As I have pointed out in the past, by the end of 1944, everyone - at least in the United States - was pretty much convinced that World War II was all but done. Advertisements and articles in most of the magazines were going full force with promoting a plethora of great new consumer products that would soon be flowing from post-war factories and into the homes of the families who had sacrificed life, limb, fortune, and opportunity on the parts of fathers, brothers, boyfriends, and husbands who fought Axis powers during the past four and a half years. Parents, children, and wives of those who went "Over There" played an invaluable part back home in the success by managing single-parent households and filling in on jobs formerly performed by the servicemen. Life was difficult at home and on the battlefields but they persevered. We still refer to them collectively as "The Greatest Generation." Interestingly, one of the main impediments to implementing the aforementioned grand plan was difficulty in transporting raw materials and piece parts to manufacturing plants, and then distributing finished goods to the stores. Recall that it wasn't until a decade after the war, during the presidency of Dwight D. Eisenhower (America's only 5-star general - ever) that the Interstate Highway System was created in 1956 to solve just that problem. Our modern day logistical operations of over-the-road hauling would not be possible without such a comprehensive series of interconnected highways. |
For the Record
By B.G. Davis, editor
Manufacturers in the radio-electronic industry will lose no time in manufacturing receivers and transmitters for civilian consumption once Germany capitulates. One of the major factors now confronting the field is the distribution of their products. The problem will be most difficult where markets are situated far from the source of production. This will be due to wartime controls over shipping and transportation and will no doubt delay deliveries. On the other hand factories located relatively close to the source of markets will be able to find ready distribution of their goods.
Hundreds of small war plants will face an immediate reconversion once the Nazis have been licked. Our industry will be faced with a critical distribution problem when these newcomers make their appearance with their products in a competitive market. Trade names heretofore unknown will appear. Some will find their way to the established distributor's stock shelves. Many others will not. We have witnessed an increasing flow of publicity material emanating from dozens of new entrees into this field. Since Pearl Harbor these manufacturers, many of them subcontractors, have been doing minor assembly work on radio and electronic units for military consumption. Most of them have engaged recognized radio or electronic engineers. Many of these engineers are directly associated with the administration of their company and therefore, have a voice in the future policies which they will pursue. Being set up to produce radio and electronic equipment, many of them have made the decision to remain in business status quo.
It now appears that the goal for the first year's production after reconversion will be based on 1941 demands and will mean an output of 10,000,000 to 16,000,000 sets . Most of these will go into American homes to replace inefficient and obsolete sets and as extra receivers. Next will appear heavy demands for automobile radios as soon , as new car production resumes its 1941 pace and when gasoline restrictions are once more relaxed. The end of the war in Germany will result in at least a 30% cutback in military orders for radio-electronic equipment according to latest information from the WPB. This means that there is a possibility that a limited number of receivers will be produced and placed on the market before Christmas. The radio industry at the present time is producing at a rate ten times greater than prewar volumes. The release of manpower resulting from cutbacks in other industries will permit radio-electronic manufacturers to hire additional skilled help which will be needed. Many manufacturers will take a long range viewpoint, particularly those engaged in the manufacture of large transmitters, so that a gradual reconversion to normal operations may be spread over a period of ten months to a year.
There is a heavy demand for new transmitting equipment. Applications for construction permits are being received by the FCC at an increasing rate. The market for such equipment will be most lucrative. Here again distribution will become an important factor. Small stations situated in remote spots will find it difficult to receive shipments of heavy equipment for several months to come. And here again it will be necessary for the government to expedite deliveries just as soon as demands upon the railroads subside.
While FM transmitters are being produced there will be a period of delay in introducing FM receivers to the public. At the present time there are more than 50 FM stations in operation or under construction and it is now apparent that at least 200 more will be on the air within a year after reconversion. The sale of new FM sets naturally will be slow until the new stations actually begin broadcasting.
There is no doubt that television someday will become as popular as radio broadcasting itself. Here again we find that plenty of groundwork has been laid and, like the production of radio receivers for FM, only awaits the availability of television material to start the ball rolling. Manufacturers of video sets are now lining up their distribution in all parts of the country and a few of them are con-ducting classes for the training of servicemen to maintain their television receivers after they are sold. There still is a general lack of information available to those who will sell and service television receivers. One large manufacturer in the East is now conducting special classes for the training of men. We hope that others will follow. It's a step in the right direction ....... O.R.