VOLUME 18 AUGUST 2001 NUMBER 8
EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for August 2001
(Copyright 1996-2001 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
Over the past decade, the name "Bunis" has become synonymous with "Price Guide" for most collectors of antique radios. Not only did Marty and Sue Bunis supply us with the first comprehensive and illustrated price guide to antique radios, but they also produced excellent updates every few years. In addition, they arranged a partnership with a good publisher--Collector Books--who gave the guides a broad distribution.
Needless to say, the Bunises' decision not to continue the price guides was greeted with dismay by the radio-collecting community. But, the good news is heralded by our cover and in our lead article by John Slusser. The fifth edition of Collector's Guide to Antique Radios is hot off the press due to the efforts of John and his staff at Radio Daze. As the proprietor of this successful vintage radios and electronic sales and service company, John knows the field well. It would be hard to find a better match for the Bunis guides.
Of course, from the beginning, collectors have been of two minds about these guides. On the one hand, they provide us with a guide to a fair selling price. On the other hand, collectors sometimes see "bargains" evaporating because the noncollector/seller now also knows fair prices. Misinterpreting Bunis prices as hard and fast, he may not realize that condition is important, and that he may have to sell at a wholesale price.
However, there are at least two overall good results from using the guides wisely: 1) A fair price is the most frequent outcome; and 2) The guide may alert the uninformed to the value of a set and thereby save it from the salvage heap.
Will the reference to the guides change from "Bunis" to "Slusser"? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, John will no doubt continue the Bunis tradition of putting much effort into compiling the information so vital to collectors. Collectors and noncollectors alike can now continue to get an idea of fair prices in an ever-changing market.
Two articles this month are about companies that share a commonality. Wally Worth's Haynes-Griffin and Richard Arnold's Allied/Knight receivers are from companies who offered both ready-built and kit sets. In the early 1920s, building home brews was a common activity among experimenters, and Haynes-Griffin sets were among the most popular. In fact, they were so popular that Clapp-Eastham manufactured Haynes sets and sold them as built sets.
By the late 1930s, Haynes-Griffin and Clapp-Eastham were long gone. Allied had become a prominent parts house and the distributor of complete radios, as well as kits. So, the choice for experimenters lingered on buy a complete set or build your own. Richard writes about an interesting, 7-tube Allied/Knight AC/DC, 2-band set with a tuning eye.
Early radio is full of such connecting threads. We're grateful to Wally and Richard who frequently call our attention to sets that fill a small void in radio history.
Once again Erwin Macho gets the prize for the most unusual set in Photo Review a Japanese Geisha crystal set, which is tuned by moving the head. A rare, 1922 Magnavox 2-tube amplifier is also shown, along with an unusual cone speaker and an Emerson clock/radio that is actually just a clock.
The annual Harris Vintage Radio Auction is always a successful event. Richard Boellstorff reports that 28 states were represented by 133 bidders. Proceeds amounted to over $50,000, with more than 125 Zeniths boosting the sales. We commend Richard for his comprehensive listing and for the outstanding photos.
Eric Wrobbel is well known to collectors for his series of eight books on transistor radios. In this issue, Ray Bintliff reviews Eric's video on restoring pocket radios, a collaboration with Ron Mansfield, a collector and videographer. Ray found the information to be of real practical value.
John Leming's old photo of an electric shop in Kentucky is another example of the little gems that are apt to show up in anyone's attic. A photo that has been found, kept and identified can be the source of a great story. We urge you to scrounge through those family albums to see if you have something to share with us.
Ray Bintliff and I brought back enthusiastic responses to our trip across the pond to the National Vintage Communications Fair (NVCF). It then fell to Managing Editor Dorothy Schecter to put together a comprehensive report. This is an outstanding show with over 300 exhibitors and more than 2,000 buyers in a facility that is truly enviable. We suggest that you find any excuse for a trip to England in September for the next fair.
Radio Miscellanea includes responses inspired by our June 2001 issue. A suggestion that writers supply us with more TV articles jogged Alton DuBois' memory about two unique, but short-lived sets. A second response is very informative on the subject of house brands. And how about recycling a hair dryer as a safety device for protecting AC/DC radios? Collector ingenuity seems to have no limits.
The Internet. Tapping into our Web site has become a daily activity for collectors of old radios. Access the ads on the target date, renew your subscription, order books, and link to other sites.
Coming Radio Events. The focus this month is on the Ralph Muchow Estate Auction on August 3-5 in Elgin, Illinois, held in conjunction with Radiofest XX, August 1-3. Among the 40 other events this month are the Museum of Radio & Technology's Summer Heat Show & Auction in West Virginia on August 11, and the IHRS Summer Meet on August 25 in Indiana.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
On our cover this month is a work by Jim Daly entitled "Radio Daze," which adorns the cover of the Collector's Guide to Antique Radios, Fifth Edition by John Slusser. Limited edition prints are available from Mill Pond Press 1 (800) 535-0331. The boy in the picture is, indeed, in a daze--perhaps fantasizing about the world to which radio connects him.
Here is a medium-size version of this month's cover!
Here is a large version of this month's cover!