VOLUME 14 FEBRUARY 1997 NUMBER 2
EDITOR'S COMMENTSFrom Antique Radio Classified for February 1997
(Copyright 1996-7 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
Collecting old radios is truly an international activity. This is evident in the increasing number of international events reported on and advertised in A.R.C. The number of periodicals, books, and submissions to A.R.C. from abroad about collecting foreign sets is also on the rise.
Another indicator of growing worldwide interest in our avocation is the inclusion of 22 foreign organizations in A.R.C.'s October 1996 club listing. In fact, A.R.C. now has subscribers in 36 foreign countries, accounting for nearly 5 percent of all subscribers.
Although Canada leads with 172, we have 10 or more subscribers in each of the following: Australia, France, England, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the rest of Europe, and South America. In addition, A.R.C. finds its way to South Africa, New Zealand, Israel, Taiwan, Korea, and Hong Kong.
Of course, the international aspect of collecting is not without controversy. Some collectors are unhappy about U.S. sets ending up on foreign soil. On the other hand, many sets from abroad are widely collected here in the United States. And why not? Just as we are accustomed to viewing art and artifacts from all over the globe in museums, radio collectors should be more and more comfortable with giving an international flavor to their collections.
With the ease of international travel and communication via the telephone, and now the Internet, we cannot continue to ignore the global aspect of our avocation; instead, we should welcome it. There's no doubt that the wider the audience, the more competitive and exciting the field.
In this vein, our lead article by Ian Sanders on British manufacturer Peter Curtis and his crystal sets, ca. 1924-1925, is an exciting example of foreign-set collecting possibilities. Ian has included a couple of obscure models, such as the Silver Ghost that appears on our cover.
Unusual sets are described in two articles this month. The first is the Thompson "Minuet," a radio which looks like a cone loudspeaker and has a tuning knob and scale encircling about one-half of the cone. Roland Jennings describes how he painstakingly restored this rare set.
Gerald Schneider writes about an unusual series of table sets by RCA -- the series 75-X-17. These 5-tube, AC/DC sets have plastic cabinets that are hand-painted with oriental scenes.
For those home brewers out there, Dwane Stevens has contributed a simple home construction project -- an audio generator built in a "butter bowl." Only eight components plus a phono jack and a speaker are needed.
Doug Houston presents a realistic discussion of the pluses and minuses of starting your own or a club's museum. To create and support such a project takes a lot of energy and many resources. As we all know, even major public museums have difficulties in sustaining the enthusiasm and funding necessary to maintain their collections. Not infrequently, they sell off part of their collections (the Ford Museum's auction last year is a case in point). Doug's article is required reading for anyone who envisions a museum in his future.
Reports on meets in New Jersey and Georgia are included this month. From an Internet posting, we reprinted, with some editing, Ludwell Sibley's report on the New Jersey Antique Radio Club's meet and auction in October 1996. Over 500 lots were sold. A rare RCA Radiola Model IX and phonograph in a Sonora cabinet, in fair to good condition, brought $475.
Larry Smith reports on the Southeastern Antique Radio Society's Mega Meet, held in October, 1996, in Atlanta. This meet featured a 60-vendor flea market, a Zenith display, an old equipment contest, seminars and a radio theater performance.
Reviewed this month is the new edition of The Compleat Talking Machine by Eric Reiss. Alan Douglas and Dorothy Schecter both contribute their thoughts on this much expanded book.
Also in this issue is Gus Stellwag's 40-question radio quiz and Jim Apthorpe's short article on the Zenith Model 8-S-154, an unusual white console. Photo Review includes several interesting sets made by unknown manufacturers. Another unusual radio -- a Kitchenaire by Radio Craftsman -- is also shown. And Radio Miscellanea presents an array of follow-ups and comments on some of our past articles, as well as on our December cover.
Coming Radio Events. As memories of the holiday season fade, the calendar for radio collectors is filled with events on over 20 days of the short month of February. Hopefully, the extreme weather seen on both coasts and throughout the middle U. S. will abate so that a trip to a meet is possible. If not, you could plan your trip to one of the local or major meets when the sun returns. After the rain, ice or snow, we all will be ready to get out and back into the frenzy of a good collector swap meet, a conference or an auction, as well as monthly meetings.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
The ebonite control panel mounted on a highly polished aluminum plinth attests to the "exquisite elegance" of the Peter Curtis Silver Ghost crystal set pictured on our cover. According to our lead article by Ian Sanders, this may be the only British set of the mid-1920s to feature an aluminum case.