VOLUME 14 APRIL 1997 NUMBER 4
EDITOR'S COMMENTSFrom Antique Radio Classified for April 1997
(Copyright 1996-7 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
The big news of the day in the radio community continues to be the Marconi Archive Auction. As reported last month, concern about the impending dispersal throughout the world of such a significant collection was on the rise. That concern has escalated to the point of pressure from widely diverse sources on GEC-Marconi to cancel the sale. In fact, just as we went to press last month, Christie's notified us that the auction had been put on hold. (By the way, we were able to report this information on the A.R.C. web site.)
To further inform our readers, we asked Jonathan Hill, British writer, radio historian, and organizer of the upcoming National Vintage Communications Fair, to report his view of the ongoing Marconi archive saga from the other side of the "pond." His chronology appears this month. The story is not over, so stay tuned to A.R.C. The latest scuttlebutt is that lesser and duplicate items may still be sold at auction.
GEC-Marconi probably wonders where all this interest in the archive was prior to its announcement of the auction. Apparently, the company has been trying for some time to find a suitable place for the collection and a way to fund its maintenance. But for the longer term, the challenge for the collecting community is to insure support for the continuation of the archive after the Centenary celebration of Marconi's invention this summer.
Marconi Auction Canceled: The British Science Museum and GEC-Marconi finally announced on March 25, 1997, that the Marconi Collection will be donated to the nation. Additional information follows the Editor's Comments.
The cover this month introduces our lead article on the very interesting Emerson Multivalve tube and the radio sets that use it. Although the idea of several tubes within a single envelope was commonplace in the heyday of vacuum tube technology, the scarcity of early sets with multielement tubes indicates that Emerson and a few other manufacturers were ahead of their time. I personally have owned both the Emerson and Standardyne sets for several years but have never seen a comprehensive article on them. To solve this problem, I asked A.R.C. staff member Ray Bintliff to research and write an article on the subject for this issue.
The story of collector Les Rayner's search for a rare and early shortwave receiver is reported this month by Robert Grinder, the author of The Radio Collector's Directory and Price Guide. Although the Norden-Hauck Super DX-5 was never manufactured, the advertisements for it prompted Les Rayner to look for one. He finally found a prototype on another collector's shelf, and eventually he purchased it. The results of his careful research on the Super DX-5 are included in Robert's article.
Two auctions are reported this month, one in Vienna, Austria, and the other in Olney, Illinois. Erwin Macho reports on the third Dorotheum Antique Radio Auction in Vienna. A number of U.S. sets, as well as many European sets, were included. (And yes, Erwin does have the nearly 400 crystal sets he mentions in his classified ads; your editor had a very cordial tour of his collection a couple of years ago.)
Ron Ramirez reports on Eric's 7th Antique Radio Auction in Olney, Illinois. Although Catalin sets were the highlight of this event, Ron, author of the definitive book on Philco, must have been pleased to see so many Philco cathedrals and consoles represented.
Radio Miscellanea includes feedback on the Thompson Neutrodyne article in the February 1997 issue, as well as further questions on Trans-Oceanic restoration. Photo Review shows an interesting radio figurine, a cathedral radio by Lacrosse, and an ERLA Superflex.
Reviewed this month by A.R.C. staff member Dick Desjarlais are Mark Stein's two volumes of Machine Age to Jet Age. These two books amply cover the radios of the '30s, '40s and '50s with over 4,000 photos and descriptions.
Coming Radio Events. As the seasonal club and auction scene picks up, over four dozen events are planned in April across the U. S. and elsewhere. Since it appears that the Marconi Auction will not be held, just shift your trip to England a week or so and hit Jonathan Hill's National Vintage Communications Fair in Birmingham, England, on May 4.
John V. Terrey, Editor
Link to Marconi Auction Update
ON THE COVER
Our cover this month pictures a Baby Emerson and a Standardyne Multivalve, as well as an Emerson Multivalve tube and its tube box, all from your editor's collection. The photo is by our professional photographer Tim Morse, who also photographed the colorful June 1996 cover. Note that the box design shows three tubes crossed out since the Multivalve tube does the work of three.