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Last Chance to Buy a New Radio - Harrisburg Telegraph c1942
Kirt's Cogitations™ #308

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June 4, 1942 Harrisburg Telegraph Radio Advertisement - RF CafeIt is probably safe to say that most people, especially today, believe that the United States was suddenly and unexpectedly thrust into involvement in World War II on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese navy launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. The fact is the U.S. was "unofficially" engaged for over a year beforehand by "lending" both equipment and personnel to British, Russian, Chinese, French, and other militaries as part of their effort to drive back invading German, Italian, and Japanese Axis forces. World War II actually began in the Fall of1939 with Hitler's invasion of Poland. Americans, being safely separated from the front lines by the Seven Seas, knew little of and were concerned little about the goings on "Over There."

Once the call to arms was sounded with the Pearl Harbor attack, the country quickly and enthusiastically converted to full wartime mode. Manufacturing plants for many kinds of products used in the various theaters of war halted production of commercial and consumer products and dedicated operations to making certain our fighting men had all the supplies and equipment needed to not just defeat the enemy but assure the battle would never reach our shores - which we did and it never did, respectively.

Makers of automobiles, trucks, ships, trains, airplanes, rifles, ammunition, clothing, footwear, television, radios, medical supplies, and other items reconfigured production lines to rapidly turn out tanks, Jeeps, and amphibious vehicles; tents, uniforms, and flags; battleships, aircraft carriers and landing craft; bombers, fighters and troop transports; first aid kits, field operating equipment, and antibiotics; portable radios, radars, and cryptograph machines. As such, a lot of common products that had been easily obtained began to disappear from store shelves and showrooms.

Advertisements like the one shown in the June 4, 1942 edition of the Harrisburg Telegraph newspaper, which I retrieved thanks to my subscription to Newspapers.com, alerted readers to the impending scarcity of new radios. A while back I posted a notice in the September 1942 issue of Radio-Craft magazine titled, "Crosley Scraps '43 Line for Military Radios." In fact, I suppose that my 1941 vintage Crosley 03CB floor console radio was probably one of the last pre-war models of a Crosley radio! It was not until the early-to-middle days of 1945 that companies began running notices that they already were or soon would be back to making products for public consumption again.



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