August 1940 Radio-Craft
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Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early electronics.
See articles from Radio-Craft,
published 1929 - 1953. All copyrights are hereby acknowledged.
In August of 1940, issue No. 24 of the Radio Trade Digest had a couple major historical announcements. The first is "F.C.C. Authorizes Commercial F.M.," which assigned 40 UHF (42 - 50 MHz band) commercial broadcast channels 5 non-commercial channels. Frequencies were changed to 88 - 108 MHz in 1946. The second major announcement was that Philco (founded in 1892 as Helios Electric Company, then changed to the Philadelphia Storage Battery Company in 1906) had become a publically traded company. It required private stock holders to convert and re-value their holdings to make some of them available for public sale, which or course they voted for. I don't know how IPOs (initial public offerings) worked back then, but my guess is they were not as dynamic as today's IPOs. Finally, the third announcement was a prediction that Ham radio equipment sales would take a precipitous drop in the coming months as World War II was spooling up and restrictions were placed on private radio activity.
Radio Trade Digest
All the worthwhile Radio Trade News of the past Month - Digested for busy radio men.
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Important Happenings of the Month in the Radio Industry
F.C.C. Authorizes Commercial F.M.
Forty U.H.F. Channels Assigned for the New Broadcasting Art. Five Channels Are Non-Commercial
Acting with unusual speed the Federal Communications Commission has given frequency modulation the green light to go ahead with commercial operation. Forty U.H.F. channels have been assigned this type of broadcasting and only 5 of them are retained for non-commercial work. The Commission does not feel that present-day radio sets will be made obsolete at least for a period of years.
The major portion of the radio industry was highly elated at the news and some spokesmen foresaw a "life-saving boom."
A prominent consultant to the trade foresees a great opportunity for sales in South America. Most manufacturers, he points out, will be concentrating on the domestic market. However, he stresses that South America with its heavy static is an ideal spot for the sale of F.M. transmitters and receivers, as these are less affected by electrical and magnetic disturbances.
With the European and patent situations as they are, he suggests that now is the time for American manufacturers to introduce F.M. to the Western Hemisphere and absorb the market.
New G.E. Institute Entrance
Visitors to General Electric in Bridgeport must enter this door & pass through a reception lounge & display of appliances in order to reach factory & offices beyond. Building also houses testing lab & meeting room.
War Situation Forces F.C.C to Restrict "Ham" Broadcasts
Sales of Amateur Radio Equipment Expected to Take Sharp Drop. Contacts Limited to U.S.A. and Possessions Only
Stringent new regulations governing ham activities have just been announced by the F.C.C. These are commercially important in that they may cut into sales of radio equipment & components. At press time the regulations were two-fold: (a) Contacts with hams outside of U.S.A. and possessions were banned; (b) the use of portable rigs was restricted to frequencies above 56 mc. except for special emergency service.
It hardly need be stressed that the greater the transmission distance and the more equipment the amateur is permitted to use, the greater will be his purchases. The fact that his contacts will be limited, for the most part, to this hemisphere means that he will be less inclined to buy the apparatus needed to construct high-power transmitters and super-sensitive receivers. Simpler, less costly, apparatus will probably serve his purpose during the emergency. Similarly he will be less likely to construct a portable post since his use of it will be limited to equipment able to reach only to the horizon. A ray of hope exists in the fact that the war may soon be over. Until then all loyal Americans will cooperate uncomplainingly.
Philco Goes Public
Philco stockholders have cleared the way for public participation in the ownership of the corporation's securities. (Heretofore Philco has been a privately-owned company.) As a result, par value of the outstanding common stock has been changed from $100 to $3. Each share of present common stock has been exchanged for 33 1/3 shares of new common stock. Outstanding shares of common stock now become 1,221,100 in number, plus 28,385 shares of $100 par value $5 preference stock, but no bonds, mortgages or funded indebtedness of any kind.
Present stockholders agreed to sell, through a public offering, part of their holdings of the reclassified common stock. Plans have also been made for a public offering of sufficient additional common stock to obtain funds to retire all outstanding preference stock. Upon completion of these plans, the common stock will represent the only outstanding security of Philco Corporation, and applications will be made to list this stock on the New York Stock Exchange.
The Music Goes 'Round & Around
New "Roto Base" on RCA Little Nipper model 46X23 permits it to be turned in any direction, thus permitting .the built-in loop antenna to be aimed directly at the wanted station thereby increasing signal strength.
Posted June 19, 2019