EDITOR'S COMMENTSFrom Antique Radio Classified for August 2008
(Copyright 1996-2008 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
As I look at our calendar of events and our cover, "a barrel of fun" seems an appropriate theme for August. Whether it's S.P.A.R.K., Radiofest, AWA, or events close to home, the temptation to have an end-of-summer fling is irresistible. Nothing is more fun for vintage radio collectors than to get together to trade stories and barter for the next treasure to add to our collections.
On the other hand, our lead article by Ray Bintliff describing his restoration of a keg radio may not be everybody's brand of a barrel of summer fun. Still, one might argue that only a vintage radio collector could relate to Ray's dogged determination to restore his keg to near original condition and to his obvious pleasure in the task. Knowing a little bit about our fellow staff member, we suspect that part of that pleasure was envisioning his keg in a prominent spot above the bar in a British pub.
The pleasure derived from sometimes difficult restoration projects comes from many sources. Perhaps the most common one is a family connection -- the set once on your mother's kitchen counter or the console around which the family sat to hear the news, music, or a comedy show.
Along that line, Richard Majestic writes about the Grebe MU-1 Synchrophase that his father failed to get working. Many years later, Richard salvaged the set from the family home, and eventually achieved his father's goal. His closing words "What a kick!" indicate that this was another fun project.
A family connection with the National Park Service sparked (no pun intended) Norman Braithwaite's interest in Art Redman's article on Forest Service radios in the May '08 issue. Norman refers us to a book covering the history of electronic communication in the Forest Service from 1905 to 1977. How the Service dealt with the problem of interference makes interesting reading. Norman reminds us that pursuing the many aspects of radio history is another way that collectors find pleasure in this avocation of ours.
For Bill Thomas, there was no family connection to a Philco 37-620, but since the set was well designed and not obviously defective, he took it on. However, as so often happens, further examination led to a long list of repairs. Despite his three months of labor, please note that Bill calls this an "adventure." Again, one man's brand of fun may not suit another, though we can all appreciate Bill's satisfaction with the results.
Swap meets like S.P.A.R.K. in Dayton, Ohio, are fun for everyone, as Dan Casey indicates in his report of the July '07 meet. The ad on page 27 of this issue for the coming August 2 meet promises all the same attractions -- free admission, restored raffle prizes, and an auction with Richard Estes as auctioneer.
Speaking of Richard, his ad for an auction of the collection of John Young on August 16 in Burbank, Ohio, appears on page 33. Here is another opportunity to see what's out there in the marketplace on a warm summer Saturday.
In contrast, a winter auction can be mighty chilly, as we learn from Ray Chase 's report on the January Estes auction of the Marconi Museum Collection. However, weather is rarely a deterrent to radio aficionados, and Ray says that this was a good auction, totalling more than $75,000. Despite his frozen fingers, he hung in there -- another brand of fun?
The point is that, even if you don't find that elusive set at a radio event, you can have a great time meeting others with the same interests. I urge you to take every opportunity to join in the fun.
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 keeping with the summer festive spirit, the August calendar is full of events -- 24 meetings, 13 meets, and 4 auctions. Be sure to get to at least one of these good times.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover is a photo by John Terrey of Ray Bintliff's fully restored keg radio, the subject of his restoration article in this issue. Like the Pepsi bottle radio, Ray's keg radio is a classic novelty set, one of those made "to look like something other than a radio." We're grateful to Ray for keeping A.R.C. in mind while working on his radio and for documenting the project with good photos.
Both A.M. Eisenstein and Joe Sousa pointed out a problem in Richard Arnold's July 2008 article. In the description of the Sonora KS series Gems, the reason that the tube lineup looks strange is that the KF series Gems are TRF sets, not superheterodynes as stated in the article on page 8.