Jesse Walker, author of the book Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America, pointed me to this rather novel invention from 1937 — the refrigerator-radio combination unit. This may seem like an odd marriage of tech, but it makes perfect sense when you realise that it in the 1930s it was becoming harder to sell new radios and much easier to sell new fridges.
Despite the Great Depression, America saw an explosion of mechanical refrigerator ownership during the 1930s. In 1930, just 8 per cent of American households had a fridge. By the end of the decade, nearly half of American homes had one.
But the market for radios was pretty saturated in the late 1930s. Over 80 per cent of American households had a radio by the end of the decade. So radio set manufacturers tried to insert their products into new places that from the vantage point of the future, we can see didn’t pan out (like refrigerators) and others that did (like cars).
Sean Gilbert, WRTH International Editor, just posted the following information on the WRTH Facebook group:
“WRTH 2015 will be published, as usual, in early December. This will be the 69th Annual edition! Even though both International and Domestic SW is declining there is still a lot to be heard out there on those broadcast bands, so don’t consign the SW receiver to the attic (to gather dust) just yet.
There is a mix of over 200 languages and dialects to get stuck in to, plus the Clandestine broadcasters are always around from politically troubled areas.
Some of these are low powered or broadcasting to a different part of the world and can be a tough challenge to pick up.
All the details you need to stand the best chance of catching these, or any of the other broadcasters (be it LW, MW, SW or FM), can be found in WRTH.
The BBC World Service is launching special Ebola broadcasts for West Africa, starting today (Monday 22 September). Each evening shortwave transmissions to the region will be increased. There will be a round-up of news, concentrating on efforts to combat the virus – particularly to the three worst affected countries: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
News About West Africa will be a nine minute daily programme (Monday to Friday) broadcast live at 19:50 GMT around the world and presented by BBC Africa’s Kim Chakanetsa. Through local stories, correspondents and interviews, the broadcast will include the latest information about local, regional and international effort to contain and combat the disease. There is a great deal of new information emerging about how best to respond to Ebola and the programme aims to share that with an African and global audience.
BBC Africa, in conjunction with the BBC’s international development charity Media Action, has since August been broadcasting two weekly Ebola bulletins on the BBC’s English, French and Hausa services.
BBC Media Action has also been helping to tackle dangerous misinformation about the disease in a new radio programme. Kick Ebola Nar Salone (Kick Ebola out of Sierra Leone), is a 30 minute show produced weekly and broadcast three times a week on 35 partner stations across the country.
Peter Horrocks, Director, BBC World Service Group says: “Lack of knowledge and myths about the disease are killing people as surely as Ebola is. Quality information from both within and outside the countries affected about how the risks of Ebola can be safely managed will save lives. The range of emergency activities on Ebola from the BBC World Service are in the finest traditions of the humanitarian instincts of our broadcasting.”
Many thanks for sharing, Dave. Shortwave Receivers Past & Present is the reference guide to used shortwave receivers. To me, it’s like a dream book–a place to browse the many radios I wish I could call my own! I plan to order soon.
Many thanks to my friend, Phillip, for sharing this brilliant article from the Express and Star:
Researchers discover Wolverhampton man’s secret past
He was a happily married insurance agent with a secret that he took to the grave.
Geoff Hanley was known to be a keen radio ham but nobody realised exactly what he was doing once he donned a pair of special issue headphones in his garden shed.
He would leave his family night after night to operate from the ‘radio shack’ that was specially blacked out for fear of air raids and in which he kept a sten gun, Lee Enfield 303 rifle and hand grenades.
When the siren sounded he ensured his wife, two children and dog were safe in the shelter he had dug in the garden of their Wolverhampton home but he would not join them. He stayed above ground at his post in the shed continuing to secretly monitor German military radio signals.
The operation was so hush-hush that even he may not have been entirely sure how the information he gathered was being used. But he was certain of two things – it was important and he could not speak about it to anybody outside those he worked with.
WRMI to begin Relay of Radio Ukraine International
Shortwave station WRMI in Okeechobee, Florida will begin a daily relay transmission of the English-language program of Radio Ukraine International on Thursday, September 25, 2014 on the frequency of 11580 kHz from 2330-0000 UTC. This transmission will be directed primarily to eastern North America, although it will likely be audible in Europe as well.
“We are pleased to be able to provide this service to shortwave listeners at a time when much of the world’s focus is on the situation in the Ukraine,” said Jeff White, WRMI General Manager. The broadcasts will continue at least through the end of 2014.