EDITOR'S COMMENTSFrom Antique Radio Classified for May 2008
(Copyright 1996-2008 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
When May rolls 'round, even collectors in the northernmost regions can hope for increased outdoor club activities. Meets begin to proliferate, and so do the reasons for attending them. Some folks revel in 5 a.m. searches for treasure in parking lots; some prefer the more leisurely pursuits of flea marketing, contest entries, and social hours with their accompanying entertainment, as illustrated on our cover. Whatever your pleasure, you'll find it at a meet.
Buying, selling, trading, sharing information, general camaraderie -- these are the universal pleasures of radio collecting. But, in reading the reports of last year's Extravaganza in Michigan and VRPS in Texas, I am struck by the different approaches clubs may take to insure that attendees are glad they made the effort to attend and will do so again this year.
Both Extravaganza and VRPS are outstanding events and their approaches are equally valid. Mark Oppat's report shows that for Extravaganza the focus is on the flea market where the no-selling rule before 7 a.m. is strictly enforced and to which the general public is invited. They are also invited to bring items for evaluation by "Radio Rescue" or to sell to collectors.
The extended social hour, in lieu of a traditional banquet, is open to all who register. And though the emphasis is on the two-day flea market, there is, of course, a main auction, as well as a donation auction to benefit the event. Add the other traditional elements, such as the contest and seminars, and there's something for everyone.
This is also true for VRPS, but as George Potter's report attests, here the focus is more on auctions -- three main auctions, as well as two silent auctions, held over two days. Unlike at Extravaganza, the flea market on Sunday morning is a small affair, somewhat anticlimactic after all the excitement of the contest, the formal banquet, and seminars.
The point is that every club event is different, and there are many ways to achieve success. One-size-fits-all does not apply to radio events, and a single answer as to how best to do things may not be possible.
That fact is certainly evident in Rex Newsome's article about the history of the invention of television. In his quest for naming the "real" inventor of television, Rex touches on the works of many experimenters from around the world in the 1920s. My own library yielded some interesting period illustrations to augment Rex's article, which may generate some discussion among you TV history buffs.
So too, we hope, will Greg Farmer's unusual Peter Spilger horn speaker. Jim Wilson sent Greg's query on to us -- another example of collectors supporting each other and furthering the history of radio.
We're pleased that Art Redman continues to share his interest in the history of Pacific Northwest radio manufacturers with our readers. This time it's the Radio Specialty Company of Portland, Oregon, which manufactured transceivers used for U.S. Forest Service fire fighting. As so often happens, one thing leads to another. Art referred to a Forest Service set that appeared in our August '07 ARCI meet report, and I, in turn, found another in my picture postcard collection.
Whether it's a manufacturer or an individual set, the quest for historical information regarding antique radios is endless. Frank Drost presents an impressive, high-end Philco Model 38-690 and muses a bit about its extensive upgrade from the 1937 model. He also advises on its restoration, which we hope he will share with us at a future date.
Calling All Writers: And speaking of sharing information, we receive frequent requests for more articles on all subjects radio and radio-related -- repair, restoration, history, early audio, and television. Nearly all our articles are unsolicited and come from subscribers. We encourage you to write about radios you know well and about any related subject of interest to you, as well as to submit photos. Don't hesitate to ask for our helpful "Writer's Guide" and to contact us if you have questions. You don't have to be a "pro," as we will work with you and edit as necessary for accuracy and clarity. Besides, it's great fun to see your work in print.
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Coming Radio Events. Now is the time to get out and enjoy the good weather and springtime events. The list for May include 8 meets, 6 auctions, and 27 meetings. Hope to see you at least one of these.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover photo by Steve Enzer is from Mark Oppat's Extravaganza report. It pictures collector Jeff Conley, left, with his resophonic guitar, an instrument that goes back to the 1920s and operates on the same principle as an old phonograph -- the strings vibrate the cone like a needle; Harold Skidmore, center, another collector and a member of Jeff's four-man Rock Bottom Mining Company bluegrass band; and antique radio dealer Alan Jesperson, right, who sat in with the band. Founded by Jeff, the band is a favorite entertainment at this annual event. It is also an example of collectors as multitalented people.