Greetings to all!!
We have now entered the sixth month with the “virus” still in control of some parts of our lives. I hope all of you continue to stay safe and find interesting things to do with your time. Those of us that have hobbies that we can enjoy from home are truly fortunate. I have received communication with a number of our members who report they are doing well, but wish normal life conditions to return soon.
In our lastest communication with the representative for our landlord, she indicated conditions still will not allow them to start phase one of their reopening plan, therefore the shop will remain closed for regular operation. A few of our members stop by on Tuesdays and Saturdays, but the rules require that masks be worn at all time in the building and safe distancing is observed. We must be sure to follow these rules as required by our landlord, Alabama Power Company.
I want to express my appreciation to all who helped with moving the large donation from the Fosters, Alabama area to the Annex and Shop. Many of these items will be offered for direct purchase, others will be held for members’ auctions and some items will be placed in the Society’s permanent collection. If you are interested in these sale items, please contact me and I will find a time for you to come to the shop and view the items. I want to say a special thank you to Steven Westbrook and Dee Haynes for coordinating the moving of this donation to Birmingham.
Activity at the shop has been slow. Many of us have enjoyed eating at Marilyn’s Deli & Dogs. They are now open. They would probably like to see all of us again soon.
We have been invited to present a program for the September meeting of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Currently the plan is to use one of the virtual options (Zoom etc.). They requested a program on the History of Radio in Birmingham. Thanks to Dave Cisco and Mike Spanos for their work on this project.
So --- until we can resume our regular meeting schedule, stay in touch. I hope all of you will stay safe and continue to enjoy good health.
See you at the Shop…when we can!
Quote of the Month
Submitted by: Steven Westbrook
“The first man to raise a fist is the man who's run out of ideas”
Marion Stokes, Television News Collector
Submitted by Steven Westbrook
Marion Stokes (born Marion Butler, November 25, 1929 - December 14, 2012) was a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, television producer, civil rights demonstrator, activist, librarian, and prolific archivist, especially known for single-handedly amassing hundreds of thousands of hours of television news footage spanning 35 years, from 1977 until her death at age 83, at which time she operated nine properties and three storage units.
Television News Collection
Stokes' tape collection consisted of 24/7-coverage of Fox, MSNBC, CNN, C-SPAN, CNBC and other networks—recorded on as many as eight separate VCR machines stationed throughout her up-scale house. She had a husband and children, and family outings were planned around the length of a VHS tape. Every six hours when the tapes would be ending, Stokes and her husband would run around the house to switch them out—even cutting short meals at restaurants to make it home to switch out tapes in time. Later in life when she was not as agile, Stokes trained a helper to do the task for her. The archives ultimately grew to live on 71,716 VHS and Betamax tapes stacked in Stokes' home, as well as apartments she rented just to store them.
She became convinced there was a lot of detail in the news at risk of disappearing forever, and began taping. She channeled her natural hoarding tendencies to the task of creating an archive.
Her collection is not the only instance of massive television footage taping, but the care in preserving the collection is very unusual. Known collections of similar scale have not been as well-maintained and lack the timely and local focus.
In addition to collecting TV news footage, Stokes personally amassed large quantities of other items. She received half a dozen daily newspapers and 100-150 monthly periodicals, collected for half a century. Stokes had also accumulated 30,000-40,000 books.
Stokes bought many Macintosh computers since the brand's inception, along with various other Apple peripherals. At her death, 192 of the computers remained in her possession. Stokes kept the unopened items in a climate-controlled storage garage for posterity. The collection, speculated to be one of the last of its nature remaining, sold on eBay to an anonymous buyer.
After Stokes death her family gave the collection to The Internet Archive’s. The collection was shipped in four shipped containers cross-country to Internet Archive's headquarters in San Francisco, a move which cost her estate $16,000. It was the largest collection they had ever received.
