According to an item in this
late 1944 issue of Radio News magazine, the six-hour delay which occurred
between the time the armistice was signed at the end of
World War I and the time news reached the battlefields,
many men, women, and children on all sides died needlessly. Almost as many were
maimed or injured. That might seem like a stretch, but in the 4 years, 3 months,
and 2 weeks of the "the war to end all wars," an estimated 14 to 19 million
lives were lost. Per my calculations it was an average of 375
to 500 casualties per hour, or 2,200 to 3,000 in six hours. Planners expected that
the widespread availability of wireless communications (radio) meant that when the
end World War II was finally announced, a cease fire on all fronts would be
effected in less than half an hour. Most magazines and newspapers of the day were
predicting and planning for the end of the war by early the next year (1945), but
unfortunately it stretched out until May in Europe and North Africa (V-E Day), and into August for the Pacific Theater (V-J Day) . An estimated total of 70 to 85 million people died
during the 6 years and 1 day of
World War II, which represents about 4 times as many deaths
in 50% more time. At that rate every minute saved was even more critical.
Spot Radio News
By Radio News Washington Correspondent
Presenting latest information on the Radio Industry.
When V-E (Victory in Europe) day comes, the world will learn
about it in a matter of minutes, quite unlike the six-hour delay that prevailed
in the first World War. According to Signal Corps officials, in less than a half
hour from the moment the words "cease firing" are heard, the surrender message will
be on the air. In 1918, although the Armistice was signed at five o'clock in the
morning in Paris, it was not until eleven o'clock that the world knew, and hostilities
were concluded. During this interim many men died needlessly. Signal Corps officials
say that this time all corners of the world will be linked within several minutes
for Armistice-word transmission.
Arrangements are also being made to provide for transmission of the surrender
news to the Germans. This will be done by front-line public address systems, radio
announcements in German on German frequencies if possible, or announcements in German
on our frequencies. There are possibilities that a German official arranging for
the Armistice will appear before an American microphone, and tell his troops and
countrymen about the end of the European war.
The "cease firing" order will reach our troops through Army networks and will
travel to tanks, jeeps, planes, walkie-talkies, field units, and fixed equipment
throughout various theaters of the battlefield.
Anticipating an Early V-E Day, members of the RIAC gathered
recently in Washington to study post-war pricing of radio receivers. The RIAC (Radio
Industry Advisory Committee) which was recently formed, met with officers of the
OPA. Pricing committee members include: Benjamin Abrams, Emerson Radio & Phonograph
Corp., New York; R. C. Cosgrove, Crosley Corp., Cincinnati; J. J. Nance, Zenith
Radio Corp., Chicago; J. M. Spain, Packard-Bell Co., Los Angeles; A. S. Wells, Wells-Gardner &
Co., Chicago; P. S. Billings, Belmont Radio Corp., Chicago; P. V. Galvin, Galvin
Mfg. Corp., Chicago; E. E. Lewis, Radio Corp. of America, New York; E. H. Nicholas,
Farnsworth Radio & Television Corp., Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Fred D. Williams,
Philco, Corp., Philadelphia.
Two schools of thought exist on pricing. Chester A. Bowles, OPA Administrator
stated that prices prevailing in 1942 may be applied. However, James F. Byrnes,
Director of War Mobilization has indicated that the prices may have to be higher
than those that prevailed in 1942. No definite decision was made at the Industry-OPA
meeting. There is belief however that receivers may be priced slightly higher because
of increased production costs. As stated in previous columns here, it is expected
in some quarters that the increase may be as high as 15%.
Invasion and Its Terrifying Impact plunged into the homes of
Americans recently, when Holland was invaded. For the first time in broadcasting
history an airborne invasion was described, with the boys plummeting to earth from
the very plane from which the broadcast was being made. It was difficult to believe
that as we listened, our boys were dropping down to grapple with the enemy below.
Here indeed was a broadcast that will be inscribed in the scrolls of history.
