EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for May 2006
(Copyright 1996-2006 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
Once upon a time, antique radio collectors thought that the only collectibles were early wireless and battery sets. How our horizons have broadened! First came AC sets and then on to transistor radios and hi-fi equipment. The pages of A.R.C. over the years attest to the fact that collecting now encompasses the changes in the radio technology of each decade. The industry has catered to the tastes and needs of the times, and so, among the traditional sets of a period, an unusual one may surface.
Richard Arnold's article about the 1957 Sylvania "Prospector" is an excellent example. Here is a portable radio apparently designed for Cold War times, complete with sundial, compass, and Geiger counter. Richard doesn't even own the radio, but took writing about it on as a challenge from friends who supplied the information. This kind of collaboration offers all of us the opportunity to learn about what's "new" on that ever-expanding radio-collecting horizon.
Of course, what's new and old attracting the eyes of collectors becomes most evident at meets and auctions. High on the list of annual successful meets is our own GBARC Radio XXXVII, reported again by Managing Editor Dorothy Schecter. Probably the largest meet on the East Coast, it hosted over 600 buyers and sellers in a facility filled with 98 tables. The "old guard" were there as usual, but what was really striking was the number of young people -- and even younger family members -- present. From that vantage point, the future of radio collecting looks bright.
The VRPS spring auction, though a smaller event than its fall convention and auction reported last month, was also well attended. High-end items were not prevalent in this auction, but the large quantity -- over 400 items-- made for a very respectable total of over $20,000. VRPS always does a commendable organizational job in planning such events.
In that regard, A.R.C. is being forced to plan for an internal cataclysmic event, as you will see from our "Staff Profile." Pat Wedge, our office manager, and her husband, have decided to pull up New England stakes and head for North Carolina. Dorothy Schecter's article will tell you all the reasons, but, of course, we're having difficulty accepting the inevitable. Our only consolation is that we'll give her a royal send-off at the historic Concord Colonial Inn as a reminder of her Concord roots. Maybe that will change her mind.
Phil Bliss certainly changed his mind when he gave up looking for a Crosley Pup. Instead, he built one, albeit with a wood, rather than a metal cabinet. A successful outcome like this one has to give a great deal of satisfaction to the creator.
A book, of course, is another kind of creation requiring painstaking work. Reviewers Jim Moneghan and Dave Crocker found Kyle Husfloen's new price guide for radio and TV to be a solid effort. They are particularly impressed with the excellence of the TV section and recommend the book highly to TV collectors.
Getting back to the theme of the unusual showing up among a manufacturer's products, note the 1930s Dictograph set in Photo Review this month. Given the company name, the expectation would be that the set would have some capacity for dictation. After all, if a set can have a Geiger counter, why not a capability for dictation? Not so. It's a 6-tube set, pure and simple. Five other early sets are shown; one is the rarely seen Kennedy III.
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. Time to get out and enjoy the spring weather at a nearby meet. There are 17 listed this month, including NVCF in the U.K., Kutztown, Pennsylvania, and Radio Daze in Minnesota. There are also 25 meetings and three auctions -- more than enough to keep you busy.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
The cover illustration is from a 1957 Sylvania brochure advertising the "Prospector," an AC/DC portable radio with a built-in Geiger counter. Our thanks to Randy Bassham who supplied the brochure to Richard Arnold for his article on this set. There's more than one way for collectors to help each other in an effort to preserve radio history.
Our report on the November 19, 2005, Estes auction mistakenly said that the Floyd Stahl collection was included with that of Edward Sage. Instead, the collection of Roger Varn of Canton, Ohio, was included. Although the Stahl collection was advertised to be included with the Sage collection, it will be auctioned later this year.