EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for May 2003
(Copyright 1996-2003 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
With the May issue, we expect spring to be in full bloom. Not so this year. As we go to press, we've endured another week of snow, sleet, rain -- you name it! But we're unfazed, as everyone knows that for collectors here in the Northeast spring begins in February with Radio XXXIV. Never mind that the temperatures are below zero -- we contend that the big meets of the season start here in Westford, Massachusetts.
As most of you know, the Greater Boston Antique Radio Club (GBARC) holds an annual one-day meet to which approximately 800 consistently show up, braving whatever the weather has to offer. This year's event, Radio XXXIV, was no exception, as Managing Editor Dorothy Schecter's report attests. Tending the 110 tables were folks of all ages -- the youngest on record was a serious dealer of eleven -- all engaged in the business of radio preservation.
Organized by the A.R.C. staff, this meet seems to be a format that collectors find rewarding -- a weekend, one-day event, with specific starting and closing times, and open to the public. From the feedback we get, the positive reasons to participate are multiple -- the hotel makes a comfortable venue; the advertising brings in the public, which makes for a larger pool of buyers and potentially new collectors; and the camaraderie is exceptional. The rest of the event season should be this good.
And as our calendar of events shows, the number of meets and auctions increases both here and abroad throughout the coming months. For proof of that, you have only to follow the multiple Estes auctions on the docket. We wonder how Richard can keep up with them. One in particular that Ray Chase covers this month is that of the collection of Carl Knipfel. With proceeds of $146,000, this was a significant auction. Among the highlights were a Pratt loop antenna, selling at $5,000 and an Amrad receiver in an original box, selling at $3,200.
Unfortunately, I was unable to attend this auction. Having been impressed with Carl's collection on a visit some time ago, I knew there was much to appreciate there. Carl was present at what must have been a momentous occasion in his radio career.
Ray Chase also reports on the small radio portion of a general auction conducted by Dotta Auctions, a house that is new to us. A Victor D table phonograph selling at $1,650 was the highlight of this event. We're grateful to Ray and his wife Edith for their faithful reporting of even small events.
Atwater Kent breadboards are always the object of much interest. When we think of rare sets, the Atwater Kent 5 comes instantly to mind, and they do appear at auctions on occasion. But Dave Crocker draws our attention to the rarity of the Atwater Kent Model 8, an improved version of the Model 5, but produced in very low numbers. If one crosses your horizon, be sure to let us know so that a feature article can get underway.
We are, of course, in the business of obtaining and disseminating information on radio and related subjects. Ray Bintliff does that for us in his composite article on Prewar RCA TV, which brings together six responses to his January '02 article. The subject also inspired a full article by James O'Neal in the August '02 issue. As in this case, we often find that it's worthwhile to wait for more responses to gather before putting them all together in an article.
Photo Review includes many unusual items, ranging from an early 1920s crystal detector and KDKA microphones to a unique 1946 kit TV. If you have a decorating urge or a bent for the arts, you might aspire to owning the radio shown built into a framed picture of a ballerina.
Howard Hood has written about restoring an RCA Model 4T, a good teaching tool for a beginner in radio. It was unusual to have a set with only four tubes; in fact, since one is a rectifier, this is really a 3-tube radio. A staff member here suggested that this set probably got shoppers into the store. Then the salesman could urge them to try a 6-tube set.
Letters in Radio Miscellanea reveal our readers' concern with perennial problems -- A.R.C. costs and courtesy among advertisers -- and we do our best to address both. We are also pleased to note that other letters mention the many pluses to being a subscriber and to having the print copy.
A.R.C. Benefits. To slide into spring with greater ease, take advantage of 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. As mentioned earlier, club events are on the increase with the promise of good weather. The May list includes 50 events scheduled in the U. S., Canada, and the UK. Two-day events will take place in Indiana, California, and Minnesota, while the more common one-day events are surely accessible to most of you. Try to get to at least one for the fun of the search.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover photo was taken by Editor John V. Terrey at Radio XXXIV on February 16. The happy transistor radio salesmen are John Mennucci and Jim Shea who come every year, as they say, "to have fun." They also like to spread as much information about their product as possible. We look forward to seeing them next year, same time, same station.