Frequency Modulation and Television will play major roles in
our postwar broadcast era according to scores of experts who appeared at the recent
war conference of the National Association of Broadcasters in Chicago. Emphasizing
this trend, FCC Chairman Fly stated that the future seemed assured with respect
to FM. He said that manufacturers are estimating the marketing of 5,000,000 FM receivers
during the four years immediately following resumption of civilian production. The
average radio receiver today is many years old, he said, and ready and eager for
replacement. Postwar sets with FM and AM will serve to replace these receivers.
Television also offers unlimited potentialities for postwar expansion, emphasized
Mr. Fly. He pointed out that the Commission has already licensed nine commercial
television stations and sixty applications are pending. He said that he is confident
that as, soon as the practical applications of war-time advances have been worked
out, television will be ready to move ahead on a tremendous scale. Discussing the
timing of television advance, he pointed out that today the television outlook is
clearer and more hopeful than ever before.
He said, "By harnessing this new knowledge of television immediately, it may
be possible really to live up to the slogan of the future ... you're there with
a television receiver."
Mr. Fly also pointed out that he was aware of FM problems that were yet to be
solved. Such problems which included bursts and secondary FM service were however
"the mere growing pains of an important new venture; and engineers are already at
work to get the right answers." So that FCC engineers may be fully acquainted with
FM propagation, a 50-watt, 40-megacycle station has been set up in Washington. Experimental
operation of the station should provide many answers, explained Mr. Fly.
The FM television postwar impetus was also stressed, at this meeting, by members
of a symposium, discussing postwar broadcasting. William Lodge, acting engineering
director for CBS, said that FM offered an improved method of sound transmission
and provided many existing broadcasting stations with an opportunity to improve
their service. However, he said, it must be remembered that the standard band will
remain the broadcaster's breadwinner and chief source of income for many years.
It is doubtful too, he said, that the high-powered clear-channel AM station will
be replaced within the immediate future as a means of providing widespread rural
service. Discussing the coverage of FM stations, he said that they are not as limited
as we believe. These signals, he said, are capable of following the curvature of
the earth and of bending around buildings and even behind hills. He cited a one-kilowatt
station which gave satisfactory rural service 25 miles beyond the optical horizon.
Commenting on the future of television, Mr. Lodge said that there are several
pertinent problems that must first be solved before television reaches the point
of wide acceptability. He said that at least 25-30 television channels are required
to permit the growth of a comprehensive competitive nationwide system. However,
because of the requirements of the Government and other safety-of-life services,
it is not possible to secure that many channels on the presently proposed bands
between 54 and 108 megacycles or the higher frequencies where only six scattered
channels are provided, stressed Mr. Lodge. Therefore, he said, whether the television
is transmitted on six-megacycle channels or sixteen-mega-cycle channels, it will
be necessary to go to the very-high frequencies where there is sufficient room for
the required channels. Describing the CBS approach to this television problem, he
said that they are devoting their entire energy to the development of television
in the 500-1000 megacycle region. CBS will continue to broadcast with their existing
station, WCBW, to gather program experience, explained Mr. Lodge. However, technical
development will be carried on at the high frequencies, he emphasized.
Major Edwin H. Armstrong also appeared on the symposium discussing frequency
modulation. Analyzing the problem of bursts, Major Armstrong said that he, Commander
De Mars, and Pickard had disclosed in 1940 that bursts were not a serious detriment
to FM. He said that the multiple-path distortion problem was also of no importance
to FM. He cited that this propagation problem was investigated in 1938. Major Armstrong
then went on to discuss sun-spot activity. He said that there is no doubt that this
phenomenon is annoying. However, he pointed out that the period of time thus far
indicated when trouble from the sporadic-E may be expected over any appreciable
area of a station's coverage was negligible.
He said, "The best opinion on the subject is that the disturbance will not be
serious. It is important to keep in mind the fact that there is no perfect wavelength.
Whatever the annoying factor may be, the FM system is the one best able to combat
An interesting discussion of facsimile was presented by the well-known engineer-inventor
John V. L. Hogan, during the symposium. He said that 1933 facsimile was limited
to the transmission of about three-square inches of pictures or about sixty words
of text per minute. In 1941 this speed had been increased to about ten-square inches
of pictures or two-hundred words of text per minute. Today, he said, it is possible
to deliver a forty-eight square-inch picture or about one-thousand words of text
He pointed out that facsimile is quite simple to network, while the transmitter
cost is as low as that of a sound transmitter. Receivers, he said, will probably
cost about as much as an ordinary receiver, plus the additional cost of a recorder
which would run from about $20 to $100.
