EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for April 2003
(Copyright 1996-2003 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
More than any other April in recent memory we hope that this one truly means spring. We're told
that this "winter of our discontent" here in New
England has been the second coldest in 50 years.
Since November, we've been snow-covered, and for A.R.C., located at the end of a 1,000-foot
driveway, that's meant the highest plowing bill ever!
However, for some time now, the weather
has been far less important than the production
problems created by our printing contractor's
requirement that we be compatible with his new
wholly digital system. Incompatibility between our
computers and his new equipment have caused delays
on both our parts. Hence, as many of you have
noted, your issues have arrived late in recent months.
In addition, we have found that such a conversion is
an uphill battle for a small operation.
As a result of all this frustration, A.R.C. is
taking corrective steps. We are, in a sense, going back
to the "good ol' days" -- an appropriate choice for
a magazine with "antique" in its title. No, we
don't mean linotype machines. Instead, we are
returning this month to the company that printed A.R.C. in
the late 1980s. With their expanded capabilities, we
are now assured of the personalized attention and
production flexibility we require.
Of course, since our first issue in 1984, we
have utilized computers for certain steps in the
production process. However, our conclusion is that it is
not practical for a small publication with a small staff
to be compatible with a wholly computerized
process. Over the next few months, we hope to show
marked improvements in the production of the
magazine and to get back to our normal schedule of mailing
no later than the 27th of the month.
And though it is snowing as I write, I'm
confident that spring is around the corner, that our
assistant publisher's ten-month old baby will brighten our
days on occasion, that our new office manager Pat
Wedge will continue to keep us in good order, and that
your magazine will reach you on time very soon!
Meanwhile, let's concentrate on the preservation of
old radios and on the quality of our collections.
As Joel Milford reminds us in our lead article,
the Sparton Company produced not only quality mirrored radios, but also radios with striking
mirror dials. Joel's article gave Ray Bintliff the
opportunity to add information from another source -- a
Sparton sales brochure full of fine photos sent in by
Stan Shelofsky. One of the sets pictured was
another Sparton "Triolean." Quality Sparton sets used 6
to 18 tubes, and had up to 25-watt amps and
15-inch speakers, mindful of 1950s hi-fi.
Richard Arnold's favorite antique shop
continues to yield him up pleasant surprises -- this time
a Belmont 777. We've come to associate Richard with Philco articles; still, this 1935 Belmont does use Philco knobs, and it's an interesting set for
AC tombstone collectors.
A "Repairman's Vignette" in
Radio Miscellanea is also a reminder of how often one story
generates another, especially in a field like ours so steeped
in nostalgia. On the other hand, it's obvious that
e-mail, the Internet, and modern technology in general
continue to creep into everyone's thinking.
Photo Review is a study in contrasts -- on
the one hand, the finely finished 1937 Philco tombstone, 1924 Victoreen superhet, and 1940
Stewart-Warner; on the other, a crudely
constructed crystal set mounted on a yeast box, surely a
winner for home-brew lovers.
The VRPS/AWA convention and auction
continues to amaze us with its success as one of the major
U.S, meets. This year's auction proceeds topped
$62,000, nearly double those of AWA last September. When
it comes to auctions, this crew knows how to do
it. Although the event runs over most of two days, it
is nevertheless a good meet with all the necessary ingredients -- a flea market, a banquet, a contest,
and Texas hospitality. But, if you go, remember,
"Don't mess with Texas" and "Littering is unLawful."
Doug Fox contributes a nice article on a 1950s
EMC tube tester. Small and simple, it makes a nice
contrast to the larger, bulkier, more complex tube testers.
Doug is soliciting more information on this tester.
Thanks to Paul Bourbin, we have a review of
the latest AWA Review -- the 15th volume. Paul
points out not only the value of the information in
these reviews to future generations of collectors, but
also the fact that they make very pleasant reading.
A.R.C. Benefits. Spring is the time to get
going again with radio activities and to take advantage
of the following A.R.C. benefits: a toll-free
number, (866) 371-0512; the Web:
www.antiqueradio.com; Discover, Visa, American Express, and
MasterCard; 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. The April schedule is
crowded with 44 events, including three auctions in the U.
S. and one in Austria. Two-day events are scheduled
in Ohio and Colorado. Be sure to get out there and welcome spring as you enjoy your favorite pastime.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover shows a striking Sparton "Photochromatic" mirror dial -- the subject of Joel
Milford's lead article. The dial is constructed of
mirror glass that has regions etched away to allow light to pass through the reverse painted