EDITOR'S COMMENTSFrom Antique Radio Classified for May 2010
(Copyright 1996-2010 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
On the brink of summer, A.R.C.'s May issue heralds the coming "Big Meet Season." Full-page ads this month for RadioActivity in June and Extravaganza in July list the pleasures to come. Ads for Radiofest and the AWA Conference in August will follow in future issues. Each of these meets has its own unique character, so you can be sure that something new and different is on their agendas. You can pick and choose for location, as well as for a match to your own particular interest. Though some say that radio collecting is a declining hobby, attendance at meets remains strong. Obviously, there's no substitute for the one-on-one contact you find there.
To get you rolling on summer plans, our lead article by Mark Oppat reports on Extravaganza 2009 just in time to get you fired up for Extravaganza 2010 in July. The informal "Radio Reception" that opens this event is a big drawing card. At no extra charge, almost everyone attends, and it's a great opportunity to meet new and old friends, setting the mood for camaraderie throughout the rest of the meet.
In fact, that camaraderie is certainly evident at another happening at the end of this meet -- the "Bargain Auction." The proceeds of this auction go to the club and in 2009, the donations were huge -- 50 percent more than the previous year. Collectors also benefit from the many bargains they pick up at this auction.
Of course, the main auction conducted by auctioneer Richard Estes was a big draw, but this year there were not many big-ticket items offered. One exception was the hard-to-find Western Electric 2A tuner, which sold for $800. In all, the combined two auctions made for a happy ending for most attendees.
That same outcome is almost always true for those who have attended auctions conducted by Richard Estes in his own venue. Our faithful contributor Ray Chase reports on the Estes auction of the James Fred collection where many bargains were to be had. At such auctions, there may also be a few surprises like the trio of Grebe items that appeared at this one and sold for $3,000. Everything from the usual assortment of battery sets to cathedrals and consoles showed up too and totaled over $30,000.
Ray's report also teaches an important lesson we should all bear in mind. Jim Fred was a well-known old-
timer among radio collectors, but, unfortunately, his collection was not stored well, and the result was the serious deterioration of many items. Most of us are guilty of a degree of procrastination, but this story is a wake-up call to make a plan for the care and disposal of our collections when the time comes. Otherwise, all our work to preserve radio history, as well as the value of our collections, could be greatly diminished.
Joe Curiale has certainly done his bit to preserve radio history in a very personal way. A Silvertone wire recorder followed him from his childhood in his grandmother's kitchen to adulthood and eventually made him into a serious radio collector. Once restored, that wire recorder brought back family voices from the 1940s through the 1960s, not only offering great personal pleasure, but also introducing him to a rewarding new hobby. This is the kind of success story we like to hear.
Perhaps an interesting find on your summer tour of radio events will start you off on a similar successful journey. Better start planning your itinerary now.
A.R.C. Benefits. Be sure to take advantage of A.R.C. benefits: A Spring Special for subscription discounts; a toll-free number (866) 371-0512; Discover, MasterCard, American Express, Visa accepted; a secure shopping cart on the website, www.antiqueradio.com; for current subscribers, a 10 percent discount on all book orders; and the full magazine available on the website. New: Beginning May 1, the website will include a searchable auction price database. Note: Please do not send credit card info by e-mail. Use our secure website or U.S. Mail, or call or fax.
Coming Radio Events. Our listing of radio events will help with that summer planning: 27 meetings, 8 meets, and 6 auctions. Be sure to get to as many as possible.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
The damaged Federal 61 receiver pictured on our cover was taken by Ray Chase at the Estes auction of the James Fred collection. Unfortunately, a highly desirable set that often sells for over $1,000 sold for only $400 due to its poor condition, the result of improper storage -- a lesson for us all.
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