Tag Archives: WWII Archives

WWII Machine Shop Supervision film includes the Hammarlund Super Pro

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Colin Snow (KM6NTW), who notes that the following 1944 film “Maintaining Workers’ Interest” from the US Office of Education, features the Hammarlund Super Pro.

The video starts at the point in the film where the Super Pro is featured. To view the film from the beginning, click here.

Click here to view on YouTube.

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KIRO saves radio history by accident

Crosley-Dial-BlackAndWhiteMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, William Lee, who shared the following story from Mynorthwest.com about how radio station KIRO saved a bit of radio history through “accidental preservation.” Here’a an excerpt:

One of the most important events of the 20th century was World War II. The Cold War that followed and many of the national borders that exist to this day were largely created during that deadly, years-long conflict from the late 1930s to 1945.

An expert speaking at the Library of Congress at the first-ever Radio Preservation Task Force Conference described how one of the most important tools for understanding World War II is available to researchers only because of an “accident” at KIRO Radio more than 70 years ago.

During his keynote address last week in Washington, DC, longtime archivist and librarian Sam Brylawski spoke of KIRO Radio’s role in saving a priceless audio record of American history.

It was a case of “accidental preservation,” Brylawski told the audience of more than 200 radio history scholars from around the US and Canada, that resulted in the creation of a nearly complete archive of CBS news broadcasts during World War II.

“KIRO is the station in Seattle that cut lacquer discs to timeshift,” Byrlawski said, explaining how the scheduling of live broadcasts of CBS Radio’s news coverage was aimed at the Eastern time zone, which was not convenient for West Coast audiences. KIRO, as Brylawski described, violated network radio policies to make recordings of news programs on giant, 16-inch diameter discs, and then play them back a few hours later at times that were more convenient to Seattle-area listeners.

Continue reading the full article and listen to the audio report at Mynorthwest.com…

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1945: Radio Canada International’s first broadcast

RadioListeningMany thanks to Mark for sharing this bit of radio history from the CBC Digital Archives:

“In February 1945, the “Voice of Canada” spoke to the world for the first time. The CBC International Service was founded to broadcast to Canadian Forces overseas in the Second World War. At war’s end the radio service focused on telling the world about Canada in over a dozen languages. Despite budget cuts and critics who accused it of employing communists or operating as a government mouthpiece, the service now called Radio Canada International has persevered. CBC Archives looks back on RCI’s six decades on shortwave.”

Based on this recording, I believe RCI used the same version of O Canada until their very last days as a shortwave broadcaster.

Click here to listen to the clip on the CBC Digital Archives site.

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Swiss Short Wave Service archives now online

(Photo: SwissInfo.ch)

(Source: swissinfo.ch)

During the Second World War, Switzerland’s fledgling short wave radio service was essential to its attempts to communicate its policies and actions to an external audience made up of both foreign governments and the Swiss abroad.

The archives of the Short Wave Service (SWS), founded in 1935, have been digitalised and are now available online (See link). SWS was the forerunner to Swiss Radio International (SRI) which later became swissinfo.ch.

The manuscripts of news bulletins from this dark time in Europe reveal Swiss thinking on events both out of its control and right on its doorstep as the country desperately held on to its beloved neutrality.

In Switzerland’s national languages (German, French, Italian) as well as English, Spanish and Portuguese, SWS broadcast news and analysis of military events on both sides.

It also reported on living conditions of Australian, New Zealand, South African and American POWs interned in mountain retreats, and issued sharp rebukes of external criticism of Swiss government policy.

“Switzerland finds herself today in one of the most peculiar situations of her long history. From a certain viewpoint, she is surrounded by one power only. From another viewpoint, she is surrounded, among others, by three defeated powers: Austria, France and Italy. Under these circumstances Switzerland has remained true to her traditional role of guardian of the Alpine passes,” began an English broadcast from Hermann Böschenstein in the wake of the fall of Mussolini in 1943.

The same broadcast went on to discuss dashed hopes that Italy’s fall would see a reopening of transport routes to the sea, praised the Swiss influence of the International Red Cross as “incontestable”, and noted that “all-out” training of Swiss army troops had resulted in “quite a few casualties lately” with the use of flame-throwers being responsible in some cases.

Treasure trove

Lausanne University’s François Vallotton, a specialist in contemporary audio-visual and media history in Switzerland, was unable to resist the lure of such a treasure trove of documents.

Vallotton, whose work focuses in particular on the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) – the parent company of swissinfo.ch – convened a seminar to undertake initial research on the SWS archive documents.

The archives, which have been formatted into a database searchable by keyword, are particularly interesting for historians because the historiography of international radio services has not yet been developed, particularly in Switzerland.

Vallotton says analysis of the archives is unlikely to reinvent what is already known about Switzerland during the Second World War, but: “What is interesting is that it is a source that allows us to see the image that Switzerland wanted to present to the outside world.”

“That is something that is really new because before we examined local media which was aimed at the Swiss public.”

Broadcasts by SWS at that time were also notable for the fact that they were the first news bulletins produced by a dedicated radio editorial team; previously news bulletins had been written and read by journalists from the Swiss News Agency, a press organisation.

“The service treated events in a different manner than to the local media,” says Raphaëlle Ruppen Coutaz, who is doing his doctorate on the subject. “For historians, it’s precious because it is the only Swiss media outlet to address those abroad during the war.” [Continue reading…]

I have really enjoyed looking through the archives. Of particular interest are the corrections that were made before reading the news.  They’re all there.

The actual archive database can be found here.

Read the full article at swissinfo.ch.

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