EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for June 2007
(Copyright 1996-2007 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
"The more things change, the more they stay the same." This old saying came to mind as we prepared the 23rd anniversary issue and I began to look back at early issues of A.R.C. Though the Internet has changed the landscape of the publishing business, and vintage radio prices may have gone up, the essence of our avocation has remained constant -- annual events where collectors gather for barter and camaraderie are as important today as they were 23 years ago.
For example, in September 1984, in what was only our second issue, we published our first report on Radiofest in Elgin, Illinois. Touting the event as the "biggest ever" conference, the report filled just one page with no photos. Though our January 2007 report on Radiofest filled seven pages with photos, the essence of the event has not really changed since 1984. All the same ingredients are there: flea market, contest, seminars, auction, banquet, and especially, the crowd full of enthusiasm.
In another example, our third issue in November 1984 featured our first AWA Conference report -- four pages, with photos, no less -- as well as an auction listing! In those days, this was a four-day event, and the report conveys the excitement of the 650 registered attendees from all over the U. S. and abroad about all things radio.
And so it continues, as evidenced in this issue by reports on two annual major events. The first is our own Radio XXXVIII reported by Dorothy Schecter, A.R.C.'s managing editor, who describes the enthusiasm of the more than 600 who attended this indoor flea market-only event. Not many organizers are gutsy (or mad?) enough to stage such an event in midwinter in New England, but we haven't had to cancel yet. As in the theatre, the show must go on, and folks are already looking forward to next year.
Michigan's 21st annual Extravaganza is another example of events growing in size and improving in execution, but remaining the same in spirit. This three-day, midsummer event is one of the largest in the U. S. and has its own unique qualities. Its "Big Top" tent for registration and hospitality is a welcoming center on Thursday when folks gather to set up for the next day's flea market opening. Instead of the usual banquet, Radiofest has a "Radio Reception" -- a social that is free to everyone on Friday night. With a band playing, an open cash bar, and contest items on display, this evening is a good time for all.
Events such as these which are open to all do much to promote the primary goal of our hobby -- the preservation of radio history. When new people drop in, enjoy the socialization, and become interested in the displays and auctions, we know that the tradition established by early collectors will be carried on.
On that score, current collectors and restorers are constantly doing their part. Richard Arnold often brings us information about an unusual set and the company that produced it. This time he writes about the Emerson AX-212, one of a line of Emerson "Little Miracle" radios. Its complex cabinet by Ingraham makes this set unique.
Unique is not a quality Don Watson looks for when you want to try your hand at restoration. Instead, Don suggests something like the very available Philco 46-350. He describes the steps he took to restore this set after he had ignored it for a decade.
Don's story of this neglect is probably common to many of us. Someone acquires a set from somewhere -- in this case, Don's wife from a garage sale -- and it is put on a back burner for too long. But, when it becomes the focus of restoration, it can make for a rewarding experience.
Larry Babcock has had another kind of rewarding experience. His 2006 AWA conference contest winner, a World War I aircraft radio display, is now part of a World War I exhibit at the Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, N. Y. Larry's display is a model of what a contest entry should be -- radio items backed by a story and documentation. The exhibit now runs to October and would make an interesting vacation stop.
Photo Review definitely has something for everyone this month with emphasis on the 1920s with battery and crystal sets. But the 1930s through the 1950s are also represented with a Kingston emergency radio, a Canadian West set, and a plastic clock radio. We urge you to continue to send in your candidates for these pages.
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. It's time to get out there and support the activities that the summer months offer to our hobby. The list this month includes 10 meets, 23 meetings, and 6 auctions -- at least one of these has to be close to your backyard. Enjoy.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover pictures Helen and Mark Vess, first-time exhibitors at the Radio XXXVIII flea market, organized annually by A.R.C. in Westford, Mass. They are displaying tubes for sale, but this represents a very small part of the collection which fills their barn/museum in Hanson, Mass. The Vesses are a good example of the strong family support system so often evident at radio meets.