VOLUME 13 SEPTEMBER 1996 NUMBER 9
EDITOR'S COMMENTSFrom Antique Radio Classified for September 1996
(Copyright 1996 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
As summer was slipping into fall, many in the radio collecting community were hitting the trail for the big events of the year-- Radiofest '96 in Elgin, Ill., and the Antique Wireless Association's 35th Historical Radio Conference in Rochester, N.Y. This year the schedule of these events crossed with the mailing of this issue of A.R.C. As a result, many of you were probably on the road before the delivery of your magazine, unless the post office performed an unlikely miracle, or you made an arrangement with a carrier pigeon.
But, think of it this way -- those of you who had to stay home could take comfort in your first chance at all the goodies in this issue. Those at the events could browse through the flea markets instead and perhaps make a great find.
Our lead article this month is Alan Douglas' sixth contribution on tube testers, which covers laboratory test equipment, and which afforded us the opportunity to use a vintage photo of an RCA test setup on our cover. This photo provokes thoughts about how different a tube testing laboratory looks today. Technicians of yesteryear would be awed by the digital displays and automatic computer testing equipment which are the norm.
Ian Sanders' fine series of foreign set articles continues with the novelty book crystal set radio by the British firm Kenmac. This book-shaped radio, which was "bound" in either leather or tortoise shell, is titled "The Listener" on the spine.
Dan Merz writes about an interesting 8-tube superheterodyne set that he purchased at a swap meet. This set's uniqueness comes from the intricate metal work of its construction. Even the tube shields are of machined aluminum. Dan seeks information on the origins of the set and/or its design. Has anyone out there seen this set in the flesh or in a vintage construction article?
Meet and auction news comes from Timonium, Maryland, and Cologne, Germany. Larry Babcock, Pat Lindfield, and Steve Snyderman combine to give a detailed report on the Mid-Atlantic Antique Radio Club's Radioactivity '96 on June 13-15. Let's hope that Larry's interesting stroll through the flea market encourages collectors who haven't been to a meet to break away and get to their first meet somewhere. Highlights from a 379-lot auction round out the report.
A report on Auction Team Köln's June 7th auction of over 300 radio items in Germany reminds us that our collecting world continues to expand. It is unusual to find so many U.S. sets at a European auction. Interest and absentee bidding from the U.S. were strong, and a number of the U.S. sets found their way back home.
The prices for some items seemed high; for example, a Westinghouse RA/DA sold for $546, whereas this set has been advertised from $200 to $350 in our classifieds. Other sets seemed to be bargains, such as a Federal 57 for $468 and a Kennedy 281 receiver with its 521 amplifier for $585. These items are listed in Bunis for $575 and $975 respectively.
The two transmitter books recently published -- Ray Moore's Transmitters, Exciters & Power Amplifiers, and Eugene Rippen's Tube Type Transmitter Guide -- are reviewed by Ray Bintliff. Although the two books do have much in common, each book includes areas that the other does not. The conclusion for transmitter enthusiasts is that "both books should be in your library."
A couple of short articles of interest are also included this month -- Jim Leckrone's suggestions on packing Catalins for shipping and Gerald Cromer's report on another Mickey Mouse radio.
Photo Review includes sets from Giblin, Philco, Automatic Radio, Echophone and E.H. Scott. A 15-inch diameter loop antenna and a radio novelty toothpick holder round out the offerings. And Radio Miscellanea includes several past Photo Review identifications, as well as feedback on Hugo Gernsback and on Schoo's soldering article.
Coming Radio Events. As mentioned earlier, the two big events of the radio collecting year are upon us -- Radiofest '96, August 28-31, and AWA's 35th Historical Radio Conference, September 4-7. A.R.C. will be at both events and plans to report on them in the November issue. If you make it to either of them, I hope you will stop by and say "hi."
But, these are not the only events for the collector in the coming weeks. Forty other events in September, from California to Connecticut and from Texas to Canada, are listed in our Coming Radio Events pages. And for the more adventurous of you, a trip to the British Vintage Wireless Society's 20th Anniversary Event in England might be the thing for September 21-22.
Again, I encourage all of you to go out of your way if necessary to get to a collector event. There you'll have a chance to see firsthand some of the items and the people that you know only through magazines, club newsletters and books.
John V. Terrey, Editor
ON THE COVER
The old photo reproduced on our cover was contributed by Alan Douglas, who believes it to be the original photo used in the November 1928 IRE Proceedings. It can also be seen in the February 1929 issue of Radio Broadcast. The equipment pictured is a "Miller Bridge," a special bridge used in RCA's Van Cortlandt Park Laboratories in New York City for measuring the electrical characteristics of radio vacuum tubes.