The group agreed to digitize the volumes, a process which was expected to run fully on round-the-clock volunteers, costing $2 million and taking 20 digitizing machines several years to complete. As of November 2014, the project was still active.
I have always been a radio geek. It seems to have started when I was a toddler, and poked a finishing nail into a wall socket in the house my family was building. The result was a thorough curiosity about what was in there, but no apparent physical damage (that I can remember)!
Fast forward to the mid 50's, and radio became more fascinating than just listening to the old Philco atop the 'frige. My first radio was a Kinght 10 in 1 kit. It was a three tube "gem", of many functions, as the name implied. The receiver was a detector, followed by an audio amp, driving a single ear phone. It's selectivity was poor, with similar sensitivity, but it worked! I didn't have to ask the folks to tune another station! It was all mine. Many was the night I went to sleep with that ear phone under my pillow, and those three tubes glowing on my bed's head board shelf.
With this all night radio listening, it is little wonder that I absorbed a ton of radio trivia, especially since it was coming in several stations "deep" (poor selectivity, remember).
Well, this is supposed to be about Birmingham radio trivia, so here are some of my recollections. If you would help me separate the facts from the imagination, that would be helpful. Apply who, what, when, where, am, fm, format, etc, (whatever stirs from the brain) ......... and let's see what results. Most of these items have more than one applicable answer. See how many you can add. Meanwhile, I am trying to figure out a way to score this to determine a "winner" or did I just dream this stuff up?
Editors Note: I double spaced all of this should you would have room to write your associations and answers.
2. Golden Eagle
3. Tommy Charles
5. Ala. St. Fair Ground
6. Duke R.
7. Chesney B. Beamish
8. 7th Av & 29th St. S.
9. Sky Castle
10. Just past Tarrant City
12 Bessemer Super Hy.
14. Leiland. Childs - ...
16. Pop (rock & roll)
18. Joe R.
20. Record Rack
21.Doug Layden (sp?)
24. City Fed. Penthouse
26. Top of 20th. st, cut, below Vulcan
27. "Our house to yours"
29. Rocco & Cheater's
31. "Road Runner"
33. James W. Clary
35. 100 N. Western Ave
36. Ensley Nat'l Guard Armory
37. Ed Salem's
38. Ack (could be person, or corporate entity)
39. Jeff. Co. Vocational H.S.
That's enough for now. Let's compare answers some time
73, Ken, KI4OTO@gmail.com
Large Donation from Fosters, Alabama
Submitted by: Steven Westbrook
Recently we received a large donation of antique radios, parts and radio related items from James Lamb from Fosters, Alabama. The donation was made in his father’s name: Perry Lamb, who owned Radio & Electric Supply at 7209 1st Avenue, North, Birmingham, Alabama.
The radios and parts were stored in several buildings. The crew is loading radios into the truck from the garage.
View of various boxes of radios, radio parts, literature and other radio items on the floor of the garage.
Loading items onto the truck in sweltering heat
Taking a break in the heat before finishing loading the truck
Loading crew in Fosters, Alabama included: Frank Roberts, Richard Waguespack, James Lamb (donator), Stephen Mush & Mike Woodruff, not pictured, Jerome Lewis and photographer Steven Westbrook
The unloading crew included: Dee Haynes, Ray Giles, Julian Brook, Doc Holladay, Jim Cawthon, Rick Curl, Don Letchman and Maurice Lovelady
The local OSHA inspector came by for a ride to the Annex basement on the Haynes elevator
Many of the radio will be available to members at future auctions and sales.
