VOLUME 15 MARCH 1998 NUMBER 3
EDITOR'S COMMENTSFrom Antique Radio Classified for March 1998
(Copyright 1996-8 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
As this issue goes to press, here at A.R.C. we are still in midwinter, and reports of El Nino's havoc elsewhere pervade the airways. But, radio collectors are undaunted and certainly irrepressible. Proof of that lies in a perusal of Coming Radio Events which extends into April and May and on to the end of the year.
Listed for March alone are more than 40 events, including the 3-day Carolinas/AWA Spring Meet. Spring fever has obviously set in early, and we doubt that it will take much urging for all you collectors to get out there and join in the excitement of an event close to you.
While collectors look forward to the immediate bright future, there is always time for a nostalgic look at the past. That's exactly what Joseph Jackson does in our lead story about early broadcasting in Georgia. A radio collector and historian, Dr. Jackson (ironically, a radiologist) digs into a subject close to home WMAZ, a 1920s radio station at Mercer University, Jackson's alma mater. WMAZ may be unique in that it retained its call letters and its identity until 1996.
Research projects seem to be the basis for more than one article this month. Knowing members of the Espey family was the impetus for Ward Kremer's search for information about Espey radios. Bunis lists only ten Espey models, a fact that seems to corroborate Ward's premise that Espey production limitations were due to the company's aversion to cost-cutting not the best business philosophy, to say the least.
Following Richard Begbie's article on Australian radios in the February issue, we welcome another article from "Down Under" this time, New Zealand. However, Ian Sangster's subject, "The Exterminating Co. Five," has a little different twist a U.S. radio, picked up in the U. S. in 1996, that he is still trying to identify from afar.
Our Holland correspondent Gérard Faassen extends our international connections to Belgium where he picked up the teapot used as an advertising gimmick for Ecko Bakelite receivers of the 1930s. Of course, it was an English company that made this connection with tea drinking for its sales pitch.
Both Ted Babcock and Robert McCulloch contribute more to the ongoing discussion of the Freshman Polydyne. They remind us of the strange and different thing about this set the transformer with 5 filament windings. As Robert points out, such a transformer would be very expensive to replace today.
Richard Arnold reports on an interesting Jackson Bell AC cathedral radio. The really attractive swan grille makes this Model 62 a highly collectible set.
Photo Review includes many interesting items. Among them are a Warwick Model 45, which has the shape of a trapezoid, and a highly collectible Tower Castle cone speaker.
Our intrepid auction reporter, Ray Chase, contributes no fewer than three auctions this month. The Childers & Smith auction included a lot of lab test equipment going for surprisingly reasonable prices. Other nice pieces, like a DeWald Catalin and an Emerson "Strad," brought good prices.
Ray reminds us that the Hahn auction included only a small collection of radios, but such auctions are always worth checking out. Regarding the extensive collection of Gilbert L. Finne, we can't help concluding that, had it been in good condition when it went on the block, the proceeds might have told a different story. We collectors should remember that we owe it to future generations to maintain and store our collections well.
A piece by Dick Desjarlais is based on information from Herb Eltz on windchargers. These machines connected farmers and others in rural areas with the world before electric power was commonplace. As Herb says, "We had more wind than anything else in those days." No doubt environmentalists would cheer if windchargers came back into more common use today.
The subject of a substitute for the Type 1L6 tube refuses to die. Both Robert Perlstein and Jim Farago have contributed thoughts on this subject, and no doubt we'll hear more from other collectors in the future.
David Davies' story about finding his Motorola 56T1 transistor radio reminds us to leave no stone or case or box unturned in our quest for an exciting radio find.
Radio Miscellanea attests to the fact that we have had so much feedback to articles and Photo Review that we decided to go to two pages this month. How to use the new communications technology is an ongoing subject, and we hope to hear more from you readers.
Jonathan Hill's latest book Audio! Audio! is reviewed by Charlie Kittleson who says that this book is an excellent reference for "interested tube heads." Jonathan also is the organizer of the National Vintage Communications Fair, an event in Birmingham, England, planned this year for May 10.
Coming Radio Events. Be sure to note also the private auctions in our Coming Radio Events section. These include the 2,000-lot auction of the Tony Molettiere collection in Pennsylvania on May 7-9 . Certainly, this is one not to miss.
A.R.C. will be at the next NEARC meet in Nashua, New Hampshire, on April 18, and we also look forward to seeing you at the Dayton Hamvention, May 15-17.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Thanks to Joseph Jackson and the archives of Mercer University of Macon, Georgia, our cover strikes a real note of nostalgia for the early days of radio broadcasting. The 1920s photo depicts the WMAZ (Watch Mercer Attain Zenith) antenna atop the chapel tower. We did not include the caption below the photo, which is a Latin verse with an English translation. The words may have related to commencement exercises, which were a topic of early broadcasts.
Farewell, a word that hath been and must be,
A sound that makes us linger and yet farewell.