Dec '40/Jan '41 National Radio News
of Contents] These articles are scanned and OCRed from old editions of the
National Radio News magazine. Here is a list of the
National Radio News articles I have already posted. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
The National Radio Institute (NRI) was one of the first country-wide
organizations to offer formal electronics training both as classroom
and as self-study courses. Magazines were filled with offers to
train men in what was an exciting new career field. The drums of
war were beating in the background by December 1940 when this article
appeared, and the U.S. military was gearing up for what was sure
to be an eventuality. Three months earlier, the
Tripartite Pact united Japan, Italy and Germany to formalize
Axis Powers, and Hitler's forces had invaded Western Europe.
The push was on to train a large number of engineers and technicians
to handle communications and control systems for Army and Navy forces.
It is always interesting to read pieces penned at the time events
were unfolding, rather than after having been filtered through the
worldview of subsequent authors.
Your Radio Training and the Defense Program
By J. E. Smith
President, National Radio Institute (NRI)
men look to the future wondering how our important task of creating
a defense will affect their lives. Mr. Smith, in this message which
he has prepared especially for you, makes it clear that you have
a solemn duty to perform for our Nation and that this duty also
presents greater opportunities to trained Radio men.
The idea of mobilizing for defense in order to preserve peace
is now gripping the attention of our nation. Each person will feel
the many reactions from this momentous task. Each person is giving
genuine support, thereby knitting our nation more closely together.
But preparations for National Defense are tending to affect our
outlook toward the immediate future. Many of us fear that long-cherished
plans may have to be laid aside temporarily. In many industries,
conditions have changed radically within the last few months, so
that new opportunities present themselves.
Radio plays an important part in our National Defense program.
Since Radio is also your chosen field, I am taking this opportunity
to analyze the manner in which our National Defense program may
affect you as a Radio man.
J. E. Smith
First of all, we have the indisputable fact that the general
public in the United States is more interested now than ever before
in news broadcasts telling of the fast-moving events in Europe and
the Far East. The reactions of our own Government as reported by
Radio commentators are likewise eagerly received by the Radio audience.
Another important observation we can make at the present time
is that people are listening to Radio entertainment today more than
ever before. Perhaps this is being done to counteract the many discouraging
news broadcasts. Important speeches each attract additional listeners
who might otherwise leave their receivers turned off.
Thus, Radio broadcasting has become a vital influence in our
daily lives. More than 45,000,000 Radio receivers are now in American
homes, with thousands more being purchased each day. Furthermore,
each Radio receiver owner is insisting that his set be in good working
condition so that he will not miss a single important broadcast.
Today it is no longer unusual to find a person owning two, three
or even more Radio receivers. People like to be near a receiver
regardless of where they may be - on a camping trip, at the office,
in an upstairs bedroom, or touring in an automobile. Increased receiver
sales due to this desire for extra sets means more work for every
one connected with the Radio manufacturing industry. Furthermore,
the increasing number of sets in use and the desire to have every
set in working order is making Radio servicing a more vital and
more important profession than ever before. We can therefore conclude
that the even which have lead us into a National Defense program
will multiply the opportunities in Radio servicing and in practically
every other branch of Radio.
Modern Army, Navy and Air forces require reliable and fast communication
between each active unit. Radio is the best medium for this communication,
as experience in Europe this year has shown. In many cases, Radio
is the only means of communicating between moving units.
To provide, maintain and operate a complete modern communication
system for an armed force requires thousands of Radio operators
and Radio service technicians. To meet this demand, many Radio service
men and amateurs have already enlisted in the communication branches
of our armed forces. But these will not be enough; many more young
men with Radio training will be required.
Many of the men who are now being drafted for one year of military
training will be assigned to the Army signal corps and to the other
communication branches. Those who have had their Radio training
will no doubt be given preference when these positions are assigned.
Furthermore, we have been told that those who are now taking a course
in Radio training will be encouraged to finish that course, and
may be given additional training and practical experience after
they have completed their course.
The absorption of trained Radio men by our National Defense program
is reducing the number of Radio servicemen available for ordinary
servicing work. Added to this is the increased demand for Radio
technicians created by the rapid increase in the number of receivers
in active use. Never before in the rapid rise of Radio broadcasting
has there been a greater demand for trained Radio technicians. Clearly,
National Defense is creating greater opportunities in at least one
field, that of Radio.
I honestly believe that the future of a Radio man is more promising
now than ever before. The relatively new fields of frequency-modulation
broadcasting, television and electronic control will develop along
with the defense preparation. Trained men should have new avenues
in which to find real opportunities for themselves in these busy
and rapidly expanding branches of Radio.
There is no reason why a young man who is soon to reach his twenty-first
birthday should be bewildered at all by the possibility of conscription
in the near future. Likewise, men who are now within the draft age
limit should not give up their desire to be trained Radio men, for
in both cases this Radio training will be of great benefit to our
Government, to the general public and to the individual himself.
Men who cannot qualify for participation in the National Defense
program because they are outside the age limit or for other reasons,
should not overlook the fact that this country urgently needs trained
Radio men to take the place of those who are now serving their country
or who will soon be called for service. By furnishing competent
Radio service to the public, these men will be helping our nation
to maintain its reputation for being the best informed of all nations,
and will thereby be helping to bolster the bonds of freedom and
Posted March 18, 2014