VOLUME 16 OCTOBER 1999 NUMBER 10
EDITOR'S COMMENTSFrom Antique Radio Classified for October 1999
(Copyright 1996-9 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.) EDITOR'S COMMENTS
What's that--a ship on the cover? Did I receive the wrong magazine? Did A.R.C.'s printer switch photos with another magazine? The ship is too early to have laid the Atlantic Cable--no smoke stacks. What's the connection?
We wondered, too, until we realized that Buford Chidester's ship has a sail that is actually a cone speaker. And why not? A ship in full sail conjures up adventure and exploration. That image certainly relates to radio, which opened up the world to listeners everywhere. These colorful ship speakers make a perfect blend of the two worlds, and thanks to Dave Crocker, our graphic artist and an avid collector, we present them in the lead article.
Dave is always on the lookout for photos that can evolve into articles. In fact, the cover photo was originally destined for Photo Review, but Dave saw its potential as an article. As the owner of one of the speakers featured in the article, he has had frequent exchanges with the other two contributors, Buford Chidester and John DeLoria on the subject. And so, once again, a photo, plus related material from earlier A.R.C. articles, has led to another interesting article.
Joseph Wood describes the classic Western Electric 7A 3-tube amplifier. This amplifier was very popular in the early 1920s with amateurs, and today is a popular item with collectors. In fact, if you are purchasing a WE 7A, it is important to know whether or not tubes are included, since the tubes alone now bring over $100 each, making them worth more than the amplifier itself!
Factory set junkers invite restoration, but home-brew junkers need to beg for it. William Corkutt heard the cry from two Pilot Wasp home-brew sets and furnishes us with the story in this issue. The reward was a performance living up to the Pilot's claims DX from all the world and thrilling shortwave reception.
Wally Worth and Dave Crocker show us a recent home brew the Bruno No. 3, a set originally designed to promote RCA's WD-11 tube. Another short item by Mark Oppat introduces us to a rare space heater disguised as a radio. And in still another short piece, Phil Whitney explains the markings on early Raytheon vacuum tubes.
Blake Dietz writes of one champion of the radio collecting community Chevie Crandell, the outgoing, long-term president of the Dallas, Texas, area Vintage Radio and Phonograph Society (VRPS). You may want to attend the upcoming VRPS meet October 29-31 and wish Chevie well.
Photo Review this month seems to emphasize oddities a knight on a horse, a dwarf cathedral radio, and an unusual translucent horn speaker having tiger stripes. But, to keep our ties to radio's earliest days, George Durfey provides a photo of an Eliot spark converter.
Construction articles often challenge us all, but Robert Enemark's power supply for battery and portable radios may test the skills of the best of the builders out there. Although various assembled power supply units are available from a number of venders, some collectors enjoy doing it themselves. Bob actually described this as a "simple power supply," but I thought it best to drop the word "simple" after all, 24 components are used! Still, the cost is only about $30.
The summer meet and auction season continues with reports on the Michigan Antique Radio Club's Extravaganza, the Mid-Atlantic Antique Radio Club's Radioactivity, Part 3 of our report on the Frank Krantz estate auction, a small auction held by Keystone Associates, and the Cincinnati Antique Radio Society's RadioRama. Again, our stalwart reporters are Larry Babcock and Ray Chase, with Jim Clark also helping out.
Unfortunately, radio collecting, as do most such activities, has its occasional bad egg, and this month we report on one who has resurfaced Mike Kirby. It has been about 8 years since this name appeared in our pages, but some of you will remember it well. This individual, who responded to wanted ads and accepted money, but did not deliver the goods, is in jail again. Fortunately, his recent fraudulent activities were curtailed quickly, unlike in 1989, when he defrauded dozens before he was stopped.
Also, fortunately, the frequency with which we have a story of this kind is rare, a fact that speaks well of the general honesty in the ranks of collectors. In fact, A.R.C.'s own experience in 1998 of uncollected checks was less than 3/100 of 1 percent!
Internet. Our work to expand our site continues, but the way has been strewn with snags. Even our latest estimate of mid-September has failed to materialize. Software glitches continue to stymie the experts. We can only say "soon" once again and ask for your patience. Remember, our site already has hundreds of pages of past articles, and the radio events pages are updated each month. Also, you can order books and videos and renew your subscription quickly on our site.
Coming Radio Events. Over 45 events for the collector are listed this month. The big multiday event is the 3-day VRPS 25th Annual Convention in Irving, Texas, October 29-31. And by the way, don't say you weren't warned your editor is the VRPS banquet speaker this year. Hope to see you there. But, if not, try to get to an event close to your home--you'll be glad you did.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER The colorful wooden ship model of the Venetian Lepanto is actually a radio speaker which has a main sail as a paper cone. This unusual speaker of the 1920s is owned by Buford Chidester of Mt. Wolf, Pennsylvania. Fully rigged, it has miniature sailors in the rigging, three treasure chests, and tiny, colored light bulbs that illuminate the hull interior by AC current. Those attending AWA this year will remember seeing this speaker on display there.