EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for April 2002
(Copyright 1996-2002 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
The April issue with the promise of spring always heralds good times to come. Collectors come out of hibernation to gear up for the big radio events of summer and fall. But, here in the Northeast, hardy collectors begin early and may be excused for taking a moment to look back on a big winter event -- Radio XXXIII. At the risk of gloating a bit, we're proud to say that this event highlights winter and really works for the 700 to 800 folks who attend.
Managing Editor Dorothy Schecter has written an account that conveys why even a non-collector like herself enjoys this event. All kinds of interesting people who might be potential collectors show up, and human interest stories abound. In fact, one of the unusual qualities of Radio XXXIII is that A.R.C. does extensive advertising to invite the general public. What a great way to foster interest in radio preservation!
The A.R.C. staff, and especially Office and Circulation Manager Tammy DeGray, spend many hours in early winter preparing for this event. The rewards are great -- tables are sold out well in advance, and the feedback is overwhelmingly positive.
Perhaps the appeal of Radio XXXIII is due to our sticking to a tried and true plan. First, it is a 5-hour, indoor flea market in a pleasant facility, nothing more, nothing less. Unlike the major 3-day events, it has no frills -- no auction, no banquet, no contest. Though tried in a small way in the past, these extras received little response. As a result, a flea market it remains.
And since the bottom line for any annual event is consistent attendance, why change the plan? We suggest that every group sponsoring radio events find what works for its participants and not succumb to pressures to match what other clubs may be doing.
Speaking of change, Dave Gonshor's article on the Bristol Audiphone horn speakers brought to mind the old saying, "The more things change, the more they remain the same." Today's audiophiles might be struck by the similarity of the 1920s Bristol speakers to some high-end speakers of today, such as the Avantgarde-USA speakers, priced in the thousands. Though contemporary in style, the horns in these speakers still sit up there in full view like the Bristol models.
Follow-ups to A.R.C. articles are always welcome, especially when they tell us something new. New to us in Ken McGregor's article, inspired by Steve Auyer's earlier article on radio postcards, is the origin of some familiar old radio shows. One photo can trigger many memories and unearth even more information.
On the subject of information, we are constantly asked about where repairs can be done to old radios. One of our missions is to try to answer that question, and Christina Barnes' article on Victor Bang's shop in Tempe, Arizona, does that for folks in that area. Of special interest is how this story came to be written. Christina, a business broker and a non-collector, happened to talk with Victor about his business and found his story worth telling.
Photo Review may give some of you a few chuckles. One "set" inspires the question, "When is a Fada bullet Catalin not a Fada bullet Catalin?" And how about those tube boxes made by a seed company?
In his Zenith repair article, William Demetriou opens up a very interesting theme about which purists might feel uneasy -- combine the parts of two sets in bad condition to make one good one. William operated on the same principle of car afficionados -- buy two to make one. Few of us would recommend this technique for rare sets, but for a set of relatively modest value like this Zenith, it was a good choice.
In the same vein, Dale Davenport offers more restoration tips to add to his list in the June 2001 issue. Many of us are glad to know how to deal with those time-consuming handles, dials and knobs.
When we received The Saga of Marconi Osram Valve by Barry Vyse and George Jessop for review, we knew just the man to do it -- Ludwell Sibley of the Tube Collectors Association. Lud tells us that this book, which is about Britain's Marconi-Osram Company, is "a significant addition to tube history."
Letters in Radio Miscellanea this month indicate a very positive response to recent articles. Both John Hagman's repair article on the RCA 128 and Ron Russell's article on wind-powered radios excited a great deal of interest.
A.R.C. Benefits. A toll-free number, 866-371-0512; Discover, American Express, Visa and MasterCard accepted; books shipped free in the U. S. by book rate; and for current subscribers, a ten percent discount on all book orders. Subscribers, remember you must request the discount when you order, and shipping must be to the address to which we send your magazine.
A.R.C. Address Change. Although the address for all general correspondence remains the same -- P.O. Box 2, Carlisle, MA 01741 -- A.R.C.'s address for UPS, FedEX, etc. items has changed from 1 River Rd. to 498-A Cross St., Carlisle, MA 01741.
Coming Radio Events. The month of April brings us over 40 scheduled events. Auctions include Harris' on April 6 and Estes' on April 20-21. For meets, check out the NVRC's Spring Swap Meet on April 20, MARC's Spring Meet on April 27, or Spring Fever #10 on April 13. And, stop by the A.R.C. tables at NEARC's meet in Nashua, New Hampshire, on April 27 to say "Hi."
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Dave Gonshor's photo of the Bristol Audiophone family of horn speakers is mindful of Grimm's fairy tale characters, the three bears. However, instead of Father, Mother and Baby, they are Senior, Junior, and Baby. The 1920s speakers are products of the Connecticut-based Bristol Company, now Bristol Babcock.