EDITOR'S COMMENTS From Antique Radio Classified for December 2006
(Copyright 1996-2006 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
"Tis the season" -- the holiday time when we turn our attention to the good things in life. That's pretty easy if we focus on our caring radio-collecting community. In that context, we can easily find examples of folks helping each other with solutions to restoration problems, with research, with just plain give and take. An example is found in Radio Miscellanea where we learn about the generosity of fellow collectors to Pete Van Waesberge whose collection was a Katrina victim. Spontaneous giving is certainly a primary element of the holiday spirit.
Positive notes are also sounded in a story like the one in our lead article -- the evolution of Mac MacQuarrie's museum over a 30-year period. This was a labor of love shared by Mac's wife. Her passing put the project on hold for a while, but Mac has reopened his expanded museum in the true spirit of a radio preservationist.
This museum is typical of many small, private museums where unusual sets are interspersed with the more commonly seen sets in homes of another era. Here collectors may gather to see not only high ticket items, but also sets more accessible to us all.
Such items are often the source of much pleasure to a collector, as illustrated by Richard Arnold's Emerson Model 25. This set is interesting because it turned the dying market for small radios around and made sales history in the depths of the Depression. The ordinary family could enjoy the new "compact" radio, which was even smaller than the "midget" models already available. Furthermore, though it plugged in, it "pretended" to be a portable, in that its accessory was a carrying case with a handle.
Speaking of ordinary families, we might call this our "back-to-basics issue," as the articles illustrate the pleasure derived from restoring and collecting some very basic sets. Richard Arnold's February '06 article on the GE HJ-624 prompted responses from both Neil Robar and Danny Schafer on the GE HJ-618-AC. This set looks very much like the HJ-624, but it has a surprise under the lid -- a 78 rpm turntable.
We don't often have articles on radio/phono table models perhaps because they are not particularly popular among collectors today. But, these sets were very popular in the homes of the late 1930s and 1940s, so again, it's interesting to tune in to what pleased regular folks in earlier times.
We report on two meets this month, both medium-sized, "down home" events. The success of both prove that you don't have to go to the big national events to enjoy all the elements of a good meet -- contests, flea markets, banquets, and auctions.
The Indiana Historical Radio Society has been around for 35 years and is obviously still going strong. The Spring Meet attracted 120 registered families, and the auction garnered over $10,000 -- a very good showing.
Drawing from a wider geographical area, MAARC's RadioActivity was equally successful. The theme of the meet was Emerson Radio and a highlight of the banquet was the keynote speaker -- the daughter of Emerson founder Benjamin Abrams. The event organizers couldn't have known how much in keeping with the times this choice would be -- a lady speaker.
Responding to comments of attendees last year, MAARC did some rearranging of events this year, The auction was on Saturday morning; however, this diminished participation in the flea market. Next year, they will try the auction in the afternoon. This flexibility in an attempt to improve an event and meet the needs of everyone is admirable and should be emulated by other organizations.
In a way, club events like those above have become modern-day Radio Rows where collectors can go to browse at a flea market and pick up information about acquiring parts or restoring a basketcase. A Radio Row memory in Radio Miscellanea takes us back to pre-9/11 days -- an age when shopkeepers became personally involved with their customers who mourned their demise. Today we can get that same sense of camaraderie, almost of family, at a meet. I encourage you to attend one whenever you can.
A.R.C. Benefits. Be sure 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. Folks may be busy with the holidays, but radio events go on. Listed this month are 19 meetings, 9 meets, and 3 auctions. No doubt holiday festivities are included, so be sure to join the good times.
Happy Holidays from everyone at A.R.C.!
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our holiday cover is a postcard from the collection of John Terrey. Santa is listening to what appears to be a typical early 1920s battery set with a horn speaker. The card, published by the Gibson Art Co. of Cincinnati, has a 2-cent stamp and is postmarked Dec. 22, Carey, Ohio. It was sent to "Dean Powell," no street address, from "Melford."