EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for September 2003
(Copyright 1996-2003 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
Remember when simply turning on the radio was a thrill? Some of you old-timers do. Younger collectors can relate to the feeling of the lady on our cover when they turn on their vintage sets. She has only to turn a knob on a console here, a table set there in her home and she has instant entertainment. Somehow life seemed simpler before giant home theaters and crashing computer systems cluttered our world. Not that most of us would choose to live without these technological wonders any more, but the idea is sometimes tempting.
For antique radio collectors, radio continues to be the technological wonder of our world. We are confirmed "radio bugs" and may, indeed, have "bugs in our skulls," as the poem below suggests. But how much pleasure those bugs provide! Several articles this month attest to that fact.
Take, for example, the pleasure Herb Parsons recalls in building a Philmore TR201 radio at age twelve. That memory stayed with him for 25 years until he found this model again and added it to his collection. What is even more remarkable is that this new-found set had the same problem that his first set had, and he was able to apply the old remedy to cure it.
Robert Enemark displays the same kind of pleasure in reproducing a very early crystal set using all original components. This is the kind of project only a true "radio bug" would undertake.
Sometimes the pleasure of collecting antique radios over a period of many years results in a major collection. You have read about some of those collections in these pages; for example, the Ralph Muchow and Ralph Williams collections. Jack Smith has alerted us to the Sandy Deutsch collection, which will be auctioned by Richard Estes in September.
According to Jack, every piece in this outstanding collection is perfectly restored and in working condition. Before his death, Sandy and his wife Betty had decided to sell the collection in order to ensure that the sets would give others the pleasure that they had had over a 30-year period. No doubt this is an auction worth attending.
Read the end of William Demetriou's article on his restoration of an Admiral 4T11 portable radio. Here is a man in love with radio. His exuberance is catching, and most of us are susceptible to the bug.
Another collector who always conveys the pleasure of finding something new is frequent contributor Richard Arnold. This time Richard has leaped into the modern age and presents a set that would certainly be a conversation piece in any collection -- a Hypersonic AM/FM neon radio and cassette player. Just turning on the neon lights would be a fun thing to do. Apparently, not many of these radios are known to have survived, but if you have one, let us know.
Good news for another major collection is that the Perham Collection of more than 20,000 electronics-related artifacts and documents has at last found a permanent home -- History San José in San José, California. Started 40 years ago and displayed from 1973 until around 1990 at Foothill College, this great collection has been in storage for 12 years.
However, we can now look forward to its being accessible to the public. Of great interest is the Lee DeForest manuscript collection, which is in the process of being cataloged and made available. No doubt, this press release will be followed by progress reports that we will certainly pass along to you readers.
Photo Review features several interesting battery and AC sets. Most unusual is the Emerson mini-radio/music box, slightly taller than a coffee mug.
Another Estes Auction, reported by our faithful reporter Ray Chase, was an obvious success, as it totalled $33,000. Several breadboards sold for nearly $1,000 each, but Zenith took the day -- two shutter-dial radios sold for $600 and $650, while the prize was a Walton's radio selling at $2,400. Watch these pages for more Estes auctions, as many more are scheduled for the near future.
Twice a year Erwin Macho reminds us of how striking European model radios can be. The Dorotheum Auction House in Vienna issues a handsome catalog for these events, and though the language can be a barrier, Erwin translates the highlights. One such is the top bid of $450 for an Ingelen cathedral.
Getting back to the theme of pleasure in antique radio collecting, we, in turn, are always pleased by the positive responses we get to our efforts, as indicated by the letters in Radio Miscellanea. It's also pleasing to be able to pass on the information you send in to share with other subscribers. Keep it coming!
A.R.C. Benefits. It's easy to take advantage of A.R.C. benefits, which include a toll-free number: (866) 371-0512; the Web: www.antiqueradio.com; Discover, Visa, American Express, and MasterCard accepted; books shipped free in the U. S. by book rate; and to current subscribers, a ten percent discount on all book orders.
Coming Radio Events. Of the 50 events listed for September, 18 are swap meets and two are auctions. There's something for everyone out there -- a military collectors' meet in Pennsylvania, an auction and swap meet in Missouri, a swap meet and picnic in California, etc. Be sure to join in the fun.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our "A Radio Bug" cover is from a postcard in your editor's collection. A poem, also appearing on the card and printed below, explains some of our references above. The postcard copyright is "The Gapp Line 1946."
All Night Your Radios Blare And Squeal
Without A Let-up Or Lull
Your Neighbors Think You're A Radio Bug
With Swarms Of Bugs In Your Skull!