From the Horn Speaker, Vol. II No.2 (41), February 1973
OTR, Old Time Radio
It’s been a long time since I last discussed old radio shows. Don’t think for a second that I have given up on OTR. I listen to a show or two every day. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I always listen in on Superman. I never know when Lois Lane or Jimmy Olsen will get in trouble and Clark Kent, ah la Superman, will have to bail them out. Of course on Tuesday there’s Magic Island (syfy) and on Thursday there’s Speed Gibson of the International Secret Police, a show about a young teenage boy who gets inducted into the ISP. Wow, there’s a thrill a minute. Seriously folks if you didn’t grow up in the 1940s and 1950s you missed out on a device that would create full HD 4K 3D color videos in your own head complete with Hi Fi surround sound. You’re right, it was that little plastic All American Five radio in your bedroom. Sunday nights were my favorite. Amos and Andy, Our Miss Brooks and Jack Benny, to name a few. And of course on Tuesday nights it was Fibber McGee and Molly. We didn’t have air conditioning so the windows were open and you could hear the Cicadas going Che Che Che Che. They say if you count the number of Ches in one second you could tell the exact temperature. When I hear them now in the evening it brings back memories of my childhood.
The All American Five was not the only old time radio we had. There was the Hammarlund HQ-129 receiver out in the Ham Shack along with the Johnson Viking 2 transmitter. The antenna was a Cubical Quad antenna made of bamboo on a rotatable 20 foot pole as well as an 80 meter dipole antenna with 40 meter traps, we didn’t have a tuner in those days. All you older hams will remember those radios. My older brother got his ham license when he was 9 years old and my mother got her license shortly after that. I didn’t get my license till after I turned 40. I did a little shortwave listening plus I worked on learning Morse code. I was able to copy 15 words per minute which allowed me to pass my General Class license when I finally got around to taking the test.
Now just to wrap things up I’ll plug our own Alabama Historical Radio Society, and I quote our brochure to remind everyone the reason we are all here. “We seek to preserve the rich history of broadcast radio: Collecting, Preserving, Sharing and Communicating it to the coming generation.” We are not a thrift store where you can buy a radio at a fraction of its original cost. Occasionally, we do sell excess radios and electronic paraphernalia at a bargain price, which helps our budget and fulfils our mission. Don’t forget the real reason we are here the next time you buy or bid on an item.
See you on the radio,
We meet every Saturday (unless a Holiday weekend) at 9:00 a.m., at the one-story AHRS Shop at the corner of 8th Avenue North and 18th Street, (1801 8th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203). Birmingham, AL 35203). Use the rear (Southeast) entrance.
The shop is currently closed due to the corona virus
The Shop is open on Tuesdays at 9:00 a.m. until around 11:30 a.m. when we go to Marilyn's Deli and Dog for lunch next door. Note that parking can be a problem on Tuesdays, so you may have to find street parking occasionally.
The shop is currently closed due to the corona virus.
We meet on the fourth Monday night of each month, too, at 7:00 p.m. Please come join us!
The shop is currently closed due to the coronavirus.
One more great benefit from becoming a member of AHRS--free Electronic classes!
Classes are taught the first Saturday of each month (except when something special is taking place, then we agree on what Saturday).
We start from the beginning Ohms Law, inductors, resistor and Capacitors color codes, as well as what each component does within the radio circuits. We also teach how to use test equipment used in the repairing of radios. We teach troubleshooting radio troubles, as well as how to read a radio diagram. There are coil winding classes, and one-on-one repair help. Come join these classes!
Boyd Bailey is currently presenting these classes online via Zoom. Watch you email for times and connection details.
Membership dues are $25 a year, payable beginning in January. If you have questions about your dues, you can contact Treasurer Mike Woodruff at 205-823-7204. Dues can be mailed to AHRS at P.O. Box 131418, Birmingham AL 35213.
Be sure and check out our website at https/www.alabamahistoricalradiosociety.org, which has copies of all newsletters from 2006 to the present (click on News), videos, photo galleries, museum, Old Time Radio columns, Projects, Reading Rooms, Archives, and Contact Information
President – Dave Johnson
Vice President – Steven Westbrook
Recording Secretary – Dee Haynes
Treasurer – Mike Woodruff
Boyd Bailey, member and Instructor 334 412-6996
Website – David Lake
Newsletter – Jim Rogers