By June of 1945 when this "Postwar Plans for the Radio Dealer"
article appeared in Radio News magazine, Germany had unconditionally surrendered
France. Japan was still holding out for an unlikely victory and prepared for
a massive Allied landing on their homeland with the likely loss of millions of
souls (which never happened due to the atom bombs), but most people could feel
that the end of World War II was imminent. Accordingly, trade magazines of the
day ran many pieces discussing potential options for out-of-work servicemen. Vast
amounts of knowledge and experience had been gained in the previous half a
decade, and it was to be put to good use. Lots of men left their jobs and
businesses behind for the sake of saving the free world, and were anxious to
pick up where they left off. Others intended to apply their new-found skills
toward a rewarding post-war career. Some industries began the shift from wartime
back to peacetime production early, to the extent the
Department of War would allow it. Unfortunately, the transition did not go
as smoothly and/or as quickly as most believed it would. A year after this
article appeared, many were written describing the situation.
Postwar Plans for the Radio Dealer
By Eugene A. Conklin
A survey of what radio dealer's and service-men foresee and are planning for
Radio dealers and servicemen are even now planning for the postwar period. While
it is perfectly true that the war is far from won, nevertheless the various developments
and projects mentioned below will make interesting food for thought for radiomen
"Tell the General I'm preparing to make
advances to determine resistance!"
Let's take, for example, the question of television. It's agreed by members of
the radio fraternity that it will be a number of months before television hits the
smaller communities. But a number of dealers believe that this progress can be accelerated
by certain planned promotions.
A Syracuse, New York, dealer plans, as soon as the war ends, to hold each Saturday
afternoon a television discussion period. Anyone may attend and latest developments
in this art will be discussed by the radio dealer. Communityites who attend these
sessions will be given a chance to under-stand the fundamentals of television and
to realize the various technical handicaps which have to be overcome before television
can be brought to their home as a daily occurrence.
A Rochester dealer believes that if a number of community retailers got together
and agreed to sponsor sufficient telecasts, a local television outlet might become
an almost overnight reality. He plans, shortly after the war, to go into a huddle
with fellow retailers and take all steps necessary to set in motion a daily telecast
schedule, even if only for one or two hours daily at the beginning.
A Utica, New York, radio dealer believes that the returning war veteran will
be interested in using some of his mustering-out pay for a new home television receiver.
This dealer intends to hold a get-together party for returning warriors and their
families, at which time actual television reception will be demonstrated. This dealer
will recommend to veterans that they make a substantial down-payment on a television
receiver which will be delivered to them as soon as it comes off the assembly line.
During the waiting period the veteran will be advised to retain his present set,
which will be accepted as a trade-in when television models actually become part
of the dealer's stock in trade.
Which brings us to the second post-war problem - that of "What to do with radios
of prewar vintage?" According to dealers' surveys, eight out of every ten individuals
expect to park their present sets with the dealer at a substantial trade-in valuation
towards a new postwar receiver. Just what dealers are expected to do with radios
which no longer have sales appeal is a sixty-four dollar question and one which
has been causing radio-men many a sleepless night.
A Buffalo, New York, dealer believes that the ideal solution is for the radio-man
to accept such sets at a low figure - pointing out frankly to customers that the
set utility value is inconsiderable, to say the least. This dealer intends to accept
such radios and present them to local orphanages, hospitals, etc.
Another solution is advanced by another Buffalo radio man who intends to ask
his clients to retain their pre-war radios as secondary house sets. He intends to
run a series of ads urging community residents to keep their sets, pointing out
that the dealer has no specific outlet for them.
Particularly of interest in the post-war period is the merchandising of records.
Perhaps more than any other commodity, records have served as a wartime merchandise
stopgap. In a survey of several hundred dealers the majority advised that their
postwar record departments would be greatly expanded.
One dealer intends to design a complete record library with every recording arranged
by title, recording artist, and brand. The librarian will be on duty to help advise
young and old alike as to recordings for specific purposes. A number of individual
listening rooms will open off the library so that any individual may have absolute
privacy in selecting his or her recordings.
Another dealer expects that after the war there will be consider-able interest
in voice-recording on the part of the public. With compulsory military training
for high school graduates a probability, thousands of young recruits will be marching
off yearly. Their families will wish to make recordings to send to them.
Final entry in the postwar recording situation is that of a Lackawanna, New York,
dealer who intends to gather wartime albums consisting of hit parade tunes popular
during the war. These albums will find a ready sale it is expected, with war veterans
who have ample cash to pay for same.
There is no doubt but that after the war the average American family will travel,
and travel considerably. For that reason, at least a score of dealers plan to build
drive-ins along well-traveled roads where motorists may stop and have their auto
radio checked and serviced. These drive-ins will be staffed by U. S. veterans who
have had Signal Corps training. At these drive-ins, auto radios will receive preferential
treatment but home radios will be accepted for service as well. That will enable
ruralists to have their sets serviced without going all the way into town. The drive-ins
will not be elaborate affairs - being a one-man operating scheme. Signs of the neon
variety will attract passing motorists.
These are only a few of the postwar plans currently being hatched by radio dealers.
The radio serviceman has his own postwar plans as well.
For one thing, a number of service gentry are planning to use women after the
war as radio technicians. It is pointed out that, as a result of the war, women
have been used in the service shop with shining success. For that reason, after
the war these radio-men expect to use the female of the species as receptionists,
handling the customers and maintaining the serviceman's privacy. With this arrangement
the feminine half of the service-shop team would attend to all correspondence, handle
incoming and out-going radios, and, in addition, prepare newspaper and radio advertisements.
Because the woman of the house is usually the determining factor in selecting a
radio serviceman, it follows that advertising copy prepared by a woman will be effective
in the final analysis.
Another trend will be the discontinuance of home servicing. Pickups and delivery
will be maintained, but servicing strictly in the shop will be the after-the-war
procedure. The reason for this about face is that most servicemen were never sold
on home servicing. And customers have become used to shop repair during the present
The final trend to be recorded concerns the licensing of radiomen. Many radiomen
believe that State bodies, on the order of regents, should be set up to conduct
written examinations - the passing of which would qualify the applicant to practice
as a radio serviceman. In this way returning war veterans and present service folk
would be treated alike on the basis of their knowledge and without prejudice.
Posted July 26, 2021