VOLUME 13 MARCH 1996 NUMBER 3
EDITOR'S COMMENTSFrom Antique Radio Classified for March 1996
(Copyright 1996 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
Why not own a piece of radio station KDKA history? As our cover and lead article indicate, the KDKA Pittsburgh transmitting tower was replaced in 1994. Now small sections of it, encased in Lucite, are available for a donation of $23 to the Free Care Fund at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.
When A.R.C. learned of this project from John England, we wanted to spread the word to the collecting community -- acquiring an attractive piece of history for your collection supports a worthy cause. The article by Dorothy Schecter on KDKA tells more.
John Okolowicz's series on early Philco designers continues this month with an article on Norman Bel Geddes. In addition to radios for Philco, Bel Geddes designed radios for Majestic, Federal, and Emerson, the most popular being the colorful Patriot Catalin series. Bel Geddes was a flamboyant character whose wide-ranging artistic talents extended from radios to ships to the theatre. Drawings from patent applications complement John's article.
Alan Douglas continues his tube tester series with tube emission testers. Alan explains how to identify these simpler testers, which measure only the tube's filament emission. These tests are less comprehensive than those done by mutual-conductance testers.
A follow-up on Alan's Minerva Tropic Master, pictured on the August 1995 cover, confirms that A.R.C. often fills one of its mandates -- to aid in the gathering and dissemination of radio information.
The Antique Radio Collectors Club of Fort Smith Arkansas reports on its exciting cable television debut on the Collectibles Show. Several club members exhibited sets from their collections on this live cable show to an estimated 20 million viewers. Publicity such as this benefits not only the participating individuals and clubs, but also the collecting community at large.
Three auctions are covered in this issue. Ron Ramirez reports on the sixth annual radio auction at Eric's Auction Barn in Olney, Illinois. An Atwater Kent breadboard brought the top price of $1,475, while a Coca Cola Cooler radio brought $625. Since auction companies do not always send in the results to us, we thank Ron for contributing this report and encourage all readers to report on auction activities in their areas.
In November, Doug Davies Auctions of Lafayette, Indiana, held a 5-hour auction of radios from the estate of the late Glen Rogers. Another Atwater Kent breadboard brought the top price of $1,000. Two uncommon sets brought good prices as well -- a Federal 58 sold for $800 and an Airway Type F for $300.
Richard Estes has continued his very successful radio auctions with his November sale which totaled $30,000! A Victor 3 phonograph brought the top bid of $875. A Crosley grandfather clock radio sold for $425, but the Atwater Kent breadboard at this auction brought only $550 because of its condition.
Ron Frisbie reviews Peter Jensen's fine book Early Radio -- In Marconi's Footsteps, calling it "a masterpiece which every serious collector or student of radio should have in his or her library." Jensen's book describes Marconi's work via a trip through Marconi's Italy and finishes with detailed descriptions of his early equipment.
John Springer presents a short article on the history of the vacuum tube. He begins with Edison's light bulb, containing only a filament, and Fleming's valve, a 2-element diode, as precursors to Lee de Forest's triode in 1906-1907.
Harold Isenring describes a cure for the noisy volume control found in many sets built from 1933 to 1960. A small wiring change is all that is needed to quiet the pesky problem.
You may have noticed that the usual annual index is not contained in this issue. The reason is explained on the Radio Miscellanea page, along with several other letters and comments from readers. Photo Review includes a rarely seen 2-piece Clariphone receiver from 1922 and an interesting Grigsby-Grunow Hinds horn speaker which has a celluloid horn.
A.R.C. on the Web. http://www.antiqueradio.com/ is our site on the web. Although we do not make ads available there, we do post highlights from each issue including the full radio events calendar and list of clubs. We now have an interactive order form which simplifies placing orders.
Late Ads. Periodically, we remind our readers that to insure that your ads are included in the current issue, we must receive them by noon on the 10th, even when the 10th falls on a Saturday, as it did this month. On Monday, the 12th, nearly 40 more ads were received; they were too late to be included in this issue. (Only when the 10th falls on a Sunday or a federal holiday is the deadline extended.) Remember, it sometimes takes a week or more for mail to get to us, so mail your ad by the first, even if you have not received your previous issue.
Coming Radio Events. Nearly forty radio events across the U. S. are scheduled during the month of March. And it is not too early to begin planning for the several large meets held throughout the year, such as those in Lansing, Rochester, Elgin, and Golden Valley, Minn., to name a few. Hotel reservations are sometimes difficult to get at the last minute, so book early.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover shows the KDKA Pittsburgh logo depicting the original radio tower which, after many decades of service, has become history. This logo appears in the Lucite encasing a piece of the tower now being sold as a fundraiser for the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. It's a pleasure to know that KDKA's important place in radio history will be extended in this unique way. Pieces of the toppled tower could end up in all corners of the globe.