EDITOR'S COMMENTSFrom Antique Radio Classified for April 2009
(Copyright 1996-2009 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
The preservation of old radios and radio history -- few orgainzations have served this cause as long and as well as AWA. In looking over the report on AWA's 47th conference contributed primarily by Ray Chase and Larry Babcock, I was struck by how comprehensive and broad-based this annual event continues to be. These are the qualities that make me say once again that, "if you can go to only one meet, make it to this one."
Of course, we report on other meets that have become larger overall. Our own annual one-day meet in Westford, Massachusetts, has had a larger attendance than that of AWA, and other meets have larger crowds and flea markets. But different clubs place emphasis on different activities, and so it is difficult to compare "apples to apples."
However, AWA always gives attendees the big picture of vintage radio, radio collecting, and radio history. You can count on an exceptional old equipment contest, a good number of international attendees, well-presented and attended seminars, and an excellent auction. In addition, the inclusion of a "Book Fair" filled by dealers in old books and ephemera may be unique to this meet. And don't forget the proximity to the AWA Museum, which is growing into a new 15,000 sq. ft. facility. We have much to look forward to there.
The old equipment contest had many outstanding, well-documented entries. Bob Feczko's Motorola portable display on our cover is an example. Another is David Bart's 150th anniversary of the Atlantic Cable display, which stretched over three tables, and took a first in the open category.
The auction too offered a wide range of items totalling $28,000. Items of particular interest spanned the 1920s to the 1960s; for example, a 1920s blue Neutrowound battery set sold for $1,100 while a 1960s vintage tube-type McIntosh amplifier sold for $1,000. Foreign sets were also highlights: a British Mark II sold for $1,000; an early German lab demonstration coherer set for $2,300; and an Austrian 1890 brass key, sounder and register for $2,000. For me, a "sleeper" was the unusual Standardyne multivalve set selling at $275, although the "three-tubes-in-one" tube was not operative.
What we always try to do in these meet and auction reports is to present highlights and photos of the unusual in order to give those of you who could not attend a feeling for what went on. AWA deserves credit for its efforts in recent years to improve all aspects of this annual conference to conform more with present-day demands. I saw a lot of happy faces in the flea market and elsewhere this year, so I recommend that you include AWA in your 2009 summer plans.
The happy result of Don Watson's hard labor is shown in his article on giving a Zenith Royal 750 a new cabinet and a new life. After doing an electrical restoration, Don faced the problem of what to do about the cowhide case, which was beyond repair. Since the grille was uncommon and worth preserving, he decided to build a totally new wood cabinet. You readers might be inspired to use his gluing and clamping techniques to do a restoration job yourselves. Hats off to Don.
And hats off to Loren Ashworth too for his crusade to salvage the wonderful old scopes of the 1960s. Those of you who might have been working in the labs of those days remember marveling at the expertise and superb craftsmanship in the instruments produced by Tektronix, General Radio, Hewlett Packard, and others. Loren himself brought a Tektronix Type 545A back to life. It seems these instruments are under appreciated today, and they are available cheap. Most of us are nostalgic about the radios we once saw in the kitchens and living rooms of our earlier years, but why not add scopes to that list?
A.R.C. Benefits. Be sure to take advantage of A.R.C. benefits: a toll-free number (866) 371-0512; Discover, MasterCard, American Express, Visa accepted; the Web, www.antiqueradio.com; books shipped free in the U. S. by USPS media mail; and for current subscribers, a 10 percent discount on all book orders.
Coming Radio Events. The good times on the outdoor radio event circuit are about to begin in earnest. Listed this month are 25 meetings, 13 meets, and 8 auctions -- take your choice and enjoy!
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
The colorful Motorola portable display on our cover was entered in the AWA old equipment contest by Bob Feczko. AWA has always encouraged well-presented and documented displays to accompany the radios entered in the contest. Bob included four Motorola portables in his display -- Motorola Models 56L1, 56L2, 56L3, and 56L4, in charcoal, flame red, pink, and turquoise. Included were sales material ("Better See... Better Buy... Motorola" and "The Golden Voice of Radio"), as well as operating and service information. Bob won a 2nd place award with this excellent display, but that shows the level of standards expected in the AWA old equipment contest. (Photo by Ray Chase)