EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for May 2000
(Copyright 1996-2000 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
What a difference 80 years make! Yes, it's
been about that long since the pioneer who owned the
wireless station pictured on our cover was
experimenting with loops of wire, speakers, batteries, vacuum
tubes, etc. But, in comparing the technology of then to
now, the words of an old song come to mind -- "What
a difference a day makes." Today, a cellphone
contains the equivalent of the equipment you see in the
photo, and innovations seem to appear overnight. Still,
that pioneer in the photo and others like him must
be credited with helping to make the modern miracle
of pocket communication possible.
Our lead article grew out of this photo for which
we thank Don Iverson. We're also pleased that Jim
Kreuzer and Jim Chew agreed to analyze the contents of
the station. And that process triggered a memory for
your editor -- somewhere in his archives was a photo of
yet another wireless station. The found photo led to
the idea of challenging our readers to study the contents
of this station and help us to develop a story about
them. We look forward to hearing from you.
Many of our contributing writers are always on
the trail of the unusual. Richard Arnold is certainly one
of those. In his article about a Wilcox-Gay radio,
Richard proves himself a real sleuth. He has found an Art
Deco set, no less, from a company known more for its
Recordio radio-disk recorders than for radios. (See
A.R.C., February 1991, for a Recordio article.) In addition,
Alton DuBois shows us another unusual item -- a
variable capacitor with tapered plates.
Thomas Weigand's article on the
Grundig-Majestic SO-191 reminds us that very often we wish we had
an article on hand to answer queries about this or
that company. Tom has provided just such an article
about a German company, and his bio makes the topic
even more interesting because it is rooted in his own history.
A number of newspaper articles about radio
history and collecting submitted by readers prompted action
by Managing Editor Dorothy Schecter. She has written
an article encouraging you radiophiles to promote
our avocation whenever you can in your local
publications. The idea that there are hordes of us out there
addicted to preserving old radios seems to be newsworthy
more often than we realize.
Unusual designs highlight the
Photo Review pages this month. Of interest is a Philips Model 930A with
a European-style cathedral cabinet, as well as an
all-wood, decorative Imperial Carving Co. speaker.
Particularly striking is the Zenith 5R317 cabinet with its
purely decorative design of glass rods.
If you've had trouble with cracking, warping
pot metal castings, you'll find Alton DuBois' detailed
article on recasting metal parts a useful reference. Alton
is obviously a patient, careful craftsman, and we're
glad to share his solution to a difficult problem.
Inspired by Ward Kremer's Espey article in
the March 1998 A.R.C., Jon Oldenburg acquired a
Model 581. To his surprise, he found a repainted area revealing the interesting history of the set. We'll say no
more, except that Jon also found that the Espey Co. lives on.
Estes auctions are always big events -- well
attended and offering a fine assortment of items. This
one attracted 235 bidders and took in over $32,000.
Among the uncommon items were a Coinomatic
coin-operated radio, a Neutrowound battery set, and an Atlantic
grandfather clock. And when was the last time you saw
a Zenith packing crate with a logo?
Contrasting in size, but not in importance is the
Ohio Buckeye Antique Radio Club spring auction
reported by Kevin Grimm. Such club activities are often
the beginning of serious collecting for newcomers.
Spreading the word about club auctions that do much to
excite interest in our field is part of A.R.C.'s mission.
Also small in size, but raring to go, is the
relatively new Virginia club -- the Roanoke Antique Radio
Enthusiasts or RARE. Larry Babcock reports on one of
their meetings where the pleasure of face-to-face
discussion surely gave the Internet competition.
The Radio Miscellanea page this month shows
the broad interests of our readership. Among the
topics covered are a book on the decline of the
consumer electronics industry relating to radio companies,
battery removal, a Stromberg-Carlson mystery, the
Internet, and more. One letter reemphasizes A.R.C.'s
global reach -- from Australia to the U. S.
The Internet. As those of you who visit our Web
site already know, A.R.C. is changing its Web
host/developer for classified ads and historical auction prices.
As a result of this change, the classified ads and
auction prices will be temporarily unavailable. Other
proposed new features have also been put on hold. All
other features of the Web site that you've grown to
enjoy since 1995 will still be available, so be sure to check
the calendar of events, club listings, book reviews,
articles from the latest issue, as well as those archived from
the past four years, and the radio photo gallery.
Coming Radio Events. The summer meet season
is upon us, with 50 meets being held during the month
of May. Among the multiday events are the Military
Radio Collector's Group 5th annual meet in California;
the Houston Vintage Radio Association's Mega Auction
in Texas; and the Northland Antique Radio Club and
the Pavek Museum's Radio Daze 2000 in Minnesota.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
The cover photo of an early wireless station
was contributed by Don Iverson who tells us that he had it
for years, lost it, found it again, and rushed off to have
a negative made before he lost it again! The result is
our lead article. It's our good fortune that Don thought
to share with us this moment in the life of some
unknown person who was obviously dedicated to early
wireless communication. Whoever he was, he seems to
reach across the decades to share in our passion for radio.
Here is a larger version of this month's cover!