EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for June 2001
(Copyright 1996-2000 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
Anniversaries always prompt memories. Our 17th anniversary issue is no exception, especially since it almost coincides with a milestone in the history of radio collecting -- the auction of the impressive collection of the late Dr. Ralph Muchow. Many of us look back with pleasure on past Radiofests and visits to Dr. Muchow's museum. Now, as his son Steve says in our lead article, through the auction, we will have the opportunity to "carry the torch" and share his father's vision with future generations.
Some might ask, "Why us -- why not a museum?" Certain items may, indeed, end up in a museum, but museum funding and space are limited. Thus, the task will again fall on us to become the "temporary caretakers" of radio history, as Dr. Muchow himself was.
We're grateful to Steve Muchow for his reflections on the collection and for the memories he shares with us about the years of its creation. We also thank Richard Estes for his reports on the auction preparations.
In looking through my archives, one of my own memories of Ralph Muchow was jogged by photos from the Antique Radio Club of America and Niagara Frontier Wireless Association 1985 meet. The photo of his Atwater Kent contest entry shows how extensive the displays Ralph put together could be. Other photos are also of well known collectors, some also sadly departed, but all contributors to the preservation of radio history.
This tradition will be carried on at the August auction. We expect to be able to report on the highlights in time for the September issue, with a complete report following in October.
The unusual can be anticipated at the Muchow auction, but sometimes the unusual is more immediate and crosses our editorial desk. When it does, we like to share the surprise. For example, Wally Worth reports on what appeared to him to be a telephone. However, upon disassembling it, he found an early wireless remote control for a radio. Still, mysteries remain about Wally's find, and perhaps readers can give him some clues.
The subjects of Ray Windrix's article are also surprises -- a horse radio that looks like an Abbotwares but apparently isn't, and a moose radio with an unexpected Abbotwares label. Very strange. Ray also mentions a Radiodyne WC-11B that he picked up in the course of the same radio-quest travels he describes.
Among the interesting items in Photo Review is a Tower House 5-tube radio with a GE clock. It has the appearance of an elegant mantel clock suited to any radio wife's choice of decor.
The Central Ohio Antique Radio Association's Cabin Fever Swap Meet is certainly well named for a mid-winter meet. Our thanks to Chuck Michaelis who was able to report on what were asking prices in the flea market. Two notable items were a Detrola Pee Wee offered at $700 and a Zenith 6D127 at $350.
Thanks also to Thurston Armstrong for his report on the Southern California Antique Radio Society's auction in February. This event included not only radios, but also hi-fi, audio, communications gear, test equipment,speakers, literature, and TVs. After an absence in recent auctions, an Atwater Kent 10C breadboard reappeared at a top price of $825. Other highlights included a Federal Jr. selling at $475, a Grebe CR-9 at $750, a Zenith chairside at $700, and a Radiola 26 at $500.
Readers are well aware of Alan Douglas' passion for battery sets of the 1920s because of his 3-volume set of books on the subject. His interest in test equipment is also evident in his A.R.C. articles. He has compiled these articles, along with further research, in Tube Testers and Classic Electronic Test Gear, reviewed in this issue by Ray Bintliff. Clearly, Alan has produced a very informative book for your reference library.
Dale Davenport's article on restoring dials and knobs covers cleaning, polishing, and whitening. He also offers an in-depth discussion of how to work with the underlying materials. Dale is obviously a meticulous craftsman who demonstrates the kind of patience it takes to do such a project well.
Radio Miscellanea includes three responses to an Electromatic TV shown in the April Photo Review, indicating a strong interest in TVs among the readership. Perhaps someone will be inspired to submit an article on the subject. There is also a notice of a June Catalin radio auction that may interest many of you.
The Internet. An anniversary reflecting on years of devotion to antique radios also makes us think about how far we've come in this age of rapidly changing technology. Our Web site attests to our progress as more and more people visit it every month. Subscribers, of course, have the advantage of accessing the ads on our target date without waiting for their hard copies. In all, we've come a long way with the old for 17 years, and with the new for almost five years.
Coming Radio Events. The month of June brings us nearly 50 radio events. On June 8-9, the Southeastern Antique Radio Society is holding its Summer Swap Meet, and the Indiana Historical Radio Society will hold its 30th Annual Regional Spring Festival. June 14-16 sends you to the Mid-Atlantic Antique Radio Club's Radioactivity 2001. The Cincinnati Antique Radio Society once again brings us Radiorama on June 22-23. To round out the month, the Radio Enthusiasts of Puget Sound are holding their Radio Showcase IX on June 29-30. Pack your bags and head out to one or many of these weekend meets; you'll be glad you did.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our 16th Anniversary issue in June 2000 included a "Collector Profile" of Dr. Ralph Muchow who had passed away in March. Collectors everywhere have awaited the word about the future of his renowned collection. Now that an auction has been scheduled for August, we thought it fitting to feature Dr. Muchow on our cover. I took the photo at the 1985 NFWA-ARCA meet near Niagara Falls. Dr. Muchow is in a typical pose -- showing one of his memorable contest entry displays.