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General Vintage Technology Discussions For general discussions about vintage radio and other vintage electronics etc.

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Old 23rd May 2020, 5:48 pm   #61
greenstar
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Default Re: What to do with my collection?

How about this for an idea? Pay to get in, take what you can carry, can go a second time, and a community event. This was a silent key sale. Of course not so easy for the moment. You won't get the full value of many things, but it is quick and easy. Perhaps give away after a couple of hours. Tony, the vintage radio fraternity is a large one, and a sale like this is especially encouraging to folk who are just starting up - there is little need for much to be dumped.
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Old 23rd May 2020, 6:12 pm   #62
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Default Re: What to do with my collection?

Just watched that video, that is a massive collection of really nice equipment. Bet there were rather a lot of displeased wives upon going home!!

Christopher Capener
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Old 23rd May 2020, 6:56 pm   #63
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Default Re: What to do with my collection?

Hi Folks, there was a silent key sale in Australia about 3 years ago. I think one guy bought the house and then found it was stacked with a similar amount of gear to this one

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Old 23rd May 2020, 7:34 pm   #64
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Default Re: What to do with my collection?

I've read this thread with some interest, because this question of getting "valuable" items to survive after the point where I can personally care for it is something I have pondered for more than 20 years.

Some in this thread have considered the meaning of "valuable". The term has different facets to it - some think of monetary value - some think of historic value (e.g. "my radio was at the Battle of Alamein"), and some think of technical merit (though few are in a position to really evaluate that one!). Monetary value is extremely fickle and variable, as anyone who watches the auctions knows full well.

I think its worth standing back from the whole scene and considering other areas where society attempts to preserve "history". Nearly everything that is consciously preserved goes through a type of sifting process. Fine art does - in that everyone knows the Mona Lisa is virtually priceless, but there is a whole hierarchy of lesser known works that are deemed worthy of trying to preserve - and that isn't just because they have price tags in the £millions on them - but because they are deemed to represent the finest examples of their type.

With vintage electronics we have yet to apply this sifting process. All the collectors I know simply collect "everything that comes their way", or "everything the wife will let in the house" or "anything that takes their fancy" - and usually all three of these "criteria" are applied. I have yet to see a discussion about the merits of particular examples of electronics - or even how what factors we might apply to evaluate the "merit" of equipment.

I anticipate that some people will react with horror to the idea that some bits of vintage electronics really are only fit for a skip, while other items are indeed extremely fine examples of the "art of electronics", which might deserve some effort to preserve. But if we look around us at the electronics we have in our house now - a lot of it really is junk, fit for immediate use only, and should be duly consigned to the bin as soon as it ceases to work or be useful. And the trouble is that much vintage electronics has somehow escaped that fate - and survives purely by the whim of a collector.

I am not offering easy answers here - merely suggesting that the "vintage electronics/radio community" might want to apply their collective brains to this before the hand of fate simply steps in and does the job for us.


Richard
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Old 23rd May 2020, 9:08 pm   #65
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Default Re: What to do with my collection?

Quote:
...some bits of vintage electronics really are only fit for a skip, while other items are indeed extremely fine examples of the "art of electronics", which might deserve some effort to preserve.
That's OK if you want to preserve the "art of electronics" itself. If you want to preserve history, especially social history, then you must take a more forgiving view. The products that shaped the progress of consumer electronics, especially, were often the ones that sold best, not the ones that worked best; the Garrard 301 was a fine turntable but few teenagers ever played their rock'n'roll singles on one.

One can judge the 'merit' of an electronic device along so many axes, with potentially conflicting results, that it is only ever going to be subjective and dependent on context, just as criticism of fine art is subjective (although perhaps for different reasons.) I always quote at this point the seemingly mundane but crucially important observation by architectural historian Siegfried Giedion: 'To the historian there are no banal things.'
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Old 23rd May 2020, 10:30 pm   #66
Phil G4SPZ
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Default Re: What to do with my collection?

I have read this thread right through, nodding most of the time and acknowledging, with thanks, those contributors who kindly mentioned the Black Country Living Museum and my own involvement with it. Just to clarify, the 1939 radio shop is so stacked out with sets that we just can't accept any more! However the Museum is specifically looking for domestic radio, TV and audio equipment from the 1958-1960 period for its next phase of development due to open in 2023. A sizeable chunk of my own radio collection falls into this category and is already destined for the Museum, once lockdown is lifted of course.

