6 episodios

A brief look at some of the items we have for sale, and the history behind them that makes them unique.

Going Going Gone Texas Star Auctions

    • Diseño

A brief look at some of the items we have for sale, and the history behind them that makes them unique.

    Jack Norworth and His Train Car Advertisement - April 1st, 2019

    Jack Norworth and His Train Car Advertisement - April 1st, 2019

    Sometimes the greatest, or our most cherished art, comes to us...rather than us to it. Whether it be paintings, photographs, sculptures, or songs. These pieces of art, timestamps of history, are often not premeditated but instead they are the results of an immediate inspiration. Maybe it’s something the artist hears from the conversation of a passerby that he or she determines would make a great story. Maybe it’s bombs exploding like fireworks overhead during a time where the artist wasn’t even sure they would make it out alive. Or Maybe, just maybe, it’s an advertisement for a ballgame at the Polo Grounds.

    • 8 min
    Hurricane Hunters - March 12th, 2019

    Hurricane Hunters - March 12th, 2019

    Most people would run, sprint, fly away from danger. Most people look for their safety in numbers. Most people look at the gravity of what mother nature can do to entire towns, buildings, and peoples’ homes. Most people would run from a hurricane. And yet, most people have also never heard of the Hurricane Hunters.
    In 1951, the deadliest tropical cyclone of that years’ Atlantic hurricane season, was barreling across the sea and heading right for Corpus Christi, Texas. Or at least that’s what everyone thought. Hurricane Charlie started from a tropical wave east of the Lesser Antilles. Had it hit Corpus Christi, Tx it most likely would have made the history books, and it would have been a topic of conversation that we still talk about today, because it surely would have destroyed a good majority of the lives that the people of Corpus Christi, Port Arthur, North Padre Island had at that time. Instead, the hurricane struck Jamaica with winds of 135 miles an hour, before then hurtling into the Mexican coast and the Yucatan Peninsula. Hurricane Charlie was responsible for 250 deaths. It is known as the deadliest natural disaster of the 20th century for Jamaica and has numbers ranging around $50,000,000 in damages and 152 dead. This hurricane was huge. However, back in 1951, we didn’t have the same technology we do today, and we would have never known some of the things we know now had it not been for the Air Force Reserve’s 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, better known today as the Hurricane Hunters.

    • 8 min
    Zenith Trans-Oceanic Radio - February 19th, 2019

    Zenith Trans-Oceanic Radio - February 19th, 2019

    That, is the sound of the Zenith Trans-Oceanic Radio. Created from 1941 to 1982 these radios were known as the “Royalty of Radios”. If you’re interested, I can tell you that the model we have for sale is listed as lot number 23 in our huge rustic and vintage tool auction. It wouldn’t be much of a podcast though, if we stopped there, so for the love of history let’s travel back to 1918 when amateur operators Ralph Matthews and Karl Hassel created the Zenith Corporation in Chicago. At that time, they produced and sold all kinds of amateur radio equipment and they did so under then name Chicago Radio Labs. In 1921 the boys added someone that would take their radios to the next level, someone known solely as “The Commander”
    Eugene F. McDonald was a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy in World War One, and after the war he joined Matthews and Hassel to officially found the Zenith Radio Corporation. He stayed in the Navy Reserve until 1939, and while he was never recalled back into service, he found himself in his free time still at sea, on his yacht. I promise that’s an important part of the story. It took a couple years for them to get their feet going, but by 1926 they had begun mass production of their first AC powered radio. Zenith, through the efforts of McDonald, was a very significant player in the market share of the 1920’s. They didn’t hold the same weight as names like Atwater Kent or RCA, but that all changed in 1936. The factory that produced the Atwater Kent Radios closed, and right around the same time RCA decided to focus a lot of their efforts on the licensing of their patents instead of mass producing radios. The left a Zenith Radio sized hole in the market for the company to become the leading manufacturer of mid-grade to high-end radios.
    In the late 1930’s tubes began to develop as an option for portability, and Eugene McDonald came up with the concept of a portable shortwave radio that he could use at sea on his yacht. I told you we would make it back. Even though this was obviously an endeavor that he wanted to take on, to better his own experience he knew that consumers were hungry for portables that could receive international shortwave broadcasts, which now was growing more and more rapidly by the day.
    Zenith up to this point had been producing essentially AM-Only radios, but to do what McDonald wanted to do they were going to have to make some changes. They of course knew that they would have to make the chassis and cabinet bigger to fit the necessary components needed. The greatest challenge for Gilbert E. Gustafson, who was the Chief Engineer of the Zenith engineering team, was to design a tuning assembly that had stabile operation, but that could also fit into the newer cabinet. Starting in 1939 there were 20 prototypes that were submitted to McDonald for his approval. 19 times in a row McDonald rejected them one after another, until number 20. This version, had a six-button band selector that the user could use to switch between the AM Broadcast band, and 5 shortwave bands ranging up to 16 megahertz. Part of the reasons these are still so sought after today is because they used some of the highest quality parts to ensure stability in the often-rough environment that McDonald and his portable radio might be operated in. Now that the inside had be created it was time for the outside to be designed which was a task left up to Robert Davol Budlong, who was an industrial designer and graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa. His work had been seen before on Sunbeam Toasters, Shavers, Mixers and all kinds of things that featured a modernistic appearance. His method: To make radios look like radios. Crazy, right? At that time, everything looked like furniture or other objects meant to blend in with their environments. He wanted these to capture your attention, to do the opposite

    • 11 min
    Historic Baker Hotel - February 7th, 2019

    Historic Baker Hotel - February 7th, 2019

    You wouldn’t think that in 1929, two weeks after the stock market crashed, opening up an extravagant and high-priced hotel in Mineral Wells Texas would be an idea or a project that we’d still be talking about to this day. However, that is the case of the Baker Hotel

    • 8 min
    Seeburg Stereo Showcase - January 16th, 2019

    Seeburg Stereo Showcase - January 16th, 2019

    Justice P. Seeburg had a lifelong career in the music industry, from creating automatic pianos to jukeboxes. Still today, his legacy of loving music lives on.

    • 8 min
    The $25,000 Button

    The $25,000 Button

    In 1974, the WABC Radio station out of New York City ran a contest known as the “WABC MusicRadio $25,000 Button Contest”. The “owner” or “wearer” of the button could possibly win up to $25,000 if he or she were seen around town with the button on. Rick Sklar, who is the program director credited as one of the originators of the Top 40 radio format, was also the architect of the famed button contest. While it was every program directors’ goal to continuously find new listeners, it was Sklar who made it a well-practiced success while at WABC. The station focused on young-hip teenagers, and frequently played the “hits” as it curated playlist upon playlist featuring the top songs of that day. It was played and played over and over by DJ’s who were true personalities, something most radio stations at the time couldn’t find with regularity. Under Sklar’s direction WABC was widely regarded as the most listened to radio station in North America throughout the mid 60’s and into the early 70’s.
    Rick Sklar would move on to work at numerous radio stations, and later create his own consulting firm, but it was that $25,000 button that he held so close to his heart as one of his greatest accomplishments. The 14 million buttons that they passed out were seen all over New York, and WABC was at the top of the radio industry. The button and the contest were so popular when it was ran in 1974, that Sklar decided he would run it again 1982, though this time with McDonalds as a sponsor.
    The button that we have here in our auction is the 2nd button of the contest, that was released in 1982, but it’s still just as awesome a piece of radio and American history. One that, with the rise of new mediums and opportunities for listening, that I hope we won’t forget for a long time.
    The WABC Button is a part of lot #25 of our October 2018 Local Consignment Auction

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