The Curator’s Choice page is a place where the AWA Museum Curator can highlight the every growing collection of communication artifacts in the Museum’s collection. Below is a copy of the current Curator’s Column from the AWA Journal as well a an artifact from the collection.
AWA Museum Curator’s Spring 2021 AWA Journal Column
The impact of COVID-19 continues to restrict Museum activities. There have been several small donation drop-offs, as well COVID-19 continues to restrict local area pickups. Recently donated items of note include a Collins 75S-1 receiver (works!), Harris RF-3200, National HRO-60, Hammarlund HXL-1 Linear amp, Transvision Kit television, and several Heathkit items. Dick LeVeque and I took a road trip to Rome, NY and returned with 9 tube caddies (full) plus an additional 15 boxes of tubes, a Harris RF3200, and a dozen tube-type All American 5 radios to use in our upcoming repair course. A quick survey of some of those boxes showed some very useful items. We are looking for-ward to the possibility of more New York State pickups in the near future. Several du-plicate items from our storage areas have been put up for sale on eBay, and this is definitely helping to generate some revenue, as well as easing our space problem. During this period of restricted activities, staff will continue the evaluation and culling of Museum inventory. We are looking for some original Collins R-390 knobs for our recently acquired R-391; we need the small and medium sizes for the BFO (med), AGC, and Antenna (small) controls. Please check your junk boxes.
Lynn Bisha, AWA Museum Curator
The AWA Museum’s collection is the responsibility of the Curator and their staff. As such the Curator gets involved with all facets of the collection from acquisition and registration to filling, restoration and potential display. In this role, the Curator sees all of the artifacts and will be highlighting items of special interest. The criteria will the that of the Curator, however, artifact uniqueness is a primary criteria. Uniqueness in this case may be due to historical significant, rarity, physical quality and source of donation. Below is such a device that illustrates this criteria.
Model 4066 Atwater Kent Breadboard
The AWA was fortunate to receive a major donation, generously given by the family of Ralph and Elinor Williams.
Ralph and Elinor, over a 40-year period, painstakingly built the world’s most comprehensive collection of Atwater Kent equipment and memorabilia. They opened the “Voice of the Twenties” Museum in Orient Point, NY in 1985, was open by appointment to radio historians and collectors for many years.
Through the family’s wonderful gift, the AWA museum has acquired many rare breadboards, receivers, speakers, and even an incredible automotive display complete with working ignition system, circa 1910. These items will be on display to pay tribute to an incredible couple who were so much a part of the AWA family for so many years. We are extremely grateful and honored for this opportunity to keep Ralph and Elinor’s memory alive and to share items from their incredible museum at AWA.
Among the items in this donation is this rare & unique Model 4066 AK Breadboard mounted in a phonograph cabinet that lowers when the lid is closed.
The AWA relies on the generous donations of friends like Ralph and Elinor Williams in order to continue our work. Have you ever considered including the Antique Wireless Association in your estate plans? You would join a growing group of dedicated members who value the contribution that the AWA makes in preserving the history of electronic communications. For more information on supporting the AWA with a tax-deductible donation visit the AWA Donation webpage.