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Monday, January 31, 2011

Retro..Monday? The Firestone Air Chief!

Once again OBE (overcome by events) due to private instruction on Saturday and Bowling Pin match yesterday.

This is a Firestone Air Chief radio, model 4-A-30. This is a very special radio to me because it was my Grandparents and lived here. I remember pushing the buttons and twisting the knobs when I was little. My parents presented it to me as a Christmas gift some years ago. It did not work then nor when I played with it so many years ago. Here is how it looks today:

Original finish and grill cloth. It's in pretty good shape cosmetically. Here is the dial face lit up:

 The back:

 And the back cover. Sadly, the original service information in this packet was gone:

Here is a little service information on the interior of the right side of the cabinet: 

Here is a schematic and the output secetion is unique to me, a push pull arrangement:

I recapped it and it looked like this before I started:

When I powered it up for the first time after repairs, I chose the pushbutton mode. Clear as a bell, manually tuned so long ago the station WSM in Nashville came through loud and clear. I could just imagine my family listening to the Grand Old Opry way back then. It brought a tear to my eye. I am proud to have this Family Heirloom with me.

I need to consult the Retrotechnologist though. After moving it it seems to not want to play well anymore. I have theory in these matters but little practical experience with these radios.

Oh, here is the view from my Grandparents house of the New River. I took it for granted as a child. Not so much anymore.

The cotton mill is gone now. A misguided attempt for redevelopment. There are people living there now that don't even know that mill was there, yet the town would not have existed except for its presence.

I hope everyone has a great week! Stay safe!


Monday, January 24, 2011

I'm Baaaack!

I know that my legion of followers wondered what happened to Retro Sunday. I sorta got tied up over the weekend, but I did not mind one bit! Had to hastily prepare for this:

Congrats to my 9 Basic Pistol Class students (first time shooters) on Saturday and to my 7 Concealed Carry Handgun class on Sunday! The classes were offered to me on Friday afternoon and prep time consumed most of Friday evening.  Not only do I love teaching the subject matter, the bonus for me is meeting some really nice people from diverse backgrounds. I love to do this!

Just to make it more hectic, I just received this:

Any guesses as to what is in the box? I will post it as soon as I have disassembled and cleaned it for the first time. I promise that it will probably be anti-climatic!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Retro Sunday- The WE 1904 Candlestick!

Last weeks post of a WE 302 desk phone seemed to garner some attention. I need to correct an error on that post, the phone came from the Kingsport area of TN. Thanks to my friend for pointing that error out!

I have posted previously about old phones, so have others including here. So here is a WE 20B or otherwise known as the 1904 candlestick. It works! I can only wonder about what was said over this phone! It was a gift from a dear friend and they got it at an antique store in the mountains of northwestern North Carolina, somewhere near Sparta.

Click to enlarge!
The centennial coffee cups were a gift from another great friend!

It is amazing that some of the terminology from those days is still used. On-hook, off-hook are still used to denote if a phone is on-line or not. You can see where it got its name when you can actually see the hook the receiver is on!

Oh, don't worry, we will give the Firestone Air Chief its due another Sunday!

I hope everyone has a great week! Stay safe!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

From the Bench..

Sometimes you go out into the world seeking the unusual. Very rarely does the unusual ring your doorbell! From a friend that I jokingly call the "curator of misfit firearms" comes this:

An AMT Hardballer long slide! 7 inch barrel, caliber .45 ACP. In stainless, but galling was a problem with these handguns. It was introduced in 1980. Someone has spent some time and money on it, and it does shoot well! Not my brand of choice, but something to entertain me today at least!

Friday, January 14, 2011

All hands!

This message comes from the USS Laffey Association. The post involves one of the crew members aboard during the horrific Kamikaze attack on this tin can in April 1945. I have emailed Ari and we have had several conversations. He is a true Gentleman in all respects. I hope you will offer prayers for his quick recovery! You can see Ari in a History Channel documentary.

"All Hands:
Here is an e-mail from past president and all around good Greek, Ari Phoutrides.
Let us all pray for a success with his treatments.

Yoka mou -

Regretably - but not unexpectedly - the honeymoon is over.

Results from an MRI on my head - and no clever remarks........ it
wasn't on my brain - indicate there is a small growth behind my right
eye which has been effecting my vision these past few weeks. My
oncologist is recommending chemotherapy starting this next Tuesday.
There will be a session every 3 weeks for a period of 4 months.

I'm madder than hell about this only becasue I just finished making
all the necessary reservations for a visit to Shanghai (May 5-16) to
see my grandson. Methinks this will have to be postponed.

My family is upset about all of this, but I keep on telling them (1)
it was bound to happen eventually and (2) none of us lives forever.
Personally, I don't know what to expect, but I just want to get it
over with and go on with my somehwhat uneventful life.;

Will keep you posted.

Love - Pappou"

To Ari: Στην υγειά σου! Νάσαι καλά!

If you do not know what this tin can did, here is a link:

Condition Opaque?

If there is a condition below "White" this is a text book example:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

School Daze...

Back at it for two nights a week. Blogging will probably slow up! 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Retro SNOWday- Part II

It started snowing here about 3:30am this morning and stopped about 4 this afternoon. Now we are getting light sleet and freezing rain.

The back yard at stately manor!

Here a swing awaits summer nights with Iced tea:

 And since it is Retro Snowday here is my Western Electric Model 302 phone doing its thing:

It was acquired in Knoxville Tn. and the MIdway prefix checks out as valid there. There is a link to the telephone prefix project here. Introduced in 1937 and continued production into the 1950's.

I hope everyone has a great week! Stay safe!

Monday, January 3, 2011

GRRR! I hate this stuff!

On top of what is happening to B.  which is totally unrelated, now I get this:

I have mentioned previously how I feel about this. Now news from friends about another lady about to undertake this journey:

"Marcos Bomfim and his wife Maria have received some very disturbing news.  Maria has been diagnosed with Level 2 Breast Cancer.  They met with the Dr. today and she will begin Chemo & Radiation next Wednesday.

It is a blessing that Maria caught this early because as we all know that is the key to treatment, recovery and hence a long and happy life.  She will be able to spend many years with her children and wonderful grandchildren because she was so conscientious in the early detection. 

I spoke with her last week when she first found out and as true to form for Maria she was upbeat, confident but nonetheless very scared.

Mark nor I can imagine what she or Marcos are going thru now, we can only say that we wish them the absolute best.

I do not have her email address but Marcos is going to send to me tonight in case anyone would like to get in touch with her with any hello’s or words of encouragement.

They are two of the finest people that Mark & I know and we would like to ask that you say a prayer for them as they begin this “journey”.

Godspeed Maria,"

I ask for your prayers for these friends of friends. I trust that if my friends call them friends they truly are. I have met Marcos and cannot envision how he feels right now. This will be a journey. I wish Maria a speedy recovery!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Retro Sunday The Colt Model 1902 Military

Here is the latest hardware from the bench! I hope my friends can give some advise!

What to do? Clean and leave alone? Owner says he shot it 20 years ago and worked fine. What are the differences in .38 auto vs. any other .38 cartridge?  Really can't see ".38 Automatic" cartridges laying around anymore. The grips are reproductions, but the originals are with it. One is cracked.

Any advise on the care and history of this pistol would be greatly appreciated!

And thanks to Tam, part number 41 is no longer the lanyard loop, its the bottle opener