EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for February 2007
(Copyright 1996-2007 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
The heightened, sometimes frenzied, activity involved in getting A.R.C. to the printer every month increases twofold for the February issue. Why? Because our monthly routine goes a bit awry with the demands of planning for a worthy cause -- Radio XXXVIII, which A.R.C. runs for the Greater Boston Radio Collectors.
Every February on the Sunday of Presidents' Day weekend, our staff mounts what has become (forgive the boast) the biggest antique radio show on the East Coast. No wonder we are breathless as we go to press, but we've done it all before and feel confident of success. I'm hoping that many of you who haven't made it to the show in the past will join us for a great day of radio camaraderie.
Success is certainly a word that leaps out at you when you consider the subject of Andrew Hayden's lead article -- RadioShack, a company that has been a household name for decades. I have a personal attachment to the history of RadioShack because as a boy in Texas, I ordered parts for my Ham projects from the company's early catalogs. When I came to the Boston area for college in the late 1950s, I was able to make many trips in person to RadioShack.
Several years later, I was amazed to see branches of the store in rural southern Texas. As Andrew relates, this expansion began after Charles Tandy of Texas had bought the troubled company in 1963. By 1969, he had opened 500 stores across the country. I doubt that there's any collector among us who hasn't frequented a nearby RadioShack at one time or another. We'll have to see if the company can continue to service the broad interests of the hobbyist, as well as those of the general public, in this new century.
Meanwhile, we continue to take pleasure in the old. Richard Arnold takes us back to the farm sets from around 1940 with his battery-operated farm set, a Truetone D935. Since the voltage requirements for a farm set are different from an early battery set, it must have a different power supply, such as Richard's Powr Shiftr. Instead of a deterrent, this difference could make farm sets more interesting to some collectors. Richard himself was late to appreciate the fact that there are ways to run these sets and to enjoy them.
We go even farther back to the 1920s with Ozzie Aasgaard's Crosley Model 5-50. The one-knob control on this late TRF battery set replaced the usual three-knob control in use on sets of those early days. This concept of one-knob control had a brief moment of glory as "high tech" before the emergence of the one-knob superheterodyne still in use. Becoming obsolete in the 1920s was as easy as it is today.
From the Netherlands, Gerald Faassen takes us to the 1950s with a significantly different radio -- the very colorful Tesla Talisman 308U manufactured in Czechoslovakia. We regret not being able to show the sets in color, but their shape, supposedly inspired by comic book space ships, should pique your interest.
John Hagman's reports on the Delaware Valley Historic Radio Club meets at Kutztown, Pennsylvania, always remind us that the real reward of such an event is getting together with fellow collectors. In spite of bad weather, hours of travel, even modest sales, John regularly attends Kutztown and urges us to join him.
Of course, no one can be everywhere, though our faithful reporter Ray Chase gives it a try. His latest Estes Auctions report describes the sale of Lou Lindauer's collection, an event that I really regret missing. I've known Lou for many years, and I've had items from his collection in the back of my mind, hoping someday to augment my own collection with them. Sure enough, a Lyradion Series B, for example, went for $2,500. So it goes in a collector's life. However, a broad selection of early battery and wireless sets must have sent many folks home happy.
Reviewer Ray Bintliff gives Bret Menassa's Volume 4 in his series of videos on antique radio restoration a resounding thumbs up. This one on wood cabinet repair and refinishing encourages collectors, regardless of experience, to give it a try. Just follow the careful step-by-step instructions, all useful and easy to carry out. Bret's series does much to advance the cause of radio preservation.
A.R.C. Benefits. Be sure 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. With the holidays over, collectors can get back to serious radio activities. Listed this month are 24 meetings, 4 auctions, and 9 meets, one of which is our own Radio XXXVIII in Westford, Mass., on February 18. I look forward to seeing you there.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover this month portrays a family of the 1920s listening to a battery set. For some time, we have been waiting for an article to come along to pair with this photo. Thus far, that hasn't happened, so we decided to publish it in recognition of Black History Month. The photo was sent to us by George Jones and the late Fred Geer, a frequent contributor to A.R.C. in the 1990s. They had found it at an antique show and because of the weight of the paper surmised that it might have been a calendar photo.