February 1941 QST
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics. See articles
QST, published December 1915 - present (visit ARRL
for info). All copyrights hereby acknowledged.
I have often stated that some of the
most enthusiastic and capable engineers and technicians I have had the honor
working with were Hams. As evidenced by this ad in the February 1941 edition
of QST magazine, heads of corporations hold the same view. None other
than the president of Zenith Radio Corporation, Mr. E.J. MacDonald, Jr., thought
enough of the talent residing within the amateur radio community to appeal directly
to them with this full-page ad titled, "Amateurs - Your Thoughts May Be Worth
Money." What makes this advertisement even more interesting is that it specifically
wanted Hams with ideas about the newfangled thing called Frequency Modulation.
Zenith Radio Corporation - Where Are the Hams on FM?
AMATEURS - Your Thoughts May Be Worth Money
-- 6001 DICKENS AVENUE --
Office of E. F. McDonald, Jr., President
January 15, 1941
TO RADIO AMATEURS:
Frequency modulation is here - but where are the amateurs?
For 25 years this company, founded by amateurs, has encouraged the "hams"
of the United States to bring their ideas.
As recently as the summer of 1939 we invited the entire fraternity to give
us ideas on loops and we have sent reprints of the best published information
on receiving loops available in the world today to hundreds of amateurs who
wrote in for further information. We did not receive back very many useful ideas
but after all the loop, which revolutionized radio last year, was old in the
art and its sudden importance was due to rediscovery by the radio industry.
Now we have frequency modulation which is a really more important and more
difficult field to furrow. This new art was introduced to the world in 1936
after 13 years of development in Major Armstrong's Laboratories. It has been
introduced to the receiver buying public during the past year and many of its
features have been publicized by the amateur magazines for many months. But,
where are the amateurs?
Only a handful of frequency modulation receivers are known to us to be operating
in Chicago and we have kept a very worthwhile program on the air for more than
17 hours a day and will continue to broadcast this program from now on. Other
programs are being broadcast in other parts of the country and it is all high
frequency experimental broadcasting.
In the last 3 months we have made 3 startling new discoveries about frequency
modulation and the features of these inventions have been incorporated into
our radio sets. But everyone of these inventions originated in our own laboratories
because we haven't heard a peep out of any "ham" on the subject.
This field is new and is wide open. Where are the amateurs?
E. F. McDonald, Jr.
Posted February 16, 2021
(updated from original post on 7/6/2011)