VOLUME 15 AUGUST 1998 NUMBER 8
EDITOR'S COMMENTSFrom Antique Radio Classified for August 1998
(Copyright 1996-8 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
When Fred Geer's article -- "Radios That Are Dogs" -- arrived a few months ago, it immediately seemed right for August. Why? Because the phrase "dog days" leaped to mind. Little did we know then how right the choice would be for so many of you enduring the heat and fire hazards across the country this summer.
A little sleuthing revealed that the expression "dog days" survives from the Ancient Roman belief that the hottest part of the year was associated with the rising of Sirius, the Dog Star. The name "Sirius" comes from the Greek meaning "sparkling" or "scorching" -- even more appropriate, wouldn't you say?
But, Fred's article will help to get your mind off these "dog days" and start you thinking more positively about what to do with those radios in your collection that are really DOGS. Working with basic test equipment, Fred encourages you to revisit those sets that you have given up on and allowed to molder on shelves. "Be dogged" would surely be Fred's motto.
As a prelude to the AWA Conference in September, we present our A.R.C. staff representative there -- Bobby Lyman -- in a Staff Profile. Bobby is well known to those of you who have attended the conference for many years, so this is a perfect time to tell you more about her.
Wally Worth often comes up with interesting articles about New England radio companies. This time he tells of the evolution of Browning-Drake radios from the early kit days to manufactured sets. The story follows two Harvard reseachers, Browning and Drake, through their development of a more efficient transformer, to their collaboration with the National Company, and finally to the founding of the Browning-Drake Corp.
Many of you may be unaware of the controversy that has existed since the publication of the first Bryant and Cones' book on Zenith. Specifically, it involves differences of opinion between the authors and Alan Douglas, author of the 3-volume series Radio Manufacturers of the 1920's. Since the controversy has continued with the publication of the second Zenith book, we have decided to provide a forum for the debate. We begin with Alan Douglas' side of the argument and invite others to join the discussion.
Our plan to reprint a page from A.R.C.'s first year during this, our fifteenth year, continues with Frank Heathcote's popular The Collectors Corner. Before he became distracted from radios by car restoration, Frank contributed more than 30 of these popular radio columns to A.R.C.
With information from military and engineering manuals provided by Anton George, Ray Bintliff has made sense of the seemingly random codes identifying military equipment -- from communications receivers to jeeps to pigeons! Called the "Joint Army-Navy or AN Nomenclature System," it is perhaps well known to military equipment collectors. However, our article concentrates on the subset of the system likely to be helpful to the radio collector.
Our thanks to Larry Babcock for an article about the Niagara Frontier Wireless Association's exhibit at the Amherst Museum in Erie County, New York. The exhibit scans the mechanical-to-electronic history of TV, and celebrates the golden anniversary of local TV in the Buffalo area. Opening at the club's August meet, the exhibit continues until the spring of 1999.
Billing the Molletiere Radio and Jukebox Auction in Souderton, Pennsylvania, as the "really big one" was no exaggeration. Ray Chase reports that the sale of close to 1,000 radios, from cathedrals, Catalins, consoles, and comunications receivers to hi-fi equipment, totalled about $60,000. As reported by Ludwell Sibley, jukebox sales were extraordinary -- totalling $285,000. Certainly, this auction has to be rated among the best in recent years.
Ray Chase also reports on the Robert J. Lee Auction in Mesquite, Texas -- Ray is obviously a man with ever-ready travelling shoes. The over 500 lots sold included everything from a traditional Atwater Kent breadboard to over 100 novelty radios -- Tropicana Orange Juice, Cabbage Patch, golf bag, windmill, you name it!
Of particular interest in Photo Review are an unusual Hallicrafters clock/radio and an Amplion horn speaker. In Radio Miscellanea, the pro and con internet debate continues, as does news about Nipper and the restoration of the RCA Building in Camden, N. J. John Grady also reminds us of a major safety issue while restoring an old radio.
A follow-up to letters in the January 1998 Radio Miscellanea is found on page 6 in Alan Douglas' short article on leaky capacitors. Rich Urmano also contributes a short article that encourages you to give home-brew construction a try. His tiny 2-tube regenerative set has given him a lot of pleasure and is inspiring him to consider more ambitious projects.
Coming Radio Events. Collectors have a choice of over three dozen events this month. They include the gigantic ARCI Radiofest in Elgin, Illinois, August 5-8, and the HVRA Mega Auction in Houston, Texas, August 21-22. Following almost on HVRA's heels is the annual "really big one"-- the AWA Conference in Rochester, New York, September 2-5. As I've said many times before, if you can go to only one meet, make it to this one. A.R.C. hopes to see you there and at Elgin.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Once again, collector/artist Fred Geer adds his touch of whimsy to our cover. Many of you will remember his acrylic painting reproduced on our June 1994 10th anniversary cover. But, though retired, Fred is a man who moves with the times his "Radio Dog" is a completely computer-generated drawing. No rejection of modern technology here! Fred would be the first to say that you can teach an old dog new tricks.