VOLUME 14 JULY 1997 NUMBER 7
EDITOR'S COMMENTSFrom Antique Radio Classified for July 1997
(Copyright 1996-7 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
The sheer joy of collecting this is a feeling all of you readers know well. Certainly it is the sentiment conveyed by Phil Van Praag in our lead article about the writing of his book, Evolution of the Audio Recorder, testifying to his passion for "these electro-mechanical marvels." Joseph Esdale, reviewer of the book in this issue, generates the same enthusiasm both for the subject and for Phil's engaging writing style. As an audio and tape recorder enthusiast for over 40 years, Joe reports that this book is a "terrific reference guide."
It is interesting to note that Poulsen's telegraphone was developed at about the same time as Marconi's wireless telegraph. However, although the wireless telegraph was in use only a few years later, and radio had become a household necessity for information and entertainment by the mid-1930s, the magnetic recorder did not "take off" for consumers until after World War II. Still, the difference in time frames is understandable when we think that, as Tom Lewis says in Empire of the Air, "Radio was the first national medium Americans knew, and it brought them the world."
"I found a radio in a box" could be the subtitle of Dave Crocker's article on the 1-tube, 1920s Splendid receiver. After a little research, Dave found four variations of this otherwise rather simple set. Collectors are reminded once again to look inside every old box you see on an antique store shelf or at a flea market. There, you might find a 1-tube set like the Splendid, or even a highly collectible Sodion receiver worth over $1,000.
Ship speakers early cone speakers sporting a design of a ship are unusual. Alan Douglas sent in a couple of fine photos of four of these speakers, and A.R.C. staff members added their combined knowledge to describe these "nautical wonders" for this issue.
Photo Review this month shows several unusual items a round speaker-shaped lamp, a skyscraper-styled, Bakelite intercom set, a space satellite novelty crystal set, and a rather short under 5 feet grandfather clock radio.
How often have you seen an early 1-tube tester on a flea market table and just passed it by? Phil MacArthur saw one, but did not pass it by. He bought a Hoyt Model 100 and then decided to find out more about the company. His curiosity led him from Florida to the New Hampshire town where the Hoyt Works is still alive and well and very much in the business of making electrical instruments.
A report on the Findley Estate Auction held by the Smith Auction Co. combines information provided by Ludwell Sibley and Ray Chase. Over 500 lots were sold covering almost any radio collecting interest home brew sets, battery sets, breadboards, cathedrals, Trans-Oceanics, transistor radios, and Catalins. The surprise of the auction was a DeForest D-12, a 4-tube, reflex set with a crystal detector, which sold for $2,600.
As always Radio Miscellanea contains good advice, responses to inquiries and earlier articles, as well as the pleasant sense that folks from as far away as Australia are tuning in to A.R.C.
International Collector Reception at Radiofest XVI. Come one; come all! Collectors from all parts of the globe are invited to an A.R.C.- sponsored informal reception poolside at the Holiday Inn on Wednesday, August 6, at 5:00 p.m. Among the first to sign the special guest book will be collector/author Jonathan Hill and two of his fellow collectors from England, John Howes and Phil Taylor. We're hoping that others from abroad will consider this an open invitation to come and enjoy a chat with their American counterparts. To add to the festivities, A.R.C. will have prize drawings. We look forward to seeing all Radiofest XVI attendees for a relaxing hour and some good old- fashioned talk about radios national and international.
Coming Radio Events. Extravaganza '97 and Summer Heat are the big ones for July. The Michigan Antique Radio Club's Extravaganza '97 always yields good programs, a great flea market, an exciting auction, and an informal and informative social hour. "Radios of the World" is the theme this year. And in West Virginia, the Museum of Radio and Technology's Radio Heat includes a 2-day flea market, an equipment contest, museum tours, and programs, plus a Dixieland band.
And, plan for the next big ones in the lineup the August Radiofest in Elgin, Illinois, and the September AWA Conference in Rochester, New York. A.R.C. will be at these two events, so I hope that you will look us up and say "Hi."
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
Our cover this month depicts the patent drawing of a device called a telegraphone, issued on November 13, 1900, to Valdemar Poulsen, a Danish telephone engineer credited as the first to build a magnetic recorder. In his book Evolution of the Audio Recorder, the subject of our lead article, Phil Van Praag warns that we are not likely to find a telegraphone at a local flea market or hamfest. He also says that the word "telegraphone" is presumably pronounced with the accent on the second syllable "presumably" because, oddly enough, Poulsen doesn't appear to have made recordings containing that word. Some might call this omission a bit of a blunder on his part!