EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for July 2000
(Copyright 1996-2000 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
Whoever once talked about the "lazy days of summer" didn't know about radio collectors and the meet season. The rumblings begin in April and May with multiday events like the Military Radio Collector's Meet in California, the HVRA Mega Auction in Texas, and Radio Daze in Minnesota. But, by June, collectors are wholly out of hibernation and anticipating Extravaganza in July, Radiofest in August, the AWA convention in September, and the VRPS Convention in November, interspersed with many other meets and auctions.
This is the time of year when collectors realize once again the value of face-to-face exchanges. Unlike dealing on the Net, at a meet we can see before we buy and walk away with the prize. Meets bring us together, and we come to know sellers and their products and develop confidence in the transactions.
The good news this season is that many clubs are moving to long-weekend meets, so that more people can attend without taking too much time away from jobs. More people then will enjoy the real pleasure of meets -- the opportunity for camaraderie, ranging from haggling in the fleamarket to dining at the more formal banquets, bidding in the auctions, learning what's new and old at the seminars, and perusing the outstanding contest displays.
Such a display might be a "mighty superhet," the subject of Bill Corkutt's lead article. Bill reminds us of how the superhet revolutionized radio and remains the basic principle used by all radios today. Most collectors know about the superhet and the names Armstrong and Leutz, but how about the Ultradyne and the Tropadyne and the names LaCault and Fisk? Bill covers these home-brew and kit-built sets, which were so important to the average household budget of the times.
Interest in military collecting is obviously on a steady rise, and Louis D'Antuono's article on the BC-348 used in the B-17 Flying Fortress reflects this trend. Reasons for this interest include the fact that so much of it is available, as it was sold at surplus after World War II and the Korean War. The folks who served in these wars or who are interested in their history enjoy making the equipment work again.
When you look at the back of the Pilot "All-Wave" radio, the subject of Frank Moore's article, you will see two separate chassis sitting there. What Pilot had done was to widen a cathedral cabinet to accommodate a chassis and a shortwave converter, both of which they already manufactured. A unique looking set resulted.
More good news -- Ray Chase is back on the auction trail and reports on two general auctions containing radios. Ray's reports remind us that outstanding, even rare, items, can show up at these auctions. Also, the solid prices indicate that serious collectors were there, even though advertising might not have been prevalent, and radios were only a part of the whole auction. Conclusion: don't overlook general auctions.
Richard Estes also continues to hold successful auctions for both buyers and sellers. His report indicates that over 200 bidders brought $27,000 in sales in his winter auction. The next Estes Auction on July 15 will be worth attending.
Richard Arnold combines some interesting history of the Philco Company with a description of the Model 39-25. This is an attractive Deco table model popular in the early 1940s and still collectible today.
Two short articles cover interesting topics. One by John Byrns and Ed Ripley is a follow-up on Ed's article on the evolution of the AM band in the December 1999 issue of A.R.C. As always we welcome further discussion of article topics.
The second article is by Dale Davenport on an amusing subject -- Pepsi Cola and Champagne bottle radios sold at discount because of the defective glue on the labels. Apparently, product recall was not as common as it is today.
Daniel Schoo's article inspires a little alliteration -- Schoo is not shy -- especially when it comes to taking on a challenge. His past restoration and repair topics included IF transformers, galena detectors, and selenium rectifiers -- all tough nuts to crack. Now he turns to rotary wafer switches. Why? Well, if you've ever had a broken wafer switch in a set you're trying to restore, you know why Dan's article will be valuable to you.
Don't miss the rare and unusual Callophone speaker in Photo Review. Also, note the sealed Zenith tube carton that seemed to be ahead of its time in consumer protection -- it was intended to be "tamper-proof."
Radio Miscellanea includes more on that 4-foot long, 98-pound rodent identified in the June issue. Who would have thought that this critter would create so much interest? We also have feedback on the Collins Auto-Tune transmitter, as well as welcome kudos from a long-term subscriber.
The Internet. Our goal this month is to have the ads up in a timely fashion; that is, by the time you receive this issue, you should be able to access the ads, either immediately or a day or so later. If we succeed, you can plan on this service from now on.
Coming Radio Events. Beat the heat this summer by stopping in at one of the over 40 meets scheduled for the month of July. Don't miss the Michigan Antique Radio Club's Extravaganza 2000 in Lansing, Michigan. Also of particular note this month are the Estes Vintage Radio Auction held in Seville, Ohio, and the Ramage Estate Sale & Auction in Tupelo, Mississippi. As always, stop by the A.R.C. table at the New England Antique Radio Club swap meet in Nashua, N.H., to say, "Hi."
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
The artwork on our cover comprises an RCA Radiola AR-812 superimposed on a closeup of the tuning dial. This set is the lead set in our lead article on superhets. The photo is one of 30 in a salesman's portfolio from your editor's collection.