Discussing the probable standards of facsimile in the postwar era, he said that
these will probably be 4" by 2" columns, 9" paper, 100 lines-per-inch and 600-800
words per minute. In conclusion, Mr. Hogan said that he believed that after the
first five years facsimile may provide more receiver hours of use than television
and at a far lower cost-per-hour of service.
The public value of facsimile was also stressed in a recent report by the RTPB
panel 7. This report revealed that home broadcasting by facsimile is destined to
become a service of great public value and that accordingly adequate channel assignments
should be provided for the growth and utilization of such service.
The Education-Via-FM Move in the U. S. Office of Education has
gained quite a bit of momentum during the past weeks. It appears as if there are
now 31 states who have either indicated an interest in the program, completed plans
for installation or already have complete installations. Specifically, three states
are in the process of completing their plans, fourteen more are in the preparatory
stages, while five educational systems are already in operation. These five are
located in Cleveland; New York City; Champaign, Illinois; Chicago; and Kentucky.
FM is used exclusively by all stations which, incidentally, are controlled by the
State Boards of Education. The U. S. Office of Education radio division, plays an
advisory part by preparing tentative plans for the state upon request. These plans
provide data on location of stations in the state, coverage, power, network links,
cost and other technical details. When the State of Michigan recently applied, they
were told that about five stations would be necessary to cover their State. Accordingly,
plans are now being made for the erection of a 50-kilowatt station near Ann Arbor,
another in the vicinity of the Grand Rapids area and the three others at strategic
points within the state.
The states will spend between $10,000 and $45,000 for each station, depending
upon power and type of installation and studios. The greatest problem facing the
schools appears to be the limitation of channels. A minimum of 22 channels are deemed
necessary to serve such areas as the Atlantic States, but unfortunately only five
are available. Incidentally, the recent RTPB report of panel 2 allots the 41- to
43-megacycle band for educational broadcasts.
The problem of allocation will probably be discussed again during the FCC allocation
hearings, which began on September 28. Every effort will be made to secure more
bands. Educational groups who will appear to present their views on the subject
will include: The National Association of Educational Broadcasters; the Baltimore
State Department of Education; The National Association of State Universities, Columbus,
Ohio; National Congress of Parents and Teachers, Chicago, Illinois; University of
Michigan; and the National Education Association representing Georgetown Graduate
Early 1945 May See a unique production show at the Chicago Coliseum,
in which radio and particularly television will play a major role. Plans recently
revealed indicate that the show, which will be backed by the National Congress for
the Presentation of Products of Tomorrow, will have many exhibits including a television
studio of tomorrow which will be on demonstration. It is planned to produce actual
programs to be witnessed by a huge audience. Working models of television receivers
are also expected to be spotted around the convention hall to permit spectators
to view the television broadcasts. An assortment of frequency modulation, combination
receivers, auto sets, etc., will also be exhibited according to present plans.
Radio Has Finally Ousted Wireless in England. Hereafter the
Wireless Section of the Institute of Electrical Engineers in London will be known
as the Radio Section. To accommodate this change, a modification of the description
of the section has been changed. In the new ruling the scope of the section is described
as: "the section shall include within its scope all matters relating to the study,
design, manufacture or operation of apparatus for communication by wave radiation,
for high frequency and electronic engineering or for the electrical recording or
electrical reproduction of sound."
Thirteen Million Receivers are Expected to be Made in the first
year following Germany's surrender, provided there are no production restrictions.
Such was the estimate provided by Government spokesmen at a recent Radio and Radar
Industry Advisory Committee meeting in Washington, supervised by Ray C. Ellis. Since
production restrictions do not appear to be imminent, there is a general belief
that this output will be maintained. According to some of the members of the industry
who attended the conference, it is entirely possible that receivers may start flowing
off the production line as early as sixty days after V-E day.
