Huge Collection of Antique Radios Auctioned Off in Abbotsford

John Mackie by JOHN MACKIE , The Vancouver Sun      Published on: October 26, 2017
Four to five hundred old radios will go under the hammer at Able Auctions in Abbotsford on Saturday. ARLEN REDEKOP / PNG

Victor Jaeggle loved radios.

“He had a big, shortwave radio he kept by his bedside,” said his daughter, Susan. “This thing would buzz all night. He’d have headphones on, listening to San Francisco, the British news. He was just a radio junkie.”

Jaeggle wasn’t just a radio listener, he was a radio collector. He bought his first cabinet radio from an auction as a teen, and over the decades amassed a huge collection.

“He spent many hours torturing his family with the screeches, whines and whistles of accurate restoration in an ever-shrinking house full of radios,” Susan recounts, with a laugh.

“(The basement) was chock-a-block with radios,” said his ex-wife, Anne. “You kind of wandered down this narrow pathway to get from the bottom of the stairs to the laundry room.”

Jaeggle died on Dec. 8, 2014, at age 72. Almost three years later, his family has put his radios and gramophones up for sale Oct. 28 at Able Auctions in Abbotsford.

Sam Garandza of Able has never sold anything quite like it.

“This is the biggest collection I’ve ever sold,” said Garandza. “I think I had 70 radios in one consignment, but this has to be 400 or 500 radios. (There are so many) we are selling some in group lots, so we might end up with 200 to 250 lots.”

 The radios and gramophones date from the early 1900s to the 1970s. Some are quite rudimentary, utilitarian metal boxes with knobs and tubes. But others are works of art, with wooden cabinets, sleek, art-deco lines and the elegance of a bygone era.

All sorts of early manufacturers are represented, including Northern Electric, Crosley, Deforest, Atwater-Kent, Freed-Eisemann, General Electric, Marconi, Philco, RCA, Stewart-Warner, Stromberg-Carlson and Westinghouse.



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