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Antique Radio Technical Forum
The reasons behind my opinions

Posted by Rogers flipdial on 04/05/2009 12:58

:::I didn't want to bring up the forum polarizer again, but I do kind of want to explain some of my opinions so that maybe some of you will realize that they aren't due to just obsessive compulsive perfectionism or something.
:::To be brief, because I could go into great detail on this, there is a whole experience to owning an antique radio, and it can get ruined by even the smallest details. I'm not sure if it's memories of my grandparents, or childhood, or I don't know what. I do know that my grandparents painted a rather rosy picture of the past. There are some VERY good things from the past that are being lost, and there are also some reasons why I'd never want to live back then. However, there are these little things like the romanticised images I painted in my head of old cabins and such, that we looked at and went to when I was a kid. Naturally I focussed more on the electrical aspect. They had old outlets and switches with the most amazing and different designs. The rest of the experience was interesting, too, of course, such as being up in the woods with only nature and quiet, and the smells of trees and such. However, I was typically drawn to electro-mechanical things, such as outlets, switches, toilets, and sinks. It absolutely tears me apart when I see a beautiful old untouched house suddenly have all of its windows, fixtures, and such, ripped out. Disgusting!
:::...Back to my story....
:::Then there's the old gymnasium at the Milwaukee Archdiocese that was practically untouched when we used to go to it. It had (and probably still has) a bowling alley in the basement that we'd use. The gymnasium was all wood, with a fully exposed wooden ceiling, and hanging lights with the typical green metal shade. All of the toilets, drinking fountains, you name it, were unchanged since 1929. The place had the most awesome red globe exit signs that had this deep red transparent glow to them. Then there was the upstairs office with the old wooden door with the glass window, and this smell of wood and oldness when you opened the door, and the cool wooden desk inside. It was AWESOME! There were these 1920s intercom phones that still worked! Later in life I found one in a junk heap and restored it. Now it works in my parents' basement, and always reminds me of the gymnasium. I have seen some changes (such as new doors) to the exterior of the building, and I am afraid that other things like those awesome exit signs got changed in an effort to 'modernize,' even if modernization wasn't really necessary.
:::I can't tell you the experience of walking into that gymnasium. It isn't scarry or haunting or any of the stupid things that others say. It's just the feeling of pure awesomeness.
:::Another electrical experience was with the Star-Rite fan that my grandfather gave me. It ran in his basement all of my life. My grandparents never had air conditioning, and so they'd go to the basement in the hot summer. There'd be the old fan buzzing away. I was fascinated by the mechanical wonder. My grandparents wouldn't let me go near it, though. Later, when I was in my mid-teens, my grandfather gave it to me, covered in years of dirt and oldness. I cleaned and rewired it with a new cloth cord, and polished the blades. It's amazing, and I still use it every summer. There's something thrilling about it.
:::My grandfather and I would light light bulbs and all sorts of stuff on his workbench, and he had old radio plugs and switches and knobs with cool designs. He taught me that you could connect 120 volt wires without insulating them, and the electricity wouldn't jump out and bite you. He taught me how to respect and responsibly use electricity. ...Tales of the farmer who told him that he could have a model T if he could just get it working (coils). How to properly crank it over without breaking your wrist. ..Stuff like that...
:::That's why I have to have all original looking components in my radios and cloth cords and original plugs and all. Not having this takes away from the entire experience of opening up this mysteriously amazing and beautiful piece of history. In any case, all of those beautiful colorful logos and designs are more attractive, anyway.
::: Since most of you probably lived through it first hand, it probably isn't any wonder to you, but it's a hell of a wonder to me, and to people my age who are lucky enough to be exposed to it in the right way.
:::T. Very interesting Tom. You remind me of my early childhood when we listen to the Grand Ole Opry on a Meck farm radio that used that big battery. We we limited to not much playing it due to running battery down.

You've triggered all sorts of memories - but the one that came immediately to mind was when my company was contracted to put a dc remote for a 2-way radio in a small hydro generating station - when I walked in the door I'll never forget seeing the gleaming hardwood floors and the two belt driven generators - putting out a half kilowatt each I think - that had been continuously running since 1894 - with a man making hourly checks 24 hrs a day - of the myriad of meters large and small - and the unforgettable low whirring sound of those generators.- and the roar of the waterfall outside - I did a brief search for pictures of that room - came up empty - but found this instead - http://www.bracebridgeexaminer.com/muskokanews/article/107530

I guess everything must come to an end - I wonder what will happen to the old generators when they are removed - too bad.


The reasons behind my opinions 
Thomas Dermody 04/05/2009 02:04 
Jim 04/05/2009 08:01 
Jim 04/05/2009 08:05 
Rogers flipdial 04/05/2009 12:58 
Rogers flipdial 04/05/2009 13:29 
Thomas Dermody 04/05/2009 14:18 
Bob H 04/05/2009 15:25 
Lewis L 04/05/2009 17:21 
vitanola 04/09/2009 17:17 
Lewis L 04/10/2009 18:43 
To Each His Own 04/06/2009 02:11 
To Restore 04/06/2009 16:27 
Bill G. 04/06/2009 17:16 
Peter G. Balazsy 04/07/2009 04:47 
Thomas Dermody 04/07/2009 14:28 
Peter G. Balazsy 04/08/2009 00:58 
Bill G. 04/08/2009 17:50 
Peter G. Balazsy 04/08/2009 21:51 
Joe 04/07/2009 10:09 
Bill G. 04/08/2009 17:56 
Joe 04/09/2009 15:28 
Thomas Dermody 04/10/2009 00:20 
Thomas Dermody 04/10/2009 00:26 
Andrew 04/07/2009 16:50 

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