In a discussion of the Army and Navy requirements, Louis J. Chatten, assistant
director of the Radio and Radar Division, pointed out that the present rate of $232,000,000
a month, effected July 1, will have to be increased to $270,000,000 in November;
thus an increase in production of 16.4% is being effected by the industry.
The important problem of increasing subcontracting on the West Coast was also
discussed at this meeting. According to members of the industry, companies in the
Midwest and East have been unwilling to let subcontracts on the West Coast because
of the distance. A suggestion made called for an allotment of prime contracts of
some of the simpler types of equipment to a large West Coast producer, with the
stipulation that a certain percentage be subcontracted to smaller facilities there.
The suggestion also stated that enough of other subcontracts should be available
in other parts of the country to make up for what would be taken from the companies
now getting this type of subcontract.
The continuing problem of manpower was disclosed by Harold Sharpe assistant director
of the Radio and Radar Division for Manpower. He said that the industry is faced
with a problem of recruiting about 20,000 more employees. According to WMC estimates,
about 12,000 a month will have to be found to replace those who are resigning. The
chief manpower shortages exists in the industries concerned with dry cell batteries,
transformers, wire, etc. The chief difficulty according to WMC is that most of the
plants are located in labor shortage areas, such as Chicago, Philadelphia, Newark,
Buffalo, Syracuse and Schenectady. Incidentally, during the discussion of essential
and critical industries, radar was the only branch of the industry classified as
Among those who attended the meeting were M. Cohen of Sickles Company; Ray C.
Cosgrove, Crosley Radio; George W. Henyan, General Electric; W. P. Hilliard, Bendix
Radio; W. F. Hosford, Western Electric; E. E. Lewis, RCA; Percey L. Schonen, Hamilton
Radio; Joe M. Spain, Packard-Bell Co.; and A. S. Wells, Wells-Gardner & Co.
Hurricane Winds Which Struck the Eastern Coastline sometime
ago played havoc with broadcast stations, power lines and fire-alarm systems. While
the broadcast stations did not suffer too much, thanks to emergency equipment, the
wired fire-alarm network was inoperative for several days, a condition that could
have been avoided had an emergency radio system been in use. Such a system had been
suggested many times but was pigeonholed each time. Expensive, unnecessary and impractical,
were the answers given to proposals for such a system at each session. Had such
a system been in operation during the storm, many more fire calls could have been
put through, hurricane damage could have been further minimized and it would not
have been necessary to burden the already overburdened telephone lines with fire-alarm
calls, There is hope now that the hurricane has taught a lesson, and that real consideration
will be given to an emergency radio network. Such a network will offer invaluable
service on many fronts.
The schedules of three stations were upset by the hurricane. These stations were
WOR, WEAF and WHN. WOR was off the air only four minutes; WEAF was off the air for
twenty-two minutes and WHN was off the air for several hours. CBS's FM antenna suffered
the major catastrophe. The eighty-five foot scaffolding surrounding the antenna
atop a sixty-story building was nearly completely blown down.
The WERS played an effective role during the storm, assisting the police, fire
department, and others in the protective branches of the City. Special broadcasts
over local stations brought scores of WERS workers to hurricane scenes. They performed
admirably. linking completely isolated areas. Many lives were saved, thanks to their
activities. In addition, their efforts minimized damage in the amount of thousands
of dollars. A round of applause to WERS.
Over Sixty-Million Receivers are distributed at present, in
homes, automobiles, businesses, institutions, hotels, etc., according to a survey
recently completed by the National Association of Broadcasters. They report that
on the average there are 1.4 receivers in each home, providing a total of 46,300,000.
Automobiles account for 9,000,000 receivers, while offices, hotels, restaurants
and other institutions account for 4,700,000 receivers. Oddly enough, 3,000,000
new radio homes were established since 1942, by way of receivers from dealers' stocks,
repairs and modifications of antiquated receivers. A field research by the Bureau
of Census for the Office of Civilian Requirements of WPB indicated that only 15%
of receivers have been temporarily out-of-order, with a large percentage of these
receivers in homes having more than one set. This same source also cited that there
are 33,716,000 radio homes as of April, 1944.
