Re: {Collins} S-Line Question for Collins Historians

----- Original Message ----- From: "Charlie T, K3ICH" <pincon@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <collins@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2011 4:04 PM
Subject: Re: {Collins} S-Line Question for Collins Historians

RE: Modern look of the S-Line

It all looked right at home in Arthur Godrey's "Glass Bottom Boat" movie.

Compared to the Frankenstein's lab look of the A-Line*, it must have been a welcome sight to the modern housewife of the fifties.

I can certainly see a wife approved station on a table in the family room. ( two or three cabinets max though.)

73' Charlie k3ICH

* NOT my opinion......just something I heard from someone who apparently didn't appreciate the beauty of St. James Gray.
Well, its not my opinion either. I think the A line is actually quite attractive but it _looks_ like industrial gear and not home hi-fi. The interesting thing is that the S-line stuff looks much more elegant to me in person than in photographs. I think Collins was always aware of appearances even in the earliest transmitters. They all have a certain elegance. The history of industrial design is interesting. I think there began to be a movement around the mid 1930's to move away from the steam locomotive look. Actually, "streamline" steam locomotives were among the first. Western Electric employed outside industrial designers for both its sound equipment and telephone equipment c. late 1930's. Have a look at WE's broadcast transmitters, speech input equipment, and the famous 639A/B microphone. The microphone is interesting because it was intended to suggest its uni-directional characteristic. The patent shows a reversed arrangement of the two elements from the commercial version, evedently done to fit it into the tear-drop shaped case. The patent arrangement is the better one from an acoustical standpoint but I think some form-follows-function was abandoned for pure looks. I don't see any sign of this in the Collins gear, the S-line appears to have been designed with convenience and simplicity of use in mind but even the A line has good egonomics (means the controls are easy to reach and are where you expect them to be). I think the design objectives moved from what looked good in the radio room or shop to what looked good in the executive offices or home. There was undoubtedly some market research behind this. personally, I like big-knob equipment and large dogs.

Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles

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