Event of the Week: Antique electronics auction

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Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 9:24 pm | Updated: 9:06 pm, Thu May 2, 2013.

SARASOTA - The spotlight will fall on a little piece of Sarasota's history this weekend. A busy shop that was a downtown landmark for 40 years has been gone a long time now, but its contents will be auctioned off Saturday.

The Hall Radio & TV repair shop was located right in the heart of downtown Sarasota, and its neighbors along Central Avenue were car dealerships. So you'd often see Harold Hall under a car from one of those dealerships fixing a car radio. His son says you'd be hard pressed to find a radio he couldn't fix in those days.

Now those radios must go. They’re on the auction block, along with everything else from Hall's store.

Harold and Rosemary Hall opened that repair shop on Central Avenue in 1948 and ran it for the next 40 years, all the while Harold kept up with changing technology. "A lot of it was self-taught, some of the things we are selling at the auction are manuals and books he read through in learning how to do that," says Dan Hall.

After their parent’s deaths, Dan and his brother couldn't bear to part with the memorabilia...but now they're ready. The Freedom Auction Company is auctioning it off on Saturday at 1601 DeSoto Road in Sarasota. "The nature of this auction that's coming up here is being offered not only live on site, but live internet simulcast as well. So no matter where you are in the world you'll be able to participate in the auctions just as if you're sitting in this chair I'm sitting in now," says Brian Hollifield.

It's expected to attract collectors, people in the repair, restoration and decorating businesses, and some who just want to remember Sarasota's history and once again see the radios that sat in Hall's repair shop so long ago.

"Must be 100 different types of radios here, and he had them up in the store they would go all the way around the store up on shelves," says Dan Hall.

One of the biggest draws are the vacuum tubes -- many of which you can no longer buy. "There are about 50,000 tubes, and they are being grouped in different fashions. You can buy them in small quantities or in large quantity," says Hollifield.

One of the rarest items is an Edison phonograph, with rolls of music you can play on it.

Another eye-catcher is a 1960's Mickey Mouse radio. "That’s different. That's going to draw from either a radio collector, a Disney collector, or a character collector."

And he expects a vintage typewriter to generate a lot of interest.

"Something I've found to be quite hot in our auction world lately are microphones, vintage microphones, and we've got about 15 different selections in the auction."

One microphone is actually a radio...a promotional item from WKXY 930, a radio station in Sarasota long, long ago.

For more details on this auction, visit the Freedom Auction Company website.

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