Last Chance to Buy a New Radio - Harrisburg Telegraph c1942 Kirt's Cogitations™
It is probably
safe to say that most people, especially today, believe that the United States was suddenly
and unexpectedly thrust into involvement in
World War II on December 7, 1941, when
the Japanese navy launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. The fact is the U.S. was
"unofficially" engaged for over a year beforehand by "lending" both equipment and personnel
to British, Russian, Chinese, French, and other militaries as part of their effort to
drive back invading German, Italian, and Japanese Axis forces. World War II actually
began in the Fall of1939 with Hitler's invasion of Poland. Americans, being safely separated
from the front lines by the Seven Seas, knew little of and were concerned little about
the goings on "Over There."
Once the call to arms was sounded with the Pearl Harbor attack, the country quickly
and enthusiastically converted to full wartime mode. Manufacturing plants for many kinds
of products used in the various theaters of war halted production of commercial and consumer
products and dedicated operations to making certain our fighting men had all the supplies
and equipment needed to not just defeat the enemy but assure the battle would never reach
our shores - which we did and it never did, respectively.
Makers of automobiles, trucks, ships, trains, airplanes, rifles, ammunition, clothing,
footwear, television, radios, medical supplies, and other items reconfigured production
lines to rapidly turn out tanks, Jeeps, and amphibious vehicles; tents, uniforms, and
flags; battleships, aircraft carriers and landing craft; bombers, fighters and troop
transports; first aid kits, field operating equipment, and antibiotics; portable radios,
radars, and cryptograph machines. As such, a lot of common products that had been easily
obtained began to disappear from store shelves and showrooms.
Advertisements like the one shown in the June 4, 1942 edition of the Harrisburg
Telegraph newspaper, which I retrieved thanks to my subscription to
Newspapers.com, alerted readers
to the impending scarcity of new radios. A while back I posted a notice in the September
1942 issue of Radio-Craft magazine titled, "Crosley
Scraps '43 Line for Military Radios." In fact, I suppose that my 1941 vintage
Crosley 03CB floor console radio was probably one of the last
pre-war models of a Crosley radio! It was not until the early-to-middle days of 1945
that companies began running notices that they already were or soon would be back to
making products for public consumption again.
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