Welcome to That's My Era. Vintage collectibles for nostalgia enthusiasts of almost every time period. Everyone has their own "era," right? Pretty sure you'll find yours here!

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Sunday, June 30, 2013

New radio, coming soon!

Coming soon to our Etsy shop, one plaskon-like Montgomery Wards Airline radio in butter cream. This simple beauty would look great hanging out in a vintage kitchen. Perfect for listening to the game on, or those classic oldies stations.

Body of this mid-century radio is a creamy almost translucent plaskon-like plastic with nary a chip, crack or repair. The only flaw is a slight dent to the dial tuner, see second last picture at the bottom. Very minute but worth mentioning. Otherwise, this radio is near mint. Back is complete and in like-new condition. I cleaned the body of the radio but neglected to clean the underside, as you can see in the last picture. I'll leave that to the new owner.

This radio is in excellent working condition, as you can see from the video included at the bottom of this post. Pulls in stations clear across the dial without any annoying background hum. There is some static initially but clears up within a minute or so. This is a classic 5 tube radio, model GSE16020A, rarely seen. I've not seen another in this butter colour; normally this model comes in a swirly faux catalin plastic, in tans and browns. Civil defense triangles complete the dial face. Birth date: Between 1953 and 1957.

Without further ado, here are some pictures:

Saturday, March 23, 2013

RCA Victor Filtermatic, Levermatic clock radio, classic 1950's mid-century styling!

Another item from my small collection, this RCA Victor clock radio, model C-423, circa the 1950's. Very mid-century modern with super cool Atomic-styled clock face. Clock doesn't work and radio functions but with a significant background hum so is a candidate for restoration.

Here are lots of pictures of our pinky-beige and white clock radio:

Forever chasing radios...

Thought I'd post on the latest radios I'm chasing, if not literally, then in certainly in my head. I'm on a spending freeze and not buying any more radios these days. I've also parted with most of my collection.

Here are the radios I've bid farewell to thus far:

My Philco 32A from the early 1940's (likely '41). This refurbished wood radio with deco grille went to live in San Francisco, California. It was purchased by a very earnest young man for his girlfriend, for her birthday.

Couldn't find a specific ad for the 32A but here's another Philco from the same time period.
My blue Nordmende transistor radio, the "Stradella," from 1962. This fine museum-quality piece went to live in Markham, Ontario.

Still on the auction block I have my 1946/7 Montgomery Wards Airline red radio. The prettiest Franken-radio in town!

Lastly, my Fada model 790 circa 1949. This AM/FM model, in heavy brown bakelite and sweet deco accents went to live in the southern States.

What's trending in the land of vintage radio?

I've been a vintage radio hound since 2002 and have been watching them sell on eBay and other online forums since that time. Here's what's trending now in the land of vintage radio. And by trending I mean, which radios seem to bring a lot of watcher, bids and/or coin.

1) The Zenith consol-tone "racetrack:"

This model came in a few assorted colours. Obviously, you'd want it in green if you were going to get one. This model, in undamaged, working condition is fetching some hefty prices on eBay these days. A bit surprising because I can remember (back in '03) when this model was rather common and definitely didn't go for much. Part of the charm is likely its lighted "racetrack" dial.

In general, I'd say that any of the "mid-century" radios in undamaged, working condition are fetching good prices. Wood sets from the 1930's and '40's, which tend to interest me less, are still going strong though. Especially the tombstone sets and some of the rarer and stronger deco models from Zenith.

These early '50's Crosley sets are still strong sellers. This classic model, e-15, continues to pull in good coin, if undamaged and working.

Photo courtesy of the Radio Attic.

Here it is (above) in rarely seen mint green and here's an original advertisement featuring the e-15 in blue:

My current "Wish List" Radios...

Here are the various radios that I'm currently chasing, in no particular order.

1) The John Vassos designed RCA Victor, model 6Q1, from around 1940.

The Canadian version is actually even more appealing with its vertical chrome bars sitting front and centre.

More on the Canadian version, here and more on John Vassos, here.

2) RCA Victor model X-511. The appeal of this model obviously lies in its attractive "sunset" grille. Came in lots of colours. Here it is in green and yellow respectively.

3) RCA Victor, "waterfall," model 1-X-591.This model came in brown and ivory.

4) RCA Victor, model 6-RF-9, from around 1954. Apparently the sound on this mighty AM/FM radio rivals its German counterparts (the German radios being known for their stellar sound quality). This model was known as the "Livingstone." A nicely stuffy British-sounding name for a high quality radio. Its lighted airplane dial is nothing to sneeze at either! Apparently it came in a blonde or mahogany finish. I've included a video of it in action as well so you can get a sense of its awesomeness.

That's all for now. Tune in weekly as I'll be posting regularly on the vintage radios I'm forever chasing. I leave you with this old time radio show, starring the ever-ubiquitous Peter Lorre:

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Saturday sneak peek

A few new items coming to the shop today. And yes, I realize it's been a while!

First up, we have, for your extreme country chic pleasure, two vintage curtain panels in a classic 1950's country theme, featuring floral and gingham squares. These panels are in excellent vintage condition. The curtains appear to be made of barkcloth as the front-facing fabric has all the features of barkcloth: nubbly and coarse to the touch. Zoom in to get a good sense. The reverse side of the curtain appears to be plastic, which has some yellowing from age. The curtains are in excellent vintage condition with zero tears, stains or holes. There's a small crack to the plastic on the inside on one of the panels. It doesn't transfer through to the barkcloth side/isn't visible on the outside. They're in really amazing condition. They appear to be handmade and the stitch work, IMO, looks like it was really well done.

The curtains measure 41 inches in length, 21 inches across the pleated top and 41.5 wide across the bottoms. These curtains would look amazing hung over a kitchen window or any window that could use some cheery, vintage flair.

Here are some pictures of these beauties:


Next up, some octagon-shaped bowls from Arcopal, France. These white, milk-glass like bowls are in mint condition with zero cracks, chips or fleabites. We have 4 small bowls and 2 larger bowls up for sale. Larger bowls measure about 5.5 inches in diameter while the smaller ones clock in at just over 4.5 in diameter. These are in the "Anais" pattern which features a flower in yellow, pink and black on every other side of the octagon. Marked "France 24" and "Arcopal" on the bottom.

Here's a little interesting reading on Arcopal:

Arcopal dinnerware is a popular, highly sought-after dinnerware because of its lightness, strength and ease of use. The dinnerware is thin, about half the thickness of regular chinaware. Arcopal dinnerware is a high quality, tempered glass dinnerware with a fire glazed finish that is resistant to breakage. Even though the material will break, breakage results in smaller pieces without shattering like other glassware products. The material is strong, nonporous, microwave and dishwasher safe.