VOLUME 13 JANUARY 1996 NUMBER 1
EDITOR'S COMMENTSFrom Antique Radio Classified for January 1996
(Copyright 1995 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
As we ring in the New Year here at A.R.C., we are still basking a bit in the glow of the applause for the December 1995 issue, our first to include full-color article photos. At 116 pages, it also was one of our largest issues. This month, collectors must be concentrating on holiday shopping, as we have received fewer ads than usual. The result is a slightly scaled down January issue, but one we know you'll find quality-filled.
The Supreme Instrument Company is the topic of our lead article by Dale B. Allen. Unlike so many of the early radio manufacturers, Supreme is still in business - as a subsidiary of Hickok. A Supreme signal generator led Dale to Greenwood, Mississippi, and an interesting history of the firm. Dale also helped us to shed light on the correct spelling of "Hickok."
Richard Arnold continues to provide us with short reports on a variety of sets. In this issue, he describes the RCA Model 121, a "midget radio," and explains a bit about the midget radio market.
We present this month our last installment on the Henry Ford Museum Auction, along with commentaries from two collectors - Ludwell Sibley and Richard Foster. Richard suggests that a comprehensive catalog should have been a requirement for a sale of this significance. Although belated, such a project is being considered jointly by A.R.C. and Jim Kreuzer.
This final report includes a listing of many of the vacuum tube prices. Some lots not reported were such a mixture that their prices were meaningless.
Photo Review this month features two unique horn speakers - a Burns horn with a Radio Cabinet Co. Orchestrion bell and the Payne Co. "Oracle" speaker/lamp combination. Radio Miscellanea highlights the problems in shipping radios.
Engineer and collector Blake Dietz presents a comprehensive discourse on "getters" in vacuum tubes. This may be more than you need or want to know, but his presentation is both concise and understandable.
We always welcome a touch of levity. Ron Boucher's Gridley Shop cartoon provides just that.
Although auctions and reports seem to saturate the collector calendar, and sometimes the pages of A.R.C., two more are reported this month. About 170 items were sold at the Colorado Radio Collectors' fourth annual auction in September, while more than 300 lots in the October Finkel auction totaled over $30,000.
A.R.C. on the Web. Monthly, we are posting radio event information, selections from our printed version, links to other "sites," and our marketplace of books and videos. Our URL is "http://www.antiqueradio.com/".
Advertising rate Increase. All classified and display advertisers should review the inside front and rear covers for our 1996 rates. The change with the broadest impact is the increase to 25 cents per word for words over the subscriber's free 20 words. These increases make it possible for A.R.C. to continue to provide a quality forum for all in the radio collecting community.
Coming Radio Events. Included in the three dozen U.S. events listed for January 1996 on our Coming Radio Events pages is the two-day Mega Auction in Houston, Texas. This is the big January event. However, I will risk being a little parochial and give the two events in our neighborhood special mention.
The quarterly New England Antique Radio Club Swap Meet is on January 20 in Nashua, New Hampshire, northwest of Boston. The Greater Boston Antique Radio Collectors' (GBARC) Radio XXVII will be held on February 25 at the Westford Regency Hotel, off I-495, in Westford, Mass., also northwest of Boston. Last year, this event drew over 600 attendees and 90 seller tables. A visit to your editor's collection is a feature of this event. A.R.C. runs Radio XXVII for GBARC, so we issue a special invitation to our readers to make the trip.
Happy New Year from all the A.R.C. staff.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover for the New Year's issue gives us the opportunity to reflect, not only on the past year, but also on a decade of progress. How can that be? Well, in a nostalgic moment, your editor remembered an early A.R.C. cover that portrayed a New Year's theme. As luck would have it, that issue happened to be the January 1986 issue, taken from a 1927 ad for WLW (see A.R.C., November 1992). We decided to update the '86 cover and to examine how far we have come in ten years.
A first reaction as we leafed through this decade-old issue was a sense of stability and continuity. Many of the same advertisers and contributors still appear in current issues. Ads for Radiofest and Radio XV (now approaching XXVII since there were two in some years) reminded us that today's multiple radio events have strong roots.
A second reaction was to realize how much A.R.C. has changed in the past decade. First, in size - the 1986 issue has 24 pages, whereas we now publish 100-plus pages regularly. Second, in quality - our efforts to improve the quality of writing, photos, layout, and service to the radio collecting community have paid off in a big increase in interest in A.R.C. The number of subscribers has risen seven-fold - from just over 1,000 in January 1986 to over 8,000 in January 1996.
Have radio prices changed? Looking over the prices in the 1986 classified ads is an amusing exercise. An Atwater Kent breadboard is for sale at $350. Today, that item would bring about three times that amount. On the other hand, a Crosley 51, offered at $100, would sell at about the same price today.
Improvements mean subscription rate increases, and ours have increased about two and a half times in ten years. But, A.R.C. has quadrupled in size, and keeping pace with costs has been a constant challenge.
The January 1986 A.R.C. was our 18th issue, while this January 1996 issue is Number 138. In all, reflecting on the New Year's issue of a decade ago has given us a sense of pride in our progress and a renewed incentive to improve with each passing year.