EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for March 2005
(Copyright 1996-2005 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
Once again a reader has given us the opportunity to be the forum for an aspect of radio history that isn't generally known. So it is with Ed Scribner's story about a post wired "broadcasting" system at the Radio Training School at Sioux Falls, South Dakota, during World War II. This story follows the pattern of many past stories we've published recording the histories of places like Radio Row, WLW Cincinnati, or RCA Camden, among others.
Ingenuity is a common thread in these histories, and it is especially evident in the Scribner story. Wartime makes immediate demands on problem solvers. Ed stepped up to the plate and created a system to meet the needs of the Radio School for a public address system that improved efficiency, as well as provided news and entertainment. Making do with whatever was available was the key to the success of this project.
We invite others to share their radio history stories, which reinforce our sense of the importance of preserving old radios. Hats off to Ed, who, at 96, is still making use of his archives to add another chapter to the story of radio.
Ed's direct involvement in the Sioux Falls story illustrates the human interest dimension often present in radio history articles. Similarly, radio novelties, like the radio game shown in Photo Review this month, also broaden the human side of collecting. It's easy to imagine a player, young or not-so-young, trying to get the radio tube-like capsules into the socket holes of this game.
Other sets of note in Photo Review include a Meteor by Radio Shop and a rarely seen Paragon III-A by Adams Morgan. This latter set with its wooden cabinet and doors would look nice in any living room, a contrast to the usual plain black panel sets of the times.
Of course, history is an element even in a article about a particular set. Richard Arnold always adds to our knowledge about his latest find. In this case, it is a Philco 48-460, which he nicknames "the frog." This set seems to have had many variations, including some Canadian sets and others we have found in books and on the Internet. Perhaps you readers will report on more.
Ingenuity is also very much a part of any restoration project. Daniel Schoo, who has written extensively on restoration topics for A.R.C., has commented on Walter Heskes' January 2005 article on fixing IF transformers. Dan offers an alternate method.
And once again resistance line cord or ballast tube replacement is a restoration topic which both Charles Rhodes and Don Borowski addressed within days of each other. Both suggested using a capacitor instead of the diode Ted Rogers proposed in his December 2002 article. Our editorial staff combined the Rhodes and Borowski articles into one, and though some might consider the math challenging, finding a proper capacitor may be more so. We offer one source, but perhaps readers will come up with others.
Every Estes auction is outstanding in some way. Notable in this one was the large amount of Amateur radio gear. Though high-end items were not in abundance, two Atwater Kent breadboards went for $1,500 and $1,750 respectively. A pair of MacIntosh amps sold for $1,000, and a Westinghouse station monitor for $4,200. Ray Chase reports it was a great auction for bargain hunters.
Radio Miscellanea touches on past, present and future: Camp Selby mentioned in an ad in the December '04 issue has prompted another response; a current tube tester manual is reviewed; and the Internet as friend or enemy is addressed. Keep those letters coming.
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. Of a total of 37 events listed this month, there are 30 meetings, five meets, and two auctions, one the VRPS auction and the other, the first West Coast Estes auction. Try to ease out of the winter doldrums and get to at least one of these events.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover is a line drawing by Victor Turner, an announcer at the Post Broadcasting System (PBS)
at the Army Radio Training School in Sioux Falls,
South Dakota, during World War II. The drawing was
originally distributed as a poster around the Army base. It
depicts the control room of the PBS with the studio
shown through the window left rear. Ed Scribner, who
designed the system, sits at the desk left, while the artist stands
at the cabinets right. Seated right is Robert McCarl,
a former civilian radio announcer, while at the studio
window is Rodger Wolfe, who later worked for NBC.
Printed without comment
We continue to receive reports from advertisers of
e-mail responses to their classified ads proposing to
pay them with a check, sometimes via a third party,
in excess of the purchase price. The seller is asked
to refund the difference by wire. In more than one
case reported to A.R.C., the check received was "bad."
To minimize problems, we always suggest that
you know whom you are dealing with or ask for references.