threat to existence, be it an impending asteroid strike or an intelligent being's
announced intention to do harm to the earth, would probably be required these days
to invoke the sort of voluntary personal sacrifices of today's average citizen that
was exhibited in the enthusiastic, patriotic response by Americans to the
'V' for Victory campaign during World War II. You
no doubt have seen pictures of kids pulling wagons filled with metal scrap, rubber
tires, and glass milk and pop bottles collected for the war effort, and pickup trucks
piled high with sections of pipe, car parts, and
furnaces. Resources were relatively scarce at the time, and material was being consumed
very quickly in the effort to beat back the aggressive advances of Axis forces throughout
Europe, northern Africa, and the South Pacific. This article from a 1942 edition
of Radio Retailing Today encouraged radio repairmen to check with customers
during service calls for any available scrap items that could be hauled back to
the shop for donation. "The loss of one percent in our production of steel, for
example, is immediately reflected in the arming and supplying of necessary material
to our fighting forces."
September 1942 Radio Retailing Today
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early
electronics. See articles from
Radio & Television News, published 1919-1959. All copyrights hereby
Get in the Scrap!
"Precious" junk like this can be picked
up from the average radio home.
One of radio's Victory jobs is the prompt and efficient collection of all scrap
materials within the limits of the industry. The War Production machinery of the
nation needs it badly, and the situation invites the energetic interest of everybody
in the radio business.
Donald Nelson of WPB, in his currently "tough" mood, has declared that the collection
of scrap is today as important as any problem we have in this country. He has made
it clear that there must be a sharp acceleration in the coast-to-coast effort to
"get in the scrap."
The activities of the radio factories themselves are already being organized
under the direction of Larry E. Gubb, chairman of the board of Philco Corp, Mr.
Gubb works with the American Industries Salvage Committee, 350 Fifth Ave., New,
York City, of which Robert W. Wolcott is chairman, and is contacting all manufacturers
in the industry. The emphasis is on the collection of such critically-needed materials
as iron and steel scrap, scrap rubber, non-ferrous metals, rags, manila fiber and
other materials used in war production.
Some radio manufacturers have already organized their plant personnel for important
salvage drives and have collected great amounts of "waste" metal. The "mountain
of metal" saved by salvage efforts at RCA plants is an example.
The Whole Trade
Cooperating with the all-industry scrap effort, Radio Retailing Today is helping
to enlist the efforts of the thousands of radio servicemen and dealers who contact
the millions of radio owners to "Keep 'Em Working." The suggestion is that local
radio men clean up their own shops and homes; that they encourage the scrap collection
idea in all the homes they visit on radio repair calls; that they use their trucks
in hauling scrap whenever appropriate; and that they cooperate to the limit with
all existing salvage plans and organizations already set up in their communities.
Donald Nelson says:
"I am not exaggerating in the slightest, when I say that the collection of scrap
is now as important as any problem we have in this country. If we as a nation, allow
a single furnace to go down for lack of scrap, we should, everyone of us, have a
guilty conscience. The loss of one percent in our production of steel, for example,
is immediately reflected in the arming and supplying of necessary material to our
The idea is that the collection of scrap should become a part of the radio man's
wartime duties - it should be a part of his wartime patrol as represented on the
front cover of this issue.
In a special statement to this magazine, Mr. Gubb describes the radio serviceman's
salvage job as follows:
"The radio servicer can be Uncle Sam's right-hand man in the nationwide drive
to get scrap metals and other materials out of homes, farms and business establishments
and into the steel mills where it is drastically needed to keep the production of
steel for tanks, ships, planes and guns running at capacity. Scrap iron and steel
stockpiles have dwindled from the normal six weeks' supply to a 'two-weeks' supply.
The War Production Board is swiftly organizing a network of Salvage Committees in
industry, in farm communities and in town and cities, to handle the job of getting
in the scrap.
"What can the radio servicer do, over and above his own contribution of scrap
materials? First, he can take on his personal patriotic responsibility of asking
- at the home of every customer he visits - if there is not some metal or other
scrap which the householder would like to have hauled down to the scrap collection
center in the radio man's car, on his way back. Second, he can notify the local
salvage committee of his willingness to give this special service - a service to
his customers and to the scrap metal drive.
"Inasmuch as production of new radio sets has been stopped by the Government,
it is up to radio servicemen to do everything they can to aid the public by keeping
existing sets in operation. Especially in wartime, it is important that every American
family be able to keep informed of current developments, which they can no through
the miracle of radio. In those cases, however. where sets are too old or obsolete
to be repaired satisfactorily. the parts in them should be added to the nation's
scrap reserve for service elsewhere in the war program."
Posted August 31, 2021
(updated from original post on 8/29/2013)