EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for December 2005
(Copyright 1996-2005 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
Where does the time go? Events of the summer and fall, the radio collector's "high season," already seem in the distant past. Though the holidays with all their distractions are well underway, it's always a pleasure to look back and enjoy those good, warm-weather times.
One of those times is, of course, the annual AWA Conference, which continues to be an outstanding event. Yes, compared to past peak years, attendance and flea market activity were down, but the faces that go away smiling from this event can't be denied. The number of auction items was up from recent years and 12 of them went for over $1,000. But you didn't have to spend $11,000, as someone did for a Canadian Marconi receiver or $1,500 for a DeForest Audion, to go home with a treasure.
The flea market offered even more opportunities for successful purchases. Steve Johnson, pictured in our report, is a case in point with his test equipment acquisition. Others like me found some rare and unusual items in the market to add to our collections. In fact, there really did seem to be something for everyone.
Beyond the brisk sales of the auction and flea market are an old equipment contest, seminars, banquets, and more. It all adds up to my conviction that the AWA multiday event is not to be missed. In addition, the organization is working on improving the Conference, beginning with a schedule change for next year -- Thursday will be the first full day, not Wednesday. This change will accommodate more folks who can't take a full week off from work. We encourage the planners to listen to other suggestions from the membership.
Listening to suggestions from Chuck Grossman concerning yard sale addiction would benefit many of us. With tongue in check, Chuck tells us about one man's way of building a collection. For the most part, big national events like AWA are not possible for him. Yard sales, on the other hand, are part of his weekly routine, and they have led to a sizable collection. Here's a man who can laugh at himself, and at the same time, outline for you a step-by-step approach to success in yard "sailing." Enjoy and take heed.
Joseph Chambers' article on the Truetone Model D2121 reminds us of another bit of collecting advice. Though a set may not be in your particular line of collecting, be aware of its unusual features before you dismiss it. This radio has many 1920s attributes, but it was manufactured in the late 1940s. For Joseph, the lure was the loop antenna. But, this set is almost bizarre with its odd combination of styles -- a big, heavy cabinet to meet the market demand of the times, plus a small loop -- strange and worth collecting.
As we all know, a picture can tell the story. Claude Chafin shows his step-by-step restoration of a Philco Boomerang in the kind of clear photos that A.R.C. welcomes. Claude's bio tells us that his is a no-nonsense approach to any repair job. The technique he describes using on the Boomerang makes me wonder if it could be used on those petal horn speakers that so often have pieces broken off. Let's hear from anyone who gives such a project a try with Claude's method.
On the other hand, a more relaxing activity for the holidays might be reading the entertaining mystery novel The War of the Worlds Murder by Max Allan Collins and reviewed in this issue by David Spivey. Though not about radio itself, this intriguing story is really about programming. It weaves the famous Orson Welles radio program, which caused a panic about an invasion from Mars, into a murder mystery -- a clever mix of fiction with fact.
Programming also shows up as an interesting topic in Radio Miscellanea. Rabishu Xul tell us about Marion Webster who broadcasts music and stories of the 1890s to the 1920s from her attic. Jim Apthorpe's inquiry about a mystery radio and Steve Adams' list of scammer "red flags" are more food for thought. Regarding the latter subject, note also on this page our periodic notice.
A.R.C. Benefits. For collectors on your holiday list, be sure to take a look at our book list, and continue to take advantage of A.R.C. benefits: a toll-free number (866) 371-0512; Discover, MasterCard, American Express, Visa accepted; the Web, www.antiqueradio.com; books shipped free in the U. S. by USPS media mail; and for current subscribers, a 10 percent discount on all book orders.
Coming Radio Events. As always in the holiday season, there are fewer radio events. However four meets, an Estes auction, and 23 meetings and holiday socials are listed. Slip at least one of these into your busy schedule.
Happy Holidays from all of us at A.R.C.!
John V. Terrey, Editor
Printed without comment
We continue to receive reports from advertisers of e-mail responses to their classified ads proposing to pay them with a check, sometimes via a third party, in excess of the purchase price. The seller is asked to refund the difference by wire. In more than one case reported to A.R.C., the check received was "bad."
To minimize problems, we suggest that you always know whom you are dealing with or ask for references.
ON THE COVER
Every year we try to "lighten up" our cover for the holiday issue. Our choice this year is a vintage postcard from the John V. Terrey collection. More often than not, foreign postcards have radio themes, but this one is American with the label "Whitney Made, Worcester, Mass." on the address side. The child listening to a 1920s set offers another headphone to her dog. The message that they hear but we have not reproduced is, "This is Station M.C.T.Y -- Merry Christmas to You."
Click here for a larger view of this month's cover!