Hello. My name is Kirt, and I'm a vintage magazine and newspaper addict. This affliction has had a hold on me for two decades now. Call it my middle age crisis. At sixty years old, there is no sign of abatement in enthusiasm. Nearly every day I still find myself reading and commenting on articles and advertisements from mid-last-century magazines, newspapers, and catalogs. Maybe I'm hopeless and will never be able to kick the habit. I'm not alone, though, based on some of the feedback received from RF Cafe visitors. For that reason and others, maybe, in truth, I've grown comfortable with my addiction.
While perusing a few vintage newspaper editions from the World War II era looking for relevant stories, I ran across this November 1, 1940 (exactly 78 years ago) special section in the Harrisburg Telegraph titled, "Radio Industry Marks 20th Anniversary." It contains many stories reporting on various aspects of the first twenty years of the commercial radio market. Sure, radios were available for sale prior to 1920, but the first commercial radio broadcast was aired by KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on November 2, 1920 (see tomorrow's RF Cafe webpage day in history banner). All of the pages have been posted here for your historical satisfaction. Excerpts from a few of them have been OCR'ed and posted below. Click on the headlines for large, legible versions of the pages with full stories.
Sets Combine New Advances In Reception (p17)
1941 Models Acclaimed Finest . in Broadcast History
With regular radio broadcasting service ready to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of its inauguration, manufacturers, engineers and designers have combined in the 1941 sets to give the public a finer collection of radio models than ever before.
Not only have the standard receivers been refined in operation, but numerous models are now being sold with provision for both television and frequency modulation - those two new developments of radio that are hardly out of their swaddling clothes but nevertheless ready for action.
Still another feature offered in new models is the increasingly popular radio-phonograph - which several of the manufacturers are now equipping with apparatus for making home recordings of both radio and the buyer's own programs.
Advances have been made, too, in the technique of broadcasting. The European war has brought into being daily programs from overseas where only a few years ago a broadcast from Europe was a thing marveled at. Actual on the field descriptions of battles, on the ground and in the air, have been broadcast ...
'Hams' Form National Link To Bulwark U. S. Defense (p17)
Army of 60,000 Amateur Radio Operators Ready to Serve
Amateur radio has been preparing for 15 years to aid in national defense, by developing techniques as well as provide apparatus, and to train competent operators, it is pointed by Clinton B. DeSoto, assistant to the secretary of the American Radio Relay League.
This training has been accomplished on a voluntary basis, without compensation or compulsion of any kind, he explains.
Moreover, it has been accomplished by the use of equipment made or purchased by the individual himself. There have been no governmental subsidies no handouts by Uncle Sam. Our status throughout has been that of amateurs. We have paid our way ...
New RCA Models Get Best Reception In Firm's History (p18)
New Models Force RCA Sales To New Peak Throughout U. S.
New Styling and "Hidden Qualities" Credited For Increases
Unprecedented public enthusiasm in every section of the country is greeting presentation of the new RCA Victrolas according to RCA Victor executives just returned from a country wide tour.
"Never before in RCA Victor history has such an enthusiastic reception greeted the new models in every section," declared Fred D. Wilson, sales manager in charge of field activities. Mr. Wilson attended presentations in the Middle West.
"The emphasis which has been placed on tone quality, styling and overall performance in the new instruments has been quickly recognized. We expect this to be one of the best years we have ever had ..."
Sears Reports Big Up-Surge in Radio Sales (p18)
New Refinements and Features Credited For Increases
An amazing public acceptance has greeted the 1941 line of Silvertone radios from Maine to Texas, according to officials of Sears, Roebuck and Company.
One reason advanced for the unusual pick-up in sale lies in the fact that the new line marks an all time high in stunning style new wrinkles and sensationally low prices. Silvertone radios for 1941 offer a set for every one, from the modest table model at $6.95 that can be held comfortable in one hand, to the aristocratic Model R-121 that sports 12 tubes and matchless performance in an amazing beautiful cabinet ...
New Features Predominate 1941 Line of Crosley Radios (p19)
Richness of Tone Coupled With Appearance Included in Models
The 1941 twentieth anniversary Crosley glamor-tone radios, radio-phonograph combinations and home recording sets, recently announced by the Crosley Corporation, include many new features that make the outstanding in performance as well as appearance.
Most sensational is the new richness and fidelity of tone that has been developed in these radios, which the Crosley Corporation adopted the name glamor-tone to describe.
"Crosley glamor-tone," said W.T. Wallace, manager, radio division, the Crosley Corporation, "is the result of 20 years of intensive radio experience and research, dating back to the period of radio when rapt listeners first masters the knack of manipulating a crystal set. With glamor-tone, Crosley achieves a fidelity of reproduction, together with super-sensitivity and selectivity, that represents a new high in radio reception ..."
Period Design Features New G-E Deluxe Radio Models (p21)
Custom Made Sets Introduced By G-E at New York Showings
Production Started on Deluxe Models For Individual Tastes
Combining the experienced efforts of craftsmen in fine furniture and modern radio-phonograph engineering, a new series of deluxe instruments bearing the name "Musaphonic" has been created by General Electric Company, Bridgeport, Connecticut.
The first three models of the series, a small table cabinet and two console types, were introduced to invited groups of decorators, dealers, and general magazine and trade editors at special showings recently in New York City. The instruments are to be displayed and demonstrated in various parts of the country as samples become available ...
Light Beam Device Hailed Modern Marvel (p21)
Experts Lived With Devices To Perfect 1941 Philco Sets
Engineers Started With Five Objectives to Be Overcome, Grimes Says
Thomas Edison once remarked that if anything had gone for a number of years without improvement, it was time to do something about it.
Philco took this as their text when it became apparent that the revived interest in recorded music demanded that "something be done about the phonograph" in view of the total absence of any basic improvements in the machine since its invention by Edison, according to David Grimes, Philco chief engineer.
Consequently, the research department started "living with phonographs." A critical attitude was taken in approaching the problem and after the most exacting test of both Philco and other makes of phonographs, it was decided to attempt a completely fresh start ...
Posted November 1, 2018