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Spot Radio News
June 1945 Radio News

June 1945 Radio News
June 1945 Radio News Cover - RF Cafe[Table of Contents]

Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles from Radio & Television News, published 1919-1959. All copyrights hereby acknowledged.

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

Spot Radio News, June 1945 Radio News - RF CafePresenting 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 from economical.

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

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