NAB also reports that between 18, 000,000 and 20,000,000 tubes have begun to
be made available, effective in July and continuing on to December. NAB reports
that black-market tube operations should disappear entirely in 1945. They say that
a large number of merchants have been solicited by black market operators to take
over tube stocks at a 40% discount. It appears, therefore, as if the tube problem
is on its way to a solution, at long last.
Industries in Twenty-Four States and the District of Columbia
have become television-conscious, FCC applications reveal. Applicants in California
include: Warner Bros., (Hollywood); Hughes Productions Inc., National Broadcasting
Co., Earle C. Anthony, Inc., Consolidated Broadcasting, Inc., and Blue Network (Los
Angeles); Broadcasting Corp. of America (Riverside); Don Lee Broadcasting System,
Associated Broadcasters Inc. and Hughes Productions Inc. (San Francisco); E. F.
Pffeffer (Stockton); and J. E. Rodman (Fresno). In Colorado, the KLZ Broadcasting
Company of Denver has made application. In Connecticut, the Travelers Broadcasting
Service of Hartford and the Connecticut Television Co. of Greenfield Hill are applicants.
NBC, Dumont, Philco, Bamberger and the Capital Broadcasting Co. are Washington,
D. C., applicants. In Jacksonville, Florida, the Jacksonville Broadcasting Co. has
made application. CBS, NBC, WGN and the Blue Network are Chicago applicants. In
Indiana, WFBM of Indianapolis and Farnsworth of Fort Wayne are television applicants.
Louisiana has two applicants: Maison, Blanche Co. and Loyola University of New Orleans.
In Maryland, the Tower ,Realty Co., Hearst Radio and Joseph M Zamoiski of Baltimore
have filed applications. Westinghouse, Dumont, General Television, E. Anthony &
Sons and the Yankee Network of Boston are television applicants. In Detroit, Michigan,
applicants are: WJR, International Detrola Co., King Trendle Broadcasting Co., United
Detroit Theaters Corp., and the Jam Handy Organization. Missouri is represented
by the Pulitzer Publishing Co., Glow-Democrat Publishing Co. and Alfco Co., all
of St. Louis. Cleveland, Ohio, is represented by NBC, WGAR, and United Broadcasting
Co. New York City has the Blue Network, Bamberger Broadcasting Service, Metropolitan
Television Inc., Philco, and the Daily News. In Philadelphia, WCAU, WFIL, WDAS,
Westinghouse, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Seaboard Radio Broadcasting and the Bamberger
Broadcasting Service, are all applicants. Other States include Nebraska (Omaha),
WOW; New Jersey (Newark), Bremer Broadcasting Co.; New Mexico (Albuquerque), Albuquerque
Broadcasting Co.; New York (Rochester), Stromberg-Carlson; (Buffalo), WEBR, and
(White Plains), Westchester Broadcasting Co.; Oklahoma (Oklahoma City), WKY Radiophone
Co.; Pennsylvania (Pittsburg), Westinghouse; Rhode Island (Providence), E. Anthony &
Sons; Tennessee (Nashville), J. W. Birdwell; Utah (Salt Lake City), Utah Broadcasting;
Virginia (Richmond), Havens & Martin; Washington (Spokane), Louis Wasmer, and
Wisconsin (Milwaukee), WTMJ.
It appears as if a lively television service awaits the public in the post-war
A Study of the Surplus Problem has revealed many interesting
facts, one of which is particularly startling. It concerns the manufacture of home
receiving sets using surplus stock of automobile sets made in 1942. It was generally
believed that all manufacturing of receivers had ceased. Now it appears, however,
as if manufacture or "conversion into home receiving sets" as a WPB spokesman called
it, has been permitted. The manufacturer who "converted" these receivers was located
in Chicago and received permission to do so last year. Large space advertisements
in Chicago papers announcing these receivers prompted the search for authorization
to construct them. A WPB spokesman admitted, upon inquiry, that such "conversion"
had been allowed. How extensive this "conversion" practice has been is not known
at this writing.
It appears as if it has been quite limited. Undoubtedly, however, other manufacturers
will be soon requesting permission to practice "conversion." The results of their
inquiries should be quite interesting. The jobber front has also seen an interesting
surplus situation arise. Some weeks ago a regulation governing sales of electronic
parts and equipment in excess and idle stocks was issued. Many jobbers assumed that
this regulation lifted all barriers and provided an opportunity to sell as the traffic
warranted. This, of course, was not the case since priority ratings were required
for these sales. Accordingly, Ray C. Ellis, director of the WPB Radio and Radar
Division issued a clarifying statement explaining the amendment and what restrictions
it eliminated. Mr. Ellis said that the amendment lifted prohibition against special
sales of excess and idle stocks on list B to wholesale dealers. Thus wholesale dealers
may buy excess and idle stocks if rated AA-5 or better, but it does not give them
the rating for that purpose. Wholesalers may use ratings which they have obtained
otherwise and are legally entitled to apply or extend under WPB regulations.
The surplus situation is receiving special attention from an RMA unit, too. The
group concerned with surpluses met in New York recently. Ray C. Ellis and Samuel
Drucker, in charge of war surplus problems under Mr. Ellis, spoke to the members
explaining the problems and their possible solutions.
Obsolete equipment remains one of the gravest problems in the surplus situation.
The FCC is naturally very much concerned with the disposal of mobile transmitting
equipment and particularly the walkie-talkies. Falling into the hands of the underworld
element, such equipment would be used for many illegal forms of transmission. It
is entirely possible therefore that this equipment may be either kept off the market
entirely or allotted very carefully to such industries as buses, taxicabs, trucks,
and medical. Of course, there will be the problem of frequency distribution. It
is well known that there are not too many frequencies available and whether or not
any channels can be spared for this type of work it is difficult to predict.
A surplus plan has also been initiated in England. In this plan distribution
and price will be controlled, while the release of stocks will be gradual. There
will be no flooding of the market according to officials who prepared the proposal.
Distributors of this surplus merchandise will include manufacturers and dealers
normally handling the equivalent type of merchandise. The proposal indicates, too,
that profiteering on the part of distributors will not prevail. No definite date
as to the introduction of the plan has been set yet. It is generally believed that
modified versions of the procedure have been applied during the past months, and
shortly after the first of the year the present plan may be put into full operation.
The Street Car System in Washington, D.C. will soon have an
emergency radio link in operation. A license to install such a system was recently
granted to the Capital Transit Company, who will install this equipment in thirty
mobile units. These mobile units will consist of emergency trucks, supervisors'
and inspectors' automobiles.
The Design of the First British civilian wartime receiver was recently disclosed.
The receiver uses four tubes. The first is a triode-heptode type similar to our
6J8G; the second is an r.f. pentode and this is followed by an a.f. pentode. The
rectifier is a heater type. Fixed and variable iron-core i.f. transformers are used.
Receivers are for a.c. About 42 manufacturers are expected to start producing these
civilian receivers. A battery model will be announced soon, too.
A Canadian RTPB may be placed in operation soon. The controller of radio of the
Department of Transport. Walter A. Rush, met with members of the industry and other
government bodies recently to discuss the possibility of organizing a board which
would be similar to the U.S. board with its 13 panels. The procedure of calling
for volunteers from the various engineering societies, broadcast stations, and industry
itself, adopted in the United States, will probably be followed in Canada.
The Avalanche of FM Interest at the recent war conference prompted many to inquire
as to whether FM was to become a feature of NAB promotion, and allied to the FMBI
(Frequency Modulation Broadcasters, Inc.). Spokesmen of NAB pointed out that their
organization is one concerned with all broadcast services and accordingly FM, television
and other new radio developments are really only sections of the broadcast art.
The NAB officials cited that it is therefore as important to be as interested in
FM and television as any other medium of transmission. It was believed that the
FMBI might join hands with the NAB. However FMBI officials did not seem to approve
of such a plan. They believe that their separate organization is in a better position
to promote the FM art. There is every belief, however, that a spirit of coordinated
effort will prevail. The FM broadcasters have announced, incidentally, that they
will hold their annual meeting at the Hotel Commodore in New York City, during the
week of January 27, 1945.
Posted October 16, 2019