VOLUME 15 JUNE 1998 NUMBER 6
EDITOR'S COMMENTSFrom Antique Radio Classified for June 1998
(Copyright 1996-8 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
Anniversaries are always steeped in nostalgia, and A.R.C.'s 14th anniversary issue is no exception. Here we are in June 1998 commemorating our own progress, and at the same time, looking back at the work of the 19th century scientists who made radio possible.
Our lead article, "The First Spark" by Pierre Demerseman and Richard Foster, speaks to the experiments of those who preceded Hertz and Marconi in pursuit of wireless communication. An interesting coincidence is that 1998 marks the 110th anniversary of Hertz's experiments, which proved that radio waves are the same as light waves, differing only in frequency. But, who really ignited that "first spark"? Is there a definitive answer?
In relation to A.R.C.'s history, 10 years ago, we published a 2-article series (November 1987 and June 1988) commemorating the 100th anniversary of Hertz's discovery. And our own research indicates that in 1898, 10 years after Hertz's discovery, Marconi, whose patent was issued in 1897, made his first sale of equipment to the British War Office for use in the Boer War.
All of which leads to the obvious conclusion that the history of radio is perpetually fascinating, and that A.R.C. is glad to be a part of its preservation.
In keeping with this historic theme, Dave Gonshor's article on the Queen induction coil is right on the mark. Wireless experimenters everywhere at the turn of the century were using induction coils.
To expand on Dave's article, Jim Kreuzer searched his archives for information on the history of Queen & Co. Jim's article tells of Queen's success in the manufacture of scientific apparatus, including the induction coil, priced at $85 to $240 -- no small sum at the time.
Moving into the 1920s, Ray Bintliff writes about a "flea market find" that we have called a "G" radio because of its only identifying mark. This radio is conventional in many ways, but Ray points out that its features are inconsistent. As always, we look to readers for more information.
Richard Arnold takes us into the 1930s with his article on a GE Model K-63, a 6-tube, mid-sized cathedral, marketed by RCA as its Model 120. This ornate set has an unbalanced knob configuration, and, according to Richard, is a prize at almost any price.
Among the interesting items in Photo Review is an unusual Cleartone horn speaker which looks much like a Dictogrand speaker, but has a built-in 1-tube amplifier. Having received Erwin Macho's ads from Vienna for so many years, we're delighted that he shares with us another photo of one of his fine crystal sets.
Of the three estate auctions included this month, two were contributed by Ray Chase and one by Steve Morton of the Nebraska Antique Radio Club. Of interest in the Windsor Auction in New Jersey were early items that brought big prices from the estate of Anthony Budenkaye; for example, a Western Electric SCR 68 transmitter at $550 and a DeForest crystal set at $470.
At the third Arner Auction in Pennsylvania, a high point of the Joseph Kanuski estate sale was a Saal pedestal speaker selling at $440. Vacuum tubes also sold well. The Nebraska Antique Radio Club auction included an assortment of crystal sets, battery sets, consoles, and cathedrals. But, the highlights were early phonographs, one of which sold for over $1,700.
In keeping with our historical theme and with A.R.C.'s anniversary month, we decided to expand a letter we had received from Russell Barker into an article. The article describes a visit to Play Things of Past, the store of our founder, Gary Schneider, in Cleveland, Ohio. Russ invites you all to visit Gary's amazing storehouse of radio-related items and to peruse his latest catalog. You might also want to look Gary up at the many meets and collectors' events he attends.
No radio repairman would ever be without every Rider's Perpetual Trouble Shooter's Manual he can lay hands on. In fact, there are 23 volumes of them, but Charles Kirsten concentrates on the elusive details of the very first volume. He defines three versions and explains their differences, as well as their usefulness.
Two additional guides to Rider's manuals are The Radio Diagram Sourcebook by Richard Gray and The Locator by G. Larsen. Both are reviewed by Richard Foster, who has been a heavy contributor this month. Richard concludes that these books are useful additions to Rider's manuals for every collector's bookshelf.
Robert Goad shares with us his Ekco teapot, another version of Gérard Faasen's teapot shown in the March 1998 A.R.C. The one-eyed cat lid makes an amusing variation on this advertising gimmick for the Ekco AD-65.
Radio Miscellanea contains real kudos for A.R.C. Be sure to note what publication we beat out for first place in Robert Gardner's magazine hierarchy. Other reader comments include the fact that the Internet has negative vibes for some readers, and that our April fooling has long-range effects.
Coming Radio Events. Wise collectors have already planned for the summer's big events, such as Radioactivity in Laurel, Md., June 11-13; Cincinnati's Radio Rama in Florence, Ky., June 26-27; Extravaganza in Lansing, Mich., July 10-12; Radiofest in Elgin, Ill., August 5-8; and the AWA Conference in Rochester, N. Y., September 2-5. If you can't make these big ones, be sure to attend a meet or two in your area. We hope to see you at many of these events.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover is an illustration from the patent papers of Mahlon Loomis. It was reproduced in an article in Radio News, November 1922, from which we obtained a copy. The drawing illustrates Loomis' experiment showing how static electricity induced in an elevated wire caused an electrical discharge, which could be detected at a separate receiver. Loomis was ahead of his time in envisioning long-distance communication via wireless telegraphy, and his experiments led the way for Hertz and Marconi.