Classic Cones: Pictorial Reference and Value Guide for 1920's Cone Speakers
By Buford and June Chidester
REVIEWED BY DAVE CROCKER
At last, antique radio collectors have their definitive cone speaker guide -- Classic Cones -- by Buford and Jane Chidester. And what a book it is! Its subtitle, "Pictorial Reference and Value Guide for 1920's Cone Speakers" summarizes its 122 pages filled with beautiful color photos and descriptions of the cone speaker designs manufactured for radio reception in the 1920's. Included are original ads of the period, as well as the dimensions of each speaker, and, best of all, a current price guide.
The price guide is, of course, good news, bad news. Now we know just how valuable those ornate cone-type radio speakers really are. On the other hand, that information is now available to antique dealers as well.
Best news of all is that the book couldn't have been written by two better qualified people -- Buford and his wife Jane Chidester of Mount Wolf, Pennsylvania. Both are experts and perfectionists in the hobby, and they have amassed an outstanding collection of both cone and horn speakers. Buford has painstakingly restored a great many of the items pictured in this book. He has also hand-painted many paper cones for collectors all over the country. I've seen his work and it's flawless. If and when you ever meet Buford and Jane, you'll see how wonderfully informative and congenial they are.
The book covers them all -- from the tiny 4" Na-Ald cone to the 55" tall R.F.L. pedestal speaker; from the everyday, common finds to the rare and obscure. There are more ship speakers than you can imagine. When more details are needed, both front and rear views are shown. Even a few horn-type speakers are included in the back of the book, but they are so unique, it is a treat to find them there.
Perusing the pages, I can't imagine why I let a lot of speakers go in sales or trades, because, unlike the present stock market, they have appreciated greatly. This reference book becomes our own "Wall Street Journal."
"Classic Cones" is available soft-bound for $25.95, which includes shipping in the U. S., from Antique Radio Classified, P.O. Box 1558, Port Washington, NY 11050. (516) 883-0505. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our web site at www.antiqueradio.com. It has 122 pages in an 8 1/2" x 11" format, with hundreds of color photographs.
(Dave Crocker, 35 Santuit Pond Rd., #4B, Mashpee, MA 02649)
One of the more desirable cone speakers shown in this book is this Pal Butterfly, with a gold painted, cast aluminum frame.