EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for March 2004
(Copyright 1996-2004 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
What should a collector do in winter? A little repair and restoration work, a bit of shop reorganization, some buying and selling through A.R.C.? All noble pursuits, but there's that urge, that need to get out and meet our fellow collectors. Over 700 folks did just that at Radio XXXV, the big meet of the year for the Greater Boston Antique Radio Collectors, hosted by A.R.C. Over and over we heard folks express their pleasure in escaping hibernation and enjoying the general camaraderie of such a gathering, especially as this cold and icy winter drags on in the Northeast.
Radio XXXV certainly was a place to buy that set to add to your collection and sell those gathering dust in the basement, attic or barn. At such events, potential contest material may abound, but if there is no contest, there is always a flea market. There the sights can range from contest candidates to musty basket cases, sometimes complete with interred wildlife.
Our lead article by John DeLoria and Richard Burton illustrates my point. At the AWA Convention last August, John's Ozarka Viking Model 93, a contest entry, caught my eye. From that encounter, John's article evolved, with the help of Ozarka expert Peter Burton. The article tells how a flea-market basket case can be transformed into a prize winner -- a lesson worth repeating.
Interest in a particular set can be sparked at a meet, auction, club meeting, antique shop, almost anywhere. An old ad did it for Richard Arnold, who usually writes about AC cathedrals. In fact, in all the years that Richard has been a contributor to A.R.C. we can't recall when he's ever written about a battery set. However, that ad led to at least a momentary interest switch to a 1927, battery-operated, RCA Radiola 16.
Richard calls the Model 16 the "last of the pre-electric battery sets," and what is most interesting is that it was advertised for about half the price of the new electric Radiola 17. We wonder how it sold. Did buyers consider only price, knowing that the technology was changing and they would be behind the times buying the Model 16? Today the 16 is a good transitional piece for a collection.
Speaking of transitions, Ray Bintliff writes about the Aladdin Radio Repair Shop, which he discovered on a trip to the San Francisco area. You might say that John and Louise Wentzel's shop has been in transition since 1945. First, their concentration was on radio repair, but when TV arrived in 1950, they switched. Now they are back to repairing antique radios, much to their pleasure. Possibly the oldest continuous radio repair shop in the country, Aladdin is certainly worth a visit if you're in the area.
A radio repair shop with such a long history is a rarity. Be on the lookout for such interesting places whenever you travel and let us in on your discovery.
Photo Review features sets from the 1920s to the 1950s, everything from a military receiver to several traditional home sets. Perhaps most interesting is the farm set operating on 32 VDC more than likely supplied by a windmill in that heyday of wind power. The Guild set in the form of a lantern is also an eye-catcher.
We are finally catching up on the Estes auctions, this one totaling $46,000. Among the high-end items were the Collins S-Line equipment selling at $1,800 and the British World War I Mk II receiver at $1,500. In addition, two breadboards sold for over $1,000 each. There was also a good assortment of tubes, consoles, cathedrals, and even TVs.
Once again Ray Chase was our intrepid reporter assisted by his super radio wife Edith who fills in when Ray can't be at two sections of the auction at once. Of course, there are more Estes Auctions to come, so we consider ourselves extremely lucky to have the Chase reporters among the A.R.C. contributors.
Radio Miscellanea includes a number of restoration tips, as well as a good suggestion for getting your sets operating at meets.
A.R.C. Benefits. A.R.C. benefits deserve your attention: a toll-free number (866) 371-0512; the web: www.antiqueradio.com; Discover, Visa, American Express, and MasterCard accepted; books shipped free in the U. S. by book rate; and to current subscribers, a ten percent discount on all book orders.
Coming Radio Events. Two-day events are beginning to show up on the calendar as the weather becomes less threatening. The AWA Carolinas Chapter will hold its 28th Spring Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. Of the 33 other events, 28 are meetings, four are swap meets, and one is another Estes Auction. As always, we urge you to attend at least one and lend your support to our joint avocation.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
John DeLoria's handsome Ozarka Model 93 is shown on our cover in a photo taken by Editor John V. Terrey at the AWA Conference in Rochester, New York, last August. According to Ozarka, this set had "no equal as a super." It sold for $69.50, while the Model 93B with the same chassis sold for $49.50.