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Photography by James Privitera, Domi Sanchez, and Steve Hansman
The Friday night Banquet turned out to be the highlight of the meet. Brian Belanger, vice president of AWA and a leading authority and collector of Emerson radios, gave a presentation on the history and success of the Emerson Company. Key to the company's success was the vision of Benjamin Abrams who bought the company in 1922 when it was still making phonographs. After Brian concluded, he invited the guest of honor, Ben Abrams' daughter, Cynthia Abrams Hochman, to speak and she talked about life in the Emerson household and how everyone in the family was involved in the business. Most of the "celebrities" in the Emerson ads were family members and friends and she told the story of how the Emerson 888 got its numbers.
To go along with all this Rod Matzko put together a remarkable, museum quality collection of Emerson radios and ephemera ranging from the common to the rare. Items were borrowed from a number of MAARC member's collections and placed around the room on custom display shelves he built. It was a memorable experience.