EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for July 2007
(Copyright 1996-2007 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
Selling a product in the highly competitive days of early radio had to be a challenge. After all, print was the major medium, as even radio had not realized its potential for direct selling. The kind of advertising that saturates us today was not part of the picture. So a catalog, like Buscher's, the subject of our lead article, was a vital marketing tool for a manufacturer or supplier, and, no doubt, the cover had to be an eye-catcher.
That must have been why the Buscher catalog leapt to mind when we were preparing Jack Gray's Hopalong Cassidy radio article for publication. It is one of over 100 catalogs in my collection, but I must have remembered it because the cowboy graphic did a good marketing job. Eighty plus years after its publication, the image has had lasting effects.
Of course, the question arises -- why did C.A. Buscher use this image when it had no direct relation to his products? We have to conclude that he was sold on it when the artist presented him with the rearing horse, the cowboy with headphones, the lassoed letters, and the radio waves. He must have seen this as a unique way to get the attention of his potential customers.
Certainly, that was the goal of Arvin Industries when that company made the happy connection with William Boyd, the actor who controlled the rights to the Hopalong Cassidy character. Thanks to Jack Gray we have the story of the two versions of the Hopalong design on the front of this 1950 Arvin radio. In addition, Jack is offering for sale the foil fronts in both styles to restorers of the Hopalong radios. These are not repros but new old stock -- a great find for any collector.
Great finds are a way of life for Richard Arnold. This time Richard started out to write about his RCA Model T-10-1 which he had acquired almost 20 years ago. But, a 1935 ad for the Model 10-T, which superseded the T-10-1 within a year, caught his attention. Richard compares the two, accepts the superiority of the updated version, but remains firmly committed to his older set.
That kind of commitment is part of every collector/restorer's thinking. In Claude Chafin's case, he carefully evaluates a set's chance of making it back to its original condition before committing time to a repair job. For the Fada Model 290C, the subject of his article, he did not have to address electrical or mechanical problems, as with other sets he has written about for A.R.C. Instead, he had to deal only with the cabinet, a major undertaking in itself. He offers many good tips and techniques that will be useful to all cabinet restorers.
Steve Auyer's article, Glow-in-the-Dark Radios, in the April issue prompted Loren Ashworth to remind us about his similar set pictured in the July 2004 Photo Review. Though both are GE sets, Loren points out significant differences. We're always glad to have an article extended to yet another level of discussion.
Estes Auctions, of course, as reported so well by Ray Chase, often take us to several levels in variety and price. The Larry Flegle collection offered an interesting variety of items from traditional radios to phonographs, military equipment, parts, and even citizen band sets. Highlights were the numerous Scott sets, of both E.H. and H.H. varieties. The E.H. models were from the chrome-plated, classic radio era, while the H.H. sets were part of the early hi-fi era.
Among the top prices were $1,600 for the E.H. Scott 32 Philharmonic side-by-side and $6,000 for a McMurdo Silver V in a Clifton cabinet. The total proceeds were over $60,000.
And to add to my trip down memory lane with the Buscher Catalog, an AC Dayton Radio sign in this auction really jumped out at me. The name on the sign "J.H. Orr, Jr." took me back 25 years to a lucky turn of events that led to my attending the auction of the J.H. Orr collection in Opelika, Alabama. That was such a significant moment in my midcollecting years that I felt compelled to write an article about it.
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. Summer events are in full swing. Listed this month are 24 meetings, 11 meets, and 6 auctions. Be sure to get out and enjoy at least one of them while the weather is good.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover this month is a reproduction of the cover of a 1923 Buscher catalog from the John V. Terrey collection. Located in Kansas City, Missouri, Buscher supplied complete sets, instruments, parts and supplies, and claimed to be the largest wholesale radio distributor in the Southwest.
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 suggest that you always know whom you are dealing with or ask for references.