However I'd also like to endorse Lucien's support of the work done by museums. I am particularly fortunate to be involved with several of the 'living museum' variety as a volunteer, where my specialist interests fit in with the overall aims of the museum. The Black Country Museum is obvious as they have a working wireless shop, but I also volunteer at a preserved steam railway (restoring historic oil lamps) and a small National Trust property (restoring antique clocks). I have small collections of lamps and clocks at home as well, so in a sense I already know where most of my stuff will be going.

I don't think I've yet seen mention in this thread of the BVWS auction service. Again, the lockdown has thwarted my plans to box up and transport 2,600 valves down to Devizes, but judging by the number of buyers at RWB and other auctions (including those run by The Radiophile) there still seems to be plenty of demand for vintage technology.

Prompted by my daughter, I've simply started cataloguing the contents of my workshop and collection in a book and tying paper labels onto everything, together with brief instructions on the most appropriate method of disposal and who to call when the time comes. When making my Will, I was advised to prepare a 'Letter of Wishes' which can be updated at any time and at no cost; such letters can contain advice to executors about values of collections and routes for disposal. These carry no legal weight but may prevent the wholesale dumping of one's collection.
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Old 1st Jun 2020, 11:04 am   #67
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Default Re: What to do with my collection?

I sent this to my son.

Seriously though I'm going to do my best that this does not happen, I plan to sell off as much as I can so he doesn't have to deal with it, I've seen first hand where it just becomes too hard for those left behind and every thing ends up either in a skip or sold off for a song.
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Old 1st Jun 2020, 11:41 am   #68
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Default Re: What to do with my collection?

This thread has got me thinking. At 64 going on 65 I didn't think of myself as "getting on" but the current situation is making me think otherwise.

I was wondering what members do with the radios they have lovingly restored? The standard of work done on old electronics and quality of components fitted probably means that they would work day in day out for years.

In my case they start on the floor, up corners etc until there is barely room to move in the former bedroom I use as my workshop. I then have a tidy up and put most of them in the attic. It is doubtful that they will ever come out again or be used other than fleetingly to see whether they still work. I would love to have a room in which they could be displayed but that is simply not possible.

It might seem harsh, but is that not a small step away from them being consigned to the tip? We have had our enjoyment in restoring them and now they are really surplus. I am sure that museums such as Beamish etc have more offers than they can cope with. Sadly many will just have to be let go.
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Old 1st Jun 2020, 3:43 pm   #69
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Default Re: What to do with my collection?

Quote:
Originally Posted by retailer View Post
I sent this to my son.

Seriously though I'm going to do my best that this does not happen, I plan to sell off as much as I can so he doesn't have to deal with it, I've seen first hand where it just becomes too hard for those left behind and every thing ends up either in a skip or sold off for a song.
But what does it matter if its "sold off for a song"? As long as it goes to someone who truly values it for what it is - and doesn't just see it as a minor lottery win, because they can then sell it for 100x more on Ebay!

Richard
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Old 1st Jun 2020, 8:37 pm   #70
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Default Re: What to do with my collection?

Hi Paul, Beamish is hoping to set up a 1950's electrical store in their 1950's town exhibit in the next couple of years, but their stores are presently almost full of stuff to be displayed.

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Old 1st Jun 2020, 9:44 pm   #71
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Default Re: What to do with my collection?

On my demise... hopefully a few years hence....my executors have a list of my "capital" equipment, value and descriptions..... to enable it to be sold off at a reasonable price. The non capital stuff will be sold at a Club "Junk" sale.... that s supposing its still going in 20 years
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Old 1st Jun 2020, 9:46 pm   #72
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Default Re: What to do with my collection?

I am really looking forward to the Beamish 1950's town. Part of the stores was open to look round last time I went and amongst many other things they had a beautiful example of a McMichael 135. No chance of them taking one of my rather ropy ones, particularly as one has a duff mains transformer!

At least they use the radios on room display fully as they transmit old time programmes to them properly, at least they did last time I was there a few years ago. Switched on all day they must clock up plenty of hours.
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