RADIO MISCELLANEA -- MAY 2001 From Antique Radio Classified for May 2001
(Copyright 1996-2000 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
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More on Brand Name Radios
I read Richard Arnold's article on house brand radios of the 1940s in the February 2001 A.R.C. with great interest. My dad and grandfather ran a Gambles franchise in Albion, Nebraska, from 1936 to the 1980s, leading to my interest in collecting Coronado radios. As Richard notes, the house brands were manufactured by numerous companies. I have found Coronados made by Belmont, Wells-Gardner, Sonora, and others. The most interesting find is a 1933, 12-tube, Zenith console, distributed by Interocean Radio, branded as "Coronado." (In their book Zenith, The Early Years, Bryant and Cones question if these radios actually exist. At least one does.)
Among the Gambles' dealer magazines I have, one states that Gambles sold 130,000 radios in 1936. If true, the dollar sales ran ten times higher than estimated in the article. According to my dad, Gambles had nearly 2,000 franchised dealers at their peak. He figures his dealership sold about 200 radios a year, ranging from $10 to $50. Many of these were battery-operated farm sets, which may not have survived to the present.
During the Depression, many people could not afford the higher priced Zenith, Philco, and RCA sets; hence, the popularity of the house brands such as Coronado, Silvertone, Truetone, and Airline.
Thanks to Richard for an informative article.
--Steve Smith, Tempe, AZ
Alton on Capacitors
Ray Bintliff's story on the tuning capacitor (A.R.C., March 2001) is familiar. My problem was a little thin wire probably from steel wool that had wrapped itself around the shaft and was barely visible, concealed by copious amounts of dust and gunk.
Having a fairly large ultrasonic cleaner, I carefully removed the entire capacitor and ran it for about 10 or 15 minutes in the cleaner. Then, I found the wire.
When I put it back into the set, I hardly had to touch any of the trimmers. Now, I ultrasonically clean the capacitor in every set I work on, and then, I apply new lube to the bearings.
And, responding to Dale Davenport's article on the compression condenser, I have a home brew crystal set that has such a capacitor operated by a cam on a shaft. The cam slides the movable plate up and down on the other plate that is attached to the bottom base. This condenser is also home brew and has a large coil with a double set of contacts of nine points each. Incidentally, I could never get the set to work.
--Alton A. DuBois, Queensbury, NY
Muchow Auction Plan Update
Our April trip to the Muchow Museum in Elgin, Illinois, will be the first major phase of preparation for the auction in August. At this time, we will take final photos and list the items for the sale catalog.
Many hours of planning for the actual moving of the museum contents to the Hemmens Convention Center have already taken place. We plan to spend the entire week before the auction moving the vast collection to the auction site. Several days before the moving process will be devoted to packing and securing the many items for the move.
We hope to have two crews -- one at the auction facility and one at the museum -- so that we can be both moving items and setting up the auction with a minimum of delay.
We are happy to be involved with the Antique Radio Club of Illinois (ARCI) and will be working with them to promote this great event. ARCI will be an integral part of this auction, and together we will make it one you will always remember.
--Richard Estes, Estes Auctions, Medina, OH
90 Years Old and Still Going Strong
I'm celebrating my 90th birthday, and I think I have all my marbles. Retired now from World Radio for nearly 25 years, I still get on the air once a week. I'm the last living manufacturer of Amateur equipment in the 1930s.
Enclosed is payment for another year's subscription to A.R.C., which I appreciate and enjoy reading. 73s to all.
--Leo Meyerson, W0GFQ, Omaha, NE
A lifetime in radio must contribute to longevity. I still remember Leo's Globe transmitters and his smiling face in all those old ads for World Radio Laboratories in the 1950s and 1960s. And, see A.R.C., June 1991 for an article on Leo. Best birthday wishes to Leo on his 90th. (Editor)
Kudos to A.R.C.
I very much enjoyed reading, among others, William Corkutt's article about home brews in the March 2001 issue. Since I am fond of that aspect of radio collecting and a longtime A.R.C. subscriber, I think it is time to offer an article on a similar subject, which is enclosed.
My best wishes to A.R.C., one of the most interesting publications in the radio-collecting field.
--Konrad J. Birkner, Hague, Germany
A.R.C. is a great aid to our hobby. Keep up the great work.
--Alvin Abramowitz, Ownings Mill, MD