VOLUME 15 FEBRUARY 1998 NUMBER 2
EDITOR'S COMMENTSFrom Antique Radio Classified for February 1998
(Copyright 1996-8 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
For as long as anyone can remember, February has meant valentines. A little research tells us that the association of a day for the exchange of cards of affection and the St. Valentine of ancient Roman times is purely accidental. Still, our cover reflects how Valentine's influence has pervaded all aspects of our culture for generations even the phenomenal growth of interest in radio in the 1920s.
A few statistics tell the story: In 1922, 100,000 radios were sold. By 1925, only three years later, 2,000,000 were sold. The boy and girl applauding the love song they hear on the radio are indicative of America's love affair with radio. We collectors know what that is all about.
Of course, this love affair has extended far beyond America's shores, as we know from our international subscriber base and from the reports of collectors like Australian Richard Begbie. In our lead article this month, Richard, a journalist and radio collector, tells us that early interest in radio in Australia lagged that in the U. S. by only a few years. Although early sets were largely American-made, the "Golden Age" of Aussie-manufactured radios began in 1929, a result of heavy import restrictions. Of added interest to the story is the rapid growth of the modern-day Historical Radio Society of Australia (HRSA), modeled on our A.W.A.
A.R.C. staff member Dick Desjarlais writes about a unique piece of equipment found at a flea market. The Raid-O-Larm, an accessory with only a few simple components, converts an ordinary receiver into a household World War II air raid warning device. Dick and our in-house consultant Ray Bintliff found it hard to figure out just how this seemingly simple gadget operates. They met the challenge, needless to say.
Just by chance we have more than one staff contributor this month. Dave Crocker has contributed two articles on crystal sets. One he built from rare, authentic Murdock parts, knowing that to find an original would be practically impossible and expensive; the other, a Crocker-Wheeler, was obviously bought for its name, and Dave hopes readers will be able to supply more information about his "family set."
Alan Douglas has been unrelenting in his search for information about the 1931 Minerva Midget, which he first inquired about in the November 1996 A.R.C. He now owns one that surfaced in South Dakota, but his search for information goes on.
Once again we feature a Staff Profile by Managing Editor Dorothy Schecter. The subject is Scott Young, our production manager, who has moved on to "Corporate America" after ten years with A.R.C. This is our third amicable parting in the past year one due to family relocation, a second to full-time motherhood, and now Scott, to the career ladder. However, we are fully restaffed, and the show goes on! As always, we're ready to carry on the multiple tasks involved in bringing A.R.C. to you in top form.
A favorite subject among you radio collectors appears to be permeability tuning. Ray Bintliff has compiled another batch of reports on this subject, including that of another down-under contributor John Stokes, author of 70 Years of Radio Tubes and Valves. John reports on radios using permeability tuning only for bandspread purposes, while other collectors report "sightings" in auto, FM, home brews, and communications receivers.
Hank Trabold shares an interesting, short human- interest story about hearing basketball history being made on his first homemade crystal set. The 9th of Alan Douglas' tube-tester articles is most interesting because it talks about Hickok's development of a new and revolutionary (in the 1930s) circuit for tube testers. This circuit measured transconductance directly, and Hickok used it into the 1970s.
Photo Review features a number of unusual sets. In contrast are a 17-pound crystal set and a featherweight, palm-sized British set. A classroom demonstrator set is also of interest.
New Area Code. Our telephone area code has changed from 508 to 978. We hope to get all phone references in A.R.C. changed by the March issue.
A.R.C. Mail Dates for March & April Issues. The mailing dates for these issues will be the 27th and 28th of the previous month. Thus, most subscribers will receive their issues after the first of the month. "Mailing of Issues" on the opposite page gives more details.
Coming Radio Events.As always, there are multiple radio events in the coming months. In particular, we hope to see you all at Radio XXIX on Sunday, February 22, at the Westford Regency Inn in Westford, Mass. Sponsored by the Greater Boston Antique Radio Collectors, this annual event was attended by over 800 last year. February also is the month for the Houston Club's Annual Convention and Auction and the San Francisco area Vacuum Tube Weekend. More information on these and dozens of other events are detailed in our Coming Radio Events pages.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover, appropriate for February, is a 1920s cutout valentine, printed in Germany, and chosen from your editor's collection. The couple's arms pivot on brass fasteners, allowing them to clap hands for the love song they hear on the early radio with horn speaker. The verse reads as follows:
You and Me
We sit entranced at the radio
A song of true love is the cause.
I listen in fine with my dear Valentine
And we give them a lot of applause.
The inscription on the back in ink is, "To Teacher, from Harold, Calvin, and Martella." We wonder if teachers still receive something special on Valentine's Day.