VOLUME 14 JANUARY 1997 NUMBER 1
EDITOR'S COMMENTSFrom Antique Radio Classified for January 1997
(Copyright 1996-7 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
Preparing the January issue gives the A.R.C. staff the inevitable sense of being caught between moments in time -- the climax of the old year in holiday festivities and the excitement of the New Year reflected in the theme on our cover. A.R.C. is "Off to a Flying Start" for 1997, and we intend to do all that we can to ensure that the good times continue for the radio collecting community.
British collector Enrico Tedeschi has solved the problem of collecting American radios from across the Atlantic by focusing on the small ones -- transistor radios. In this issue, he shares his thoughts about how to get started in collecting transistor radios and even proposes a list of sets for a "meaningful basic collection." No doubt his list will spark discussion, especially if your favorite is not on the list. We look forward to your contributions on the subject of this newest collecting interest.
We are all fortunate that Bennett Cane had the foresight to document with photos the restoration of his Zenith Trans-Oceanic 8G005Y. In his article, he details how to remove and recover the fabric on the case of an old Trans-Oceanic, showing how much fun and how satisfying it can be to bring a worn set back to life.
Two other articles related to Trans-Oceanic restoration are featured this month. Melvin George and Fred Gordon each were challenged with finding a replacement for the elusive and expensive 1L6 tube. Two different solutions are offered: George substitutes a 1R5 for the 1L6 (needed pin modifications are shown), and Gordon substitutes, with an adapter, a 1LA6 loktol tube for the miniature 1L6. Hopefully, these three articles will result in many more restored Trans-Oceanics out there.
Reports on the Vintage Radio & Phonograph Society's (VRPS) 1996 Convention and Auction and on the Estes Vintage Radio Auction are included this month. Nearly $100,000 was bid at these two auctions on more than 1,000 items. Combined attendance was over 600.
The VRPS meet is one where you can sleep late -- two days of auctions deal with the "good stuff" well before the scheduled brief Sunday morning flea market. Other activities fill out the event -- seminars, a banquet and a contest. Interest in this meet is growing, as several fellow New Englanders traveled the distance to enjoy a great several days.
When items spark little interest, bargains can be found at auctions, much to the chagrin of sellers. At the other extreme, a buyer who cannot do without a particular radio is guaranteed ownership, if his pockets are deep enough. At an auction, everyone has an equal chance, and you don't have to be at the flea market at dawn to come away happy.
Richard Estes continues to have success with his series of Vintage Radio Auctions. Although he may never again experience an auction like last year's $590,693 Ford Museum Auction, sales for his November auction totaled over $50,000. Catalin radios drew the top prices. Although Atwater Kent breadboard prices seemed soft, the prices reflected less-than-desired conditions.
Photo Review displays an interesting Telefunken 1-tube receiver which looks surprisingly like a Crosley Pup. Other sets range from a novel way to display your vacuum tube collection to a photo of Atwater Kent's gigantic factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Radio Miscellanea continues the discussion of old radio stations, the Russian Red Star radio, A.R.C. on the Internet, the Minerva radio, and the usefulness of books for collectors.
Coming Radio Events. The New Year brings three dozen offerings for the radio collector in January. Notable are the month-long exhibit of transistor radios in Newton, Massachusetts, and the 3-day Mega Auction in Houston, Texas. Two events coming soon for A.R.C. are Radio XXVIII on February 23 in Westford, Massachusetts (attendance last year was over 900!), and the 2nd annual ski/radio meet at Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado, from February 26 to March 1. To help in our planning, notify us ASAP if you are interested in the Colorado meet.
I hope that one of your New Year's resolutions is to add at least one meet to your plans for 1997. Attending a meet is one of the best ways to learn more about old radios and their values, and to meet those collector friends whom you know only by telephone and mail.
Happy collecting in the New Year!
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover art was taken from an impressive 4-page advertisement for Cunningham radio tubes in the January 1930 issue of Radio. Superlatives like "A New High for the New Year" and "We forecast that 1930 like 1929 will be the biggest year in Cunningham Radio Tube sales" made us guess that Cunningham might have been one of many companies starting to "whistle in the dark" of the Great Depression. Our surmise proved true. Research indicates that tube sales for the industry dropped by 25%, and the number of radio set manufacturers dropped from 260 to 70 (data from Radio Retailing, March and November of 1930).