Vintage Wire Recorder, Air King Model A750-A

Hi Gang:

I just learned that tucked away in a closet, a relative has a Wire Recorder/Turntable/Amplifier unit, that has been in the family for a few generations.

It was made by Air King Products Co., Inc., of Brooklyn, NY. I am guessing that this was made somewhere between the 1930-1940 era.

Is anyone familiar with this equipment? Where can I go to learn more about these devices, particularly, if there are collectors of these and what the value may be.

I did a brief google search, which did not offer much assistance.

Thanks for any insight that you can offer.
Yes there are collectors of wire recorders, but their value is fairly minimal. My guess is that if it is in nice cosmetic condition, and given that it includes a turntable and amplifier, if you offered it via an internet auction it might bring $50 to $125.

The database of antique radio auctions at Antique Radio Classified, which I can search as a subscriber, lists about 8 or 9 sales of wire recorders in unspecified condition, with the sale prices ranging from $10 to $60. Those were all in-person auctions.

Air King was primarily a manufacturer of radios, during the 1930's and 1940's. Most of the radios they made are of minimal value to collectors, e.g. $25 to $50 if in nice cosmetic condition.

However two specific plastic models they made in the early 1930's, the models 52 and 66, are considered to be innovative, historically important, and beautiful examples of industrial design. They are worth in the thousands, with one famous example selling at auction a few years ago for $51,000 (sic). A couple of other specific plastic models, the 770 and the A-600, are worth at least several hundred dollars.

The most well known manufacturer of wire recorders was Webster-Chicago, aka Webcor. I wouldn't be surprised if the recording mechanism in your unit was made by them for Air King.

If you search a bit further on Google I'm sure you'll find lots of information on the technology. This page on wire recording technology, and this page on Webster-Chicago might be interesting places to start.

Best regards,
-- Al
Thanks Al.

This should cool everyone's jets and bring some peace amongst certain family members who are being led to believe that is is worth big $.

Great info. Thank you for sharing.