Radio auction for collector buffs
Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 26th August, 2014
Brought up on a farm about 50 kilometres north of Wagga Wagga, radio collector Alan Higman is a country boy at heart with a practical nature.
“The first valve radio I collected I discovered as a youngster in a back lane in Wagga Wagga because the owners were throwing out,” he says. “It was a 1937 Switchon – a brand I have not seen since – still working and went ahead and restored it.”
Alan first became interested in collecting radios when he befriended a ham radio operator at school and listened to other amateur operators from all parts of the world.
Now almost 70, he has decided to sell his collection through Christopher Bragg Auctions from 11am Sunday August 31 at 719 Whitehorse Road, Mont Albert.
A collector for about 25 years, he has mainly amassed unusual valve radio brands – many of which were made by “backyard” operators with small production runs immediately before and after World War II.
The Switchon, which he still owns, is one of six console radios in the collection. Perhaps the most well known is the 1935 Australian-made Stromberg Carlson, an eight valve short and medium wave radio, manufactured a t a time when most others were four or five valves.
Other console radio brands in the auction include Peter Pan, Tasma, Fisk Radiola and STC.
Alan owns 83 mantel radios, ranging from a 1931 homemade Radiola (complete with bayonet-style valves), to the more recognisable brands of Astor, Kreisler and Phillips.
Other lesser known brands in the collection include Palmarox, Mullard, Weldon, Conlon, Reliance, Techno, Gulbransen and Hotpoint.