EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for October 2004
(Copyright 1996-2004 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
Reviewing the contents of this month's issue prompted a memory search. When had we been prophetic about the future value of consoles in the grand scheme of radio collecting? Then Dave Crocker's drawing below from his July 1989 article surfaced. Yes, Dave was the prophet way back then. He warned that those who ignored the potential future value of consoles did so at their own peril.
As both the Estes and Harris auctions attest, consoles have arrived -- big time. What used to go begging drew vigorous bidding. In fact, eleven quality consoles sold for over $1,000 each, totaling $42,000, which represented 30 percent of the Estes auction.
Of course, "quality" is the optimum word here. Buyers have to pick and choose for value, and they were in luck at the Estes auction which focused primarily on two quality collections -- those of Joe Koester and Arlo Brakel. Together they offered a broad selection of cathedrals, Catalins and consoles, along with Amateur, battery and other traditional sets. The consoles came largely from Joe Koester's collection, which epitomized the unusual, scarce, and collectible -- all aspects of a quality collection.
Tom Harris Auctions also offered quality items covering the full spectrum of collecting. We're happy to note that Harris is continuing its practice of two radio auctions a year, and we will report on the September event soon.
In contrast to consoles, Charles Stadler's interest in transistorized multiband portable radios is at the other end of the size spectrum. Charles' article is even more narrowly focused on a small subset of these radios, namely the Patrolman Series. Read the photo captions carefully to realize the subtle differences among the sets. I understand an interest in such differences, as my own collection includes subtle variants in models.
Coincidentally, the Indiana Historical Radio Society's 33rd annual meet celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Regency TR-1 transistor radio. This 2-day event included an auction that yielded an impressive total of nearly $5,000.
Transistors were also on Mal Fuller's mind when he found that his Zenith Royal 3000-1 had a mixer transistor problem. Setting about repairing a defective transistor would seem a stretch for most of us, but Mal tells us how to do it. As he says, good substitutes are hard to find, so here's his answer to the problem.
In another repair article, Jerry Wieland describes a second chance he had at a General Motors Model 219, which he had previously turned down because of price and the fact that "it didn't look right." Well, his judgment proved correct. When the set later came to him for repair, he found that the cabinet had the wrong chassis installed in it. Jerry's story illustrates the kind of creativity sometimes needed to make a functioning piece out of someone else's partial restoration.
Photo Review is a good mix of European and U.S. sets. U.S. sets include a Walton, two AC table sets, a Belmont chairside, and a Beco battery set. Two German crystal sets and an interesting Dutch battery set are also pictured. We look forward to receiving your candidates for future Photo Reviews.
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Coming Radio Events. Among the 48 events listed this month are 27 meetings and 15 meets, one of which is the New England Antique Radio Club's meet in Nashua, New Hampshire. Of the four auctions listed, two are in Illinois, one in Missouri, and one in Ohio, namely another Estes auction. For those of you interested in a little travel, you might try the National Vintage Communications Fair in Birmingham, England, an event I have enjoyed more than once in the past.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover pictures a 1935 E.H. Scott Allwave 23 in a Westerly Grand cabinet with its doors open. This handsome set is from the Joe Koester collection and has silver-colored bars in front of the speakers. It sold for $3,600 at the Estes auction.