EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for April 2001
(Copyright 1996-2000 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
As we've endured the treacherous March weather here in New England, we've worked with pleasure on an issue marked "April." Just the word suggests spring, though with no guarantee. On the other hand, our cover and lead article evoke a February memory when Old Man Winter gave us a break for the day of Radio XXXII here in nearby Westford, Massachusetts.
Reflecting on that highly successful meet with its record attendance and general feeling of joie de vivre has made us think that such events will survive the inroads of the Internet after all. For several years now, one-on-one radio activities and hard copy magazines have felt threatened by the seemingly endless rise in the power of Internet "dot-coms." But, perhaps in their plummeting stock prices, we're seeing a mellowing in the "dot-com" position of favor.
Perhaps too, these companies are coming to realize that they can no longer offer many activities free, and that they may have to conform to real company practices. Not that we want to minimize the importance of this new way to disseminate information, as we know there is no going back to the good ol' days.
But, A.R.C. continues to try to find a niche in which the new complements the old; hence, our Web site and this hard copy, which many of you still want to carry around in a back pocket. We want to maintain our image of a bricks and mortar company where, if you call on the phone, a real person answers and A.R.C. knows radios!
We also take pleasure in promoting events like Radio XXXII where radio folks can buy, sell, trade, and most important of all, indulge in radio-talk. In our lead article, Managing Editor Dorothy Schecter picks up on a theme of what we might call "radio togetherness." It's not just fellow collectors who enjoy these events, but the number of wives, sons and daughters who participate is quite extraordinary. If a good time is had by all at such a weekend event, our survival, despite all the vagaries of modern technology, seems secure.
But, speaking of modern technology, all back issues of the Old Timer's Bulletin (OTB), the quarterly newsletter of the Antique Wireless Association, have become available on CD-Rom. Though the OTB dates back to 1960, most individual back issues up to the late 1980s have not been available for several years. Now AWA is filling that void in many collectors' libraries.
Transmitting information via the latest technology is all well and good. But, the real heart of our hobby is done by you collectors who keep looking and restoring -- collectors like Bill Moore. If Bill sees a radio that is unusual enough, he's apt to buy it. He then researches it, and best of all, writes about it, even though, as in the case of the Kolster K-165, there is very little documentation. A wide cathedral with two tuning knobs is intriguing -- but why does Bill call it an "enigma?" Read on.
Photo Review of late has featured more than one unique item that most of us have never seen before. Remember the Sears farm tractor radio in the February issue? But have you ever seen a combination transistor radio and workable typewriter? Well, there it is, among several other interesting items.
Three Estes auctions take us back to our opening theme. Traditional auctions and meets are still hot. Hundreds of bidders come and find almost anything they want (puts us in mind of that old song about Alice's restaurant). The total proceeds for the three Estes auctions is impressive -- just shy of $100,000.
Early battery and crystal sets were prominent: a Duck loose coupler sold for $1,050, a Clapp Eastham tuner for $950, and Atwater Kent breadboards for $825 and $1,350. At the more recent end of the scale a white Air King brought $1,300.
Louis D'Antuono's article on his "Novice Special" illustrates a perfect match between a home-brew project and the set in an old magazine article. Associating a home brew with a construction article adds a special value to the set. Louis' pleasure is evident throughout the process of purchasing the set, remembered from his youth, and restoring it to look like the magazine cover.
Radio Miscellanea pursues our old-vs.-new theme with comments about the pitfalls of trading on the Internet and communicating via e-mail. Auctioneer Richard Estes gives us a much appreciated firsthand view of preparation for the Muchow Estate Auction in August.
Internet. Though we treasure the traditional methods of collector interaction, the positive impact of the Internet on our way of life can't be underestimated. In that light, we continue to improve our site. You may be amazed at the amount of information there, from standard classified ads to updated events listings, free to all clubs, and to articles from our archives, links to related sites, and more. You may also order books and back issues, as well as renew your subscription.
Coming Radio Events. April brings us over 40 antique radio events around the world. On April 21, six antique radio clubs will join the Museum of Radio & Technology in hosting Spring Fever #9 in Huntington, West Virginia. April 28-29, the Canadian Vintage Radio Society's Saskatchewan Chapter is holding a 2-day antique show and sale. Auctions are also prevalent: Gene Harris on April 7; and both the Jenack and the Estes auctions on April 21.
Look for A.R.C. at the New England Antique Radio Club's Swap Meet in Nashua, New Hampshire, on April 28, and at the National Vintage Communications Fair in Birmingham, England, on April 29.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Adam Schoolsky, the happy radio camper on our cover, seemed to epitomize the general good feeling at Radio XXXII. Whether on a tour of the meet rooms or sending messages via cellphone to his wife Jeanette back at their table, Adam was having a great time. Your editor is glad to have captured that feeling for our cover.