September 1942 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.
Radio-Craft magazine founder, editor, and publisher Hugo Gernsback wrote
this piece in the Fall after the United States officially entered into World War II.
I say officially because to some extent we were participating for many months prior
to the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Recall how FDR justified
his March 1941 Lend Lease program by comparing the action to lending your hose
to a neighbor whose house was burning. We were providing equipment and training to
Allied nations in Europe almost immediately after Hitler's army invaded
Czechoslovakia in 1939. The Army Air Corps had the famous
Flying Tigers squadron defending southern China against Japanese
bombing attacks as early as April of 1941. Electronics communications, which made
great advancements during WWII, played a major role in the ultimate Allied victory.
U. S. Radio War Effort
By the Editor - Hugo Gernsback
U. S. Radio War Industry Is Over the Top ...
When the final chapter of the present war is written, future
, historians will chronicle with satisfaction the fact that one
of the vital industries responsible for winning the war was unquestionably
the American Radio Industry.
Changing almost overnight from a peace-time to a war-time basis,
the U. S. Radio Industry has performed one of those war-time miracles
which are typical of American enterprise.
When late in 1941 radio manufacturers were told that they had
to change their entire set-up to an all-out war effort, little comment
was made, but there was much thinking and planning.
Air-Raid Wardens Instructed by Television
While these lines are written, the American Radio Industry has
gone over the top with flying colors. Unlike other industries, there
have been practically no strikes whatsoever and the War Department
has experienced little or no bottlenecks, so far as radio materiel
is concerned. In times of peace, the entire radio industry had a
turnover of over one billion dollars annually. What the turnover
will be for the first war year cannot be divulged now, for military
reasons, but the output is huge - unbelievingly so.
As the writer has stated editorially for many years, long before
anyone thought about this war - radio in all its complex phases
in modern war is just as important as airplanes, tanks and guns.
Indeed, none of these could be operated efficiently without radio
nowadays. Modern warfare makes terrific demands upon radio, and
new refinements and new inventions are a daily routine today.
The layman, and indeed, most of our radio readers, would be astonished
to know all the important new radio inventions which have recently
been made, many of them already in use to further our war effort.
There is no question whatsoever that when victory finally has been
achieved, radio will be voted a high place in the list of war machines
that made victory possible.
The U. S. Radio Industry found out almost immediately at the
start of their conversion program, that it is one thing to manufacture
radio receivers for peace-time purposes, but quite another to manufacture
radio materiel for war uses. The two bear little relation to each
other. Thus, for instance, in peace-time, radio receivers were not
normally manufactured to work efficiently in humid tropics of over
100 degrees and in temperatures of 40 degrees below zero; but that
is exactly what the requirements are for war-time radio sets. They
must be made in such a manner that they can stand almost submersion
in water, the most humid hot temperatures, or the most vicious cold.
Our troops fight in every corner of the world and very frequently
they have to be where temperatures are both abnormally high or low.
Thus, in Egypt for instance, the daytime temperature is often 100
degrees and over, and the nights frequently are near freezing -
-depending upon the season of the year. On top of this, sandstorms
are encountered which would play havoc with an ordinary radio set
not built for such wear and tear.
Then we have tank radios and airplane radios, all of which are
subject to severe mechanical shocks. That again means a radical
departure from a peace-time radio set. Indeed, military radio communication
receivers bear little resemblance to a peace-time radio. The entire
construction varies, as the set simply must not fail to operate
under almost any given condition. Ordinary materials just will not
stand up under these unusual conditions. For this reason, the engineering
on all combat radio receivers is a difficult undertaking in itself.
Not only that, but the raw materials which now go into radio receivers
must also be different f rom those used before Pearl Harbor. Substitutions
must be made not only for the most unusual conditions, but the engineer
today also must think of rubber, tin, copper and other shortage
items, and this is a heroic task all by itself.
Fortunately, the American Radio Industry has risen to the occasion
and has gone over the top with - flying colors. While not all problems
have been solved, by any means, it may be said that all the important
production problems have been met satisfactorily, and we also know
that with few exceptions, all American radio materiel has stood
up excellently under the most aggravating conditions possible.
Under adverse conditions, coupled with war-time pressure, the
American Radio Industry has taken every obstacle in its stride,
and it has grown amazingly in the process.
Astonishingly much new radio gear is being turned out day and
night, holidays included, - much of it so secret that even the workmen
who are constructing it do not know what it is all about.
There are many radio surprises for the enemy and still more are
in the making.
Several issues of this magazine could be filled with all of the
new radio accomplishments, and once the war is won, the pages of
Radio-Craft will bristle with U. S. Radio War Inventions - which
we guarantee will take your breath away - and at the same time will
fill one of the glorious chapters of American inventiveness, patriotism
Posted May 8, 2017