This June 1945 issue of Radio News
magazine reported on the passing of
President Franklin Delano
Roosevelt; he died on April 12th. While radio was building its presence as a
relatively new form of communication, Roosevelt exploited the technology often with
radio speeches and his well-known series of "Fireside Chats." At the
outbreak of World War II, many Americans first learned of the December 7th,
1941 ("a date which
will live in infamy") Pearl Harbor attack via the radio - before newspapers
hit the stands.
President Calvin Coolidge, Roosevelt's predecessor (and
President Herbert Hoover's),
actually made the very first radio address. It also included some unwelcome news
about the availability of new radio receivers being delayed due to parts shortages.
The government had commandeered most of the electronics manufacturing for wartime
production purposes. Unbeknownst to me prior to reading this, American vacuum tube
companies had been making tubes that worked in German radio sets in order to enable
use of Deutsche-made equipment already installed in France and Belgium.
Spot Radio News - by Radio News Washington Correspondent
Presenting latest information on the Radio Industry
With the Tragic Passing of Our Late President, Franklin Delano
Roosevelt, radio has suffered a deep personal loss. His gallant leadership catapulted
radio to world fame. Through radio the world echoed his brilliant strategy. His
inspiring "fireside chats" brought cheer, hope, and faith to the globe's millions.
His death has brought sorrow to the broadcasters of America with whom he worked
so closely. Paying tribute to this great man, Harold Ryan, president of the National
Association of Broadcasters, said: "He gave historic evidence of the effectiveness
of this medium of communications in the solution of national and international problems
.... This beloved leader of the. people will always live in this avenue of friendly
human approach to men, women, and children throughout the world."
Our new President, Harry F. Truman, voiced the sentiments of the nation in his
historic broadcasts to Congress and our troops throughout the world, during his
first days in office. A nationwide audience of over 16 million listened to President
Truman extol the late President and describe the future program of his administration.
President Truman's Armed Forces' message was heard by over 41 million people. According
to surveys made by C. E. Hooper for CBS, 32% of the nation listened in to the first
of President Truman's addresses and 53.6% were in the listening audience during
the second address. The highest daytime rating of all times, 60%, was achieved by
the late President Roosevelt on December 8, 1941, in his historic speech on the
attack at Pearl Harbor.
Radio Receivers Will Not Become Available Immediately or even
very shortly after V-E day, reported Frank S. Horning, Chief of the Field Service
Branch of WPB, in New York recently. Appearing at a dinner in honor of Lt. Col.
Arthur W. Tager, New York Regional Signal Corps Labor Officer, Mr. Horning said
that many months will elapse before receivers are available. He declared that the
war in Japan will demand a variety of communications equipment which will tax the
facilities of most plants.
Supporting this viewpoint, Lieut. Col. Charles Ballon of the Army Service Forces
said that the war in Japan may even demand an increase in material requirements.
He pointed out that the ratio of needs for the Pacific and European area are nearly
four to one.
WPB officials in Washington also support this view, forecasting that an Army
of nearly 5,000,000 may have to be re-equipped when they are transferred from Europe
to the Pacific. Several of the WPB officials said that there is little likelihood
of any receivers being produced this year at all. The only possibility of production
exists in the release of surplus material. Some government and private experts believe
that the equipment needed for the Pacific will differ from the European type and
thus provide the European material for surplus. However, the Army has not been too
keen on this type of distribution.
They also feel that the equipment made for the military is of such a special
design and construction that civilian application is impossible. To disassemble
the military apparatus and reuse in civilian equipment, would be quite costly, according
to the military officials. They point out that this practice was employed at the
beginning of the war with very unsatisfactory results. Only a small percentage of
the parts were usable, and the time involved in conversion was extensive and far
A Historic Meeting of officials of the United States and Canadian
Radio Manufacturers Association was held at Montreal during the end of April. Discussed
was the war production of radio-radar equipment here and in Canada, and the corresponding
use of cooperative programs to expedite such production.
Among those who attended the meeting were Major General William A. Patterson,
Chief of the Procurement and Distribution Service, Signal Corps; Captain Jennings
B. Dow, Chief of Electronics Division, Bureau of Ships, Navy Department; Louis J.
Chatten, Director of WPB Radio and Radar Division; Ray C. Ellis, former Radio and
Radar Division Director, and now a special adviser to the, Johns-Hopkins University
Laboratory at Silver Spring, Maryland; R. C. Cosgrove, U.S. RMA president; and R.
M. Brophy, Canadian RMA president.
Engineering Tube Wizardry of Americans has provided many remarkable
developments. One such development, which will probably be discussed for many years,
provided tubes which permitted the use of a vast German communications system in
Belgium and France. Without these tubes, it would have been necessary to install
new communications networks, a procedure that would have cost millions of dollars
and many months of complex work. These tubes of special German design, which were
used in amplifier circuits had been smashed by the Germans during their withdrawal,
in an obvious effort to delay our movements. It was their belief that we would be
unable to replace these tubes.
Fortunately, however, Brig. General Carroll O. Bickelhaupt, former vice president
of Western Electric Co., on duty with the Signal Corps, located an undamaged tube.
He felt certain that we could duplicate these tubes. Learning that Dr. Vannevar
Bush, chairman of the National Defense Research Committee who had been in France,
was returning to the United States, Gen. Bickelhaupt offered this tube to him, explaining
that he was sure that American ingenuity could duplicate the tube and in quantities.
General Bickelhaupt was right, for we did duplicate the tube. In fact, five weeks
after the original had been delivered, a thousand tubes had been made.
The original- German tubes were of the cathode-type pentodes made by Siemens-Halske.
To shield the tube electrostatically, it had been sprayed with molten metal, a common
practice in European production. We not only complied with this design requirement
but improved upon it.
This record-breaking performance was praised by Dr. Vannevar Bush and particularly
the officers and men of the Signal Corps in the European theater of operation, to
whom this production meant so much.
Stations May Not Find It Too Easy to secure renewals of their
licenses in the future. The FCC has decided to learn more about station operations,
ratios of commercial to sustaining programs, and program types. It has been believed
that too many stations were too heavy in their commercial programs ... as high as
95% in some instances. Some of these stations had indicated in their applications
that the ratio would be 70% commercial and 30% sustaining. As a result of this new
activity, six stations received temporary licenses and a request for more information
on their operation schedules. Sixteen stations were granted renewals, with a request
for further data on their programs.
The detailed pattern of study instituted by the FCC may be simplified as the
months go by, not only to ease the work of the legal staff, but to expedite license
grants. Quite an extensive legal staff will be necessary if all of the 900-odd stations
are asked to fill out the new forms.
Posted August 13, 2021