EDITOR'S COMMENTSFrom Antique Radio Classified for June 2008
(Copyright 1996-2008 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
How they do roll 'round -- anniversaries, that is. Here we are at A.R.C.'s 24th, and, as always, an anniversary prompts a little nostalgia, as well as the numbers that inevitably go with it. This June issue is the 287th since Gary Schneider founded A.R.C. in 1984. Since taking it over in 1986, I have published 261 issues.
Such a calculation regarding the magazine has prompted a few personal numbers to surface. Hard though it is to believe, I have been a collector for 46 years and have had a Ham license for over 50 years! A recent highlight of those years was the completion of the long-planned barn-museum now housing my collection and the A.R.C. office.
Few could doubt that I'm in this radio business for the long haul, as are so many of you loyal subscribers and the clubs that sponsor events. The longevity of many of those events and of this magazine attest to the continuing excitement of vintage radio collecting.
Excitement and longevity were certainly manifest in the 39th Greater Boston Antique Radio Collectors (GBARC) February meet, reported in this issue by Managing Editor Dorothy Schecter. Since its modest beginnings so long ago, this meet, now managed by A.R.C., continues to grow in quantity and quality.
Though we are all aware of the draw of the Internet, a club event like Radio XXXIX reminds us that the Internet is not everything. It does not provide the hands-on, value-added approach of a meet and a magazine like A.R.C. For example, we spend much time and effort in tracking down club events and preparing the "Coming Radio Events" pages. We edit your contributed articles, often supplementing them with more information and photos. In short, we believe that the overall depth and refinement of the material in a print copy generally outweigh that found on the Internet.
With its attendance still strong at about 600, Radio XXXIX shows the far-reaching effects of our PR for a club event. Photos of the numerous radios and the crowd at the meet reflect on this event's success.
Similarly, photos of the Estes Auction, reported by Ray Chase, highlight its success. Some of the unusual sets are the Madison Moore superhet on page 20 and the 3-panel set sold as a home brew on page 21. Though unmarked as is often the case, these panels are by the William B. Duck Company of Toledo, Ohio. In fact, I have a similar set in my collection. All in all, not a super-large auction, but it brought in $45,000 and included some very interesting items.
One item that has captured a great deal of interest in recent months is Daniel Schoo's Golden-Leutz Phantom 9. And as Dan and Ross Mason report, the interest goes on, as more variations on this set surface. This kind of exchange adds to the depth of available information on radio history, and we're glad to pass it on.
The prolific industrial designer Raymond Lowey is certainly a part of radio history. He shows up in the Estes Auction photo of a Hallicrafters S-38-B and in Richard Arnold's article as the creator of his Emerson 535's cabinet. This small 5-tube set has a different look from the more common Bakelites and wood sets of the period. If you look at the whole range of Emerson small radios, the Model 535 is rather unusual in its clean, nonornamental lines. As Richard points out, it was part of Emerson's big success in the 1940s with small radios at modest prices for the home.
Vintage radios deserve to be repaired with vintage test equipment. That thought certainly reflects the philosophy of Chris Jones who tells us about his experience with five test meters with "maladies." His discovery of a common cause for three of them may be helpful news to many restorers.
Surely such equipment was part of the fabric of Ben Wilken's radio service business in the 1930s to 1960. This article, which we are publishing posthumously, is a wonderful portrait of an entrepreneur in the time many of us recall as the "Golden Age of Radio."
Photo Review also reflects a wide variety of sets from that same age. However, the Lewyt Vacuum Cleaner Company did not follow the trend of the day. It produced only two radios and went back to vacuum cleaners. And how about glass-enclosed radios -- how many like the one pictured are out there?
Radio Miscellanea poses interesting questions. Mike Hanke is in search of a movie featuring his favorite radio, while Claude Houde deliberates about his subscription renewal. Once again the Internet comes into play when William Devlin champions A.R.C. over eBay. Many, like William, tell us that they appreciate being able to talk to a real person by simply dialing our toll-free number. We continue to strive to be a clearing house for all things radio.
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. In many places in the country, summer is in full swing. This is evident in the number of events listed for this month -- 11 meets, 6 auctions, and 23 meetings. The season to get out and really enjoy our hobby is underway. And, this month we include our full listing of collector clubs.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover photo by your editor is a close-up of Dick Bergeron's DeForest BC-14A crystal receiver, which he offered at Radio XXXIX for $3,800. According to the nameplate, the set was manufactured by the DeForest Radio Tel. & Tel. Co., New York, in July 1918, for the U.S. Army Signal Corps.