Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Vintage Radio Reading

This blog was originally published in July 2014 but is as valid today as it was then. In fact, David Gleason has added many more titles to his web-collection, making the site even more of a treasure. 


I really love old radio magazines, especially those from the 30's, but to purchase any original copies today is very costly. If you grew up in the 50's or earlier and became hooked by the magic of radio as I and thousands of other kids did, then you no doubt recall the plethora of great monthly magazines devoted to 'radio'. 

Now, thanks to AmericanRadioHistory.com, most of those great old hobby magazines of the past can be viewed online and enjoyed once again.
Just a few of the many magazines available are: Radio Craft, Short Wave Radio, Radio, Radio World, White's Radio Log, Popular Radio, Popular Electronics and Radio Amateur News, later to become Radio News.

As a pre-teen short-wave listener in the late 50's, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the latest edition of Popular Electronics, stuffed with its latest SW broadcast news, frequency lists and DX stories.

I'm not sure if all of this is the organizational work of just one person (Webmaster David Gleason) or of a larger group, but it is an incredibly rich resource that has been made freely available for everyone to enjoy.

Thanks to David Gleason's work, I always have several of my favorite classics downloaded to my I-Pad's bookshelf for offline reading. With hundreds of recent updates this spring, there appears to be a lifetime of vintage reading now available!

As a builder of vintage-style radios, particularly transmitters, I can often find new inspiration from the magazines particularly devoted to ham radio. If your workshop library is lacking in vintage reference material, you need look no further than this site for a vast source of building inspiration....transmitters of all description along with receivers from crystal tuners to complex multi-tube designs.

So many of these early publications were the brainchild of Hugo Gernsback, a prolific writer and editor of both technical and science fiction magazines but sometimes blurring the boundaries of each! I suspect that his wide variety of radio publications had some significant role in the way radio so quickly transformed the world.
