EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for April 2004
(Copyright 1996-2004 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
A bridge to spring -- that's how we like to describe the Greater Boston Antique Radio Collectors' (GBARC) annual February meet, the subject of our lead article. At this writing, we can fantasize that this bridge needed to be only a short one because we are now enjoying record-breaking 60 degree temperatures. But, New Englanders are realists and know that in a minute all that can change. Since outdoor meets are not in our immediate future, we can reflect on the success of Radio XXXV, the product of the hard labors of our own A.R.C. staff.
"Short and sweet" best describes this fast moving, single morning event. Starting time is a carefully monitored 8:00 a.m., and then the fun begins. Despite the frigid weather, over 700 attendees filled the Westford Regency ballroom and spilled over into the lobby and two adjoining rooms. On view were 94 tables laden with radio and related treasures. As Dorothy Schecter points out in her article, this is a family affair, and this event also offers the pleasure of talking to people of all ages from as far away as Hawaii.
In fact, camaraderie is key to a meet like this. This year, the good fellowship extended beyond the regular meet hours when I opened my museum to anyone who wanted to drop by to view my collection. More than a dozen people made the short five mile trip and enjoyed seeing my collection of 600 plus items, including over 100 horns, as well as over 100 crystal sets. Their enthusiasm for sets like the 37 Grebe items has made me think more seriously about a barn/museum in the future.
In general, Radio XXXV proved to be as well received as in preceding years. We seem to have found the right venue in a location convenient to highways, and because of our advertising, dealers know that serious buyers will attend. Buyers, in turn, know that a wide variety of quality goods will be offered.
At this meet, a buyer might find an item he's tried to find for seven years, as Tom Collins did, or how about a whole new area of collecting, like Jon Golden's miniature tape recorders? Whatever your pleasure, you can't ask for more in the dead of winter when you need to get out to connect with the real radio world.
Speaking of reaching out, Richard Arnold's Atwater Kent 84 article tells how he acquired this set in his early collecting days via a unique advertising scheme. As his frequent byline in A.R.C. attests, Richard is one of our most prolific writers. Unfortunately, I had a memory lapse last month when I said on this page that I could not recall Arnold articles other than those on AC cathedrals. Richard has reminded me of a dozen battery set articles written from 1986 to 1994. Apologies for a "senior moment" that may send an alarming signal that ten years might be my memory limit!
Thanks to Loren Ashworth whose photos of a CBS Col-R-Tel converter became the inspiration for a short "photo essay." This early color TV converter utilized the CBS field-sequential color system, which resulted in an excellent color picture, but was beaten out by the RCA NTSC system used today.
Early television collecting is becoming more and more in evidence, and we're glad that Dave Sica alerted us to the second Early Television Convention to be held April 24 and 25. Like the first convention last spring, which Dave and friends describe in an article, this one will be held at what must be the perfect venue -- the Early Television Foundation Museum in Hilliard, Ohio. This museum containing Steve McVoy's extensive collection of television artifacts is well worth a visit.
In its heyday, radio was used by advertisers to promote almost everything. The gas pump advertising globe in Photo Review piques the imagination, as we wonder if folks sought out the station with "Radio" gas and oil. Also mixed with an assortment of interesting sets is a relatively rare Magnavox 1-tube amplifier.
In his latest Estes Auctions report, Ray Chase suggests that this may have been a historic event in that a single vacuum tube sold for $14,500, while another sold for $7,000. In fact, 25 items sold for over $1,000 each. Certainly, these and other prices are impressive, but prices weren't the only outstanding thing about this auction. Quality too was much in evidence because a large percentage of the offerings came from the Sanford Deutsch (see September 2003) and Donald Rossbach collections, both noted for their very fine condition.
A.R.C. Benefits. When you start to think "spring," think A.R.C. benefits: a toll-free number (866) 371-0512; the Web: www.antiqueradio.com; Discover, Visa, American Express, and MasterCard accepted; 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. Events begin to increase in number with the advent of April. Of the 46 listed, six are auctions and ten are swapmeets. Be sure to get to at least one in your area.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover photo of Sam Petnov, a 65-year veteran of the radio business, was taken at Radio XXXV by Editor John Terrey. What Sam holds is not a radio, but a highly unusual Guide output meter used to measure the intensity of auto headlights. This was certainly one of the curiosities of the show. Sam's expression speaks to his love of everything "radio."