Official website of the Northland Antique Radio Club (NARC).
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The Northland Antique Radio Club (NARC) was officially founded June 16, 1986 when the club bylaws were signed by co-founders Jim Thompson, Greg Farmer, Doug Heimstead and Ed Ripley, all of the Minneapolis / St. Paul area. The idea for a new club had been discussed for a few years, after seeing the great success that the Antique Radio Club of Illinois was having with their Elgin event, so it was exciting to actually see it become reality.
First Elected Officers
Left to right: Vice President Greg Farmer, Secretary Ed Ripley, Treasurer Doug Heimstead, President Jim Thompson, Vice President Charles Bradley (on floor)
Credit needs to be given to Joe Pavek (founder of the Pavek Museum of Wonderful Wireless, which has since become the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting) for being the first to organize meetings for the vintage radio hobby in Minnesota. Joe had hosted an annual meeting of the Upper Midwest Vintage Wireless Society (UMVWS) in Minneapolis since the mid-1970s. This meeting was co-hosted by the Antique Wireless Association (AWA) and was eagerly attended by area collectors each year, highlights being the swap fest, contest, program and an evening banquet. Joe wholeheartedly endorsed the new NARC club, and NARC planned their schedule around the UMVWS meeting so the two groups could co-exist. The last UMVWS meet was held in May 1987 and Joe passed away in 1989.
Basic criteria for the new club was that it would be run by elected officers, would host an event every other month, and would publish a newsletter on the intervening months, with the purpose of increasing local collector interest in, and knowledge of, vintage radios. The first of several planning meetings was held at Jim Thompson's home on March 24, 1986, and by the date of the UMVWS meeting in May, fliers announcing the new 'Northland Antique Radio Club' were ready to be distributed.
The first 25 members to sign up were promised 'Charter Member' status, and that milestone was achieved on June 14, 1986, just two days before the bylaws were signed. The club's first meeting was held June 21, 1986 at the Anoka County Library in Fridley Minnesota. In August, the first newsletter was published and the first election was held. The first swap meet was October 11, 1986 in Blaine Minnesota in the Farmstead Antiques parking lot, with about 50 collectors attending in the rain.
The Northland Antique Radio Club has grown and has hosted many great events in the ensuing years, including picnics, a member's open house, radio station tours, a Bakken Library tour, auctions, workshops, and 25+ years of Radio Daze events which are now co-hosted by both the Antique Wireless Association (AWA) and the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting. Click on the Calendar of Events link to see a list of current and past events back to 1997.