a great success. Thanks to Larry Weide we can report on the impressive total proceeds of $4,600, as well as the memorable BBQ potluck lunch. The top item was a Scott Allwave selling at $850, but, I repeat, the real highlight seemed to be the BBQ.
The Delaware Valley Historic Radio Club meet at Kutztown, Pennsylvania, is one of the most popular events in the country. Ask John Hagman who writes in almost idyllic terms about his annual trek from Vermont to Pennsylvania. This meet continues to grow, and John shares with us his very personal experience there.
Personal tastes in collecting are reflected in some contributions to Photo Review this month. A wall receptacle for an antenna shows how folks were adapting their houses to radio, just as today's new houses feature built-in everything. And commemorative dinner plates with radio themes certainly don't turn up very often. Both of these items reinforce the impression that radio had invaded American culture.
Richard Arnold's article on the GE HJ-624 reminds us that we've come a long way in push-button tuning. Though "feather-touch" may have been the operative word in selling this radio, the tuning was mechanical, and a screwdriver was required to adjust each button. Of course, a true collector like Richard would find that inconvenience a pleasure.
The pleasure Robert Shindhelm felt in acquiring the signal generator of his dreams is contagious. His Hewlett Packard 606A, acquired at a bargain price, was totally unaffordable to the average amateur repairman in its day. The set required little restoration and its lab quality condition will give Robert joy forever. We congratulate him on his luck and thank him for sharing his story with us.
The continuity of an old radio shop over two decades is the subject of Dave Gonshor's article on two old photos. Dave invites us to think about jumping back in time to the prices of the 1920s and 1930s. Truly a dream world by today's standards.
Ray Bintliff gives Robert Murray's book on the early development of radio in Canada a definite heads-up. The similarity to some American sets is covered, and as Ray points out, extending our radio knowledge beyond our borders is a plus for the hobby.
Radio Miscellanea includes information from helpful readers, as well as news about the offer of a Philco radio, the Model 80 Colonial Clock, at GBARC's Radio XXXVII this month. How this unusual set will be offered to attendees will be announced at the meet. Hope to see you there.
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. This is the month for the popular GBARC Radio XXXVII hosted by A.R.C. in Westford, Mass., on February 19. Among the 36 other events are HVRA's annual convention, six meets, two auctions, and 28 meetings. If you can attend Radio XXXVII, please stop by A.R.C.'s table to say, "Hi!"
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
We found Jerry Schneider's offer of our cover valentine from his collection irresistible. It is not only appropriate for February, but also beautiful in its detail, and unique in the absence of the color red in the design. Written on the back is the message, "To Harriet from your loving neighbor Vincenza Polucci." Inside is the drawing and the verse below.