EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for May 2005
(Copyright 1996-2005 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
June 2005 marks another anniversary for A.R.C. This time it's Number 21 -- a step into our
third decade and a good time to reflect on past
accomplishments. Tops on the list is the feat of turning
out over 250 monthly issues (this is the 251st) on
time, and covering numerous subjects related to radio.
Those subjects range from Telegraph to TV,
Marconi to MP3s, Hertz to Hi-fi, Tubes to Transistors
-- some the usual and expected, some the unusual
and unexpected, and some a little of both. In this
issue, for example, Dave Crocker's lead article on
Powel Crosley, a familiar radio manufacturer, would fit
the "usual and expected" category, except that it has
a different twist.
Dave's focus is not on products but on
Crosley's salesmanship; that is, his ability to take what
was often a bargain brand and market it in
eye-catching ways. He encouraged dealers to move the
product along through flamboyant gestures like airplane
deliveries or flashy electric signs like the one on
our cover. We appreciate Dave's reminder that, in
his time, Crosley knew the advertising game as well
as any Madison Avenue salesman of today.
For those of you whose collecting concentrates
on the early days of radio, Andrew Hayden's article
on KLH might be unexpected. But now, hi-fi has
become very collectible. Like Crosley, KLH products
were compact and a less expensive alternative to
the larger hi-fi systems that became the rage in
the 1960s. Both companies offered quality products
at reasonable prices.
The subject of Richard Arnold's article -- a
Montgomery Ward Airline 5-tube, AC set -- is not
unusual. However, it too has a different angle in that
some collectors see an American Indian head outlined
on the grille, and some do not.
There's no argument about whether or not
Frank Moore's hay radio sculpture is unusual. One of
over forty "works of art" made of hay displayed along
23 miles of a Montana highway, this is truly a unique
way of spreading the word about the importance and
the fun of radio collecting. Next baling season, we
should all head for the Montana "What the Hay Contest."
Photo Review items range from large -- a
Patterson console, to small -- a Swedish crystal set with
a coil serving as a base. Of note also is the unusual
Atwater Kent 3925, sometimes called the Model 1.
We're happy to report that there are other
commercial auction houses featuring radios, in
addition to Estes Auctions. Thanks to Ron Ramirez, we
have a report on the auction held by Eric's Auction Barn
on Halloween 2004. Though the highlight was an
Atwater Kent breadboard selling at $700, this auction
also offered a wide assortment of battery sets,
cathedrals, and consoles in good condition.
A report on the annual Harris radio auction will
be forthcoming, as will reports on the continuing
activity at Estes Auctions.
As A.R.C. articles go, the subject of Bill
McKeown's "The Coloradapter" ranks among the
unexpected. First, television is not a regular topic in
A.R.C., and second, the Coloradapter, like the
Col-R-Tel described in previous A.R.C. articles, could be
mistaken for a CBS colorwheel unit. Again, it's a
pleasure to find that folks with a strong interest in TV
also read our magazine closely.
Volume 17 of the AWA
Review is reviewed in detail, thanks to Geoff Shearer. AWA deserves
kudos for keeping this excellent publication of
extended articles going.
In Radio Miscellanea, Ron Lawrence's letter
hits on the theme of the unexpected: an MP3 player
on the April cover of an antique radio magazine.
This seemed a stretch to him. And like the Zenith
model years discussion, also in the April issue,
Andrew Hayden makes us aware of confusion about
Majestic model numbers -- Is it a Model 300 or 307?
A.R.C. Benefits. Continue to take advantage
of A.R.C. benefits: a toll-free number (866)
371-0512; Discover, MasterCard, American Express, Visa
accepted; the Web at 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. Good weather means
more action on the radio front. Among the seven
swap meets listed for June are two multiday events --
RadioActivity in Maryland and Radiorama in Ohio.
Two auctions and 29 meetings are also listed, so be sure
to get to as many events as possible in your area.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover photo is of a colorful 1931 Crosley electric display sign from Dave Crocker's
collection of Crosley treasures. Dave is an A.R.C. staff
member and author of our lead article on Powel
Crosley's salesmanship. The bright colors on the
sign, against a black background were eye-catching enough to make dealers of the day willing to
invest three dollars in Crosley's sales pitch. The photo
was taken by Editor John Terrey.
Printed without comment
We continue to receive reports from advertisers of
e-mail responses to their classified ads proposing to
pay them with a check, sometimes via a third party,
in excess of the purchase price. The seller is asked
to refund the difference by wire. In more than one
case reported to A.R.C., the check received was "bad."
To minimize problems, we always suggest that
you know whom you are dealing with or ask for references.