Nov. / Dec. 1941 Radio-Craft
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Radio-Craft,
published 1929 - 1953. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
The announcement of the merging of Radio-Craft and
Radio & Television magazines into a single publication
was made on the eve of America's entrance into World War II.
Knowing the visionary talents of publisher Hugo Gernsback, he probably
did so at least partly due to what could be predicted as a severe
contraction of the domestic electronics appliance market once the
war machine gears began cranking. It turns out that he was in fact
prescient, because history shows that the government did direct
all critical production to military equipment. Buying a new model
radio, television, washing machine, and to some extent car grew
increasingly difficult from about 1942 through 1945. Even radio
amateurs were prohibited from transmitting during the period for
fear of anti-war broadcasts (defined as both propaganda and sending
encoded messages). The relevance of my comments is that the commercial
electronics industry did not require as much coverage
(i.e., many magazines) other than
instructing on repair and research.
Announcing ... Radio-Craft Incorporating Radio & Television
"Radio's Greatest Magazine"
By the Publisher - Hugo Gernsback
(established 1929) and Radio &
Television (established 1930) are
merged into a single magazine beginning with this issue.
So that our readers may understand why this important step was
undertaken, let us state here what prompted this far-reaching decision.
It is no longer news that the entire world is in a turmoil at
present and that the United States is marching forward with giant
strides in its re-armament program.
It has become apparent for some time past that non-essential
industries, in order to conserve resources, must of necessity cooperate
with the National Defense Program. Inasmuch as the two magazines,
Radio-Craft and Radio & Television, were published by the same
management, it was felt that for the duration of the present emergency,
it would be best to publish one magazine instead of two.
From an economic standpoint, there was also to be considered
a constantly shrinking market while the emergency lasted. Many radio
manufacturers who formerly patronized both magazines as well as
other radio magazines, were forced to withdraw their advertising
or curtail it severely, on account of priorities.
Many concerns were thus affected, and others will be severely
affected as time goes on. For these reasons it became economically
unsound to continue publishing two magazines at a loss, whereas
it is possible to publish one magazine without a severe loss to
While a few large radio manufacturers, - who have defense orders
on hand, - continue to advertise, many of the smaller firms have
not been able to do so; and being unable to obtain substitutes for
the materials they need in their business, had to go into other
endeavors, or cease operation altogether.
There was also a further reason which prompted our move, namely
a realistic viewpoint of Television as it is today. Radio &
Television magazine for many years pioneered in television, but
when it became increasingly clear that as long as the present emergency
lasts, television would remain at a virtual stand-still, there was,
of course, no further necessity to devote a large part of an expensive
magazine to the subject.
While it is true that the Federal Communications Commission "has
given the green light" to the television industry, making it possible
for television broadcasting to accept commercial advertising now,
it is also unfortunately true that all manufacturers have practically
ceased building television equipment for the duration, due to lack
of materials. Under such circumstances, it is clear that a magazine
largely devoted to television becomes pointless at the present time.
On the other hand, Radio & Television devoted the balance
of its space to Amateur Radio. While American amateur radio has
not been drastically affected up to now, the amateur radio industry
is also face to face with a difficult materials problem on account
of Defense priorities. And while radio amateurism has practically
stopped completely in most of the countries of the world, it is
still bravely carrying on in the United States, in spite of serious
handicaps; and as long as this country is not officially at war,
the radio amateur will not be suppressed. Most of the section devoted
to radio amateurism that appeared in Radio & Television regularly,
will continue intact in Radio-Craft, beginning with this issue.
It should be understood by our readers that the consolidation
of the two magazines is not to be considered as a final step. When
the World War is at an end, when business returns once more to a
peacetime basis, when television is freed from its war-time shackles,
and when radio amateurs all over the world are free once more to
communicate with each other, Radio & Television will be published
as a separate magazine again.
In the meanwhile, Radio-Craft will continue its regular policy
of publishing the same type of articles which it always published,
plus a Radio Amateur and Ham section. And whatever advances are
made in television will also be recorded in Radio-Craft, as before.
For the remainder of the present emergency, we promise to keep
Radio-Craft the same important magazine it always was and, indeed,
we hope to better it from month to month.
The publishers would be happy to receive your letters commenting
upon the present merger of the two magazines.
Posted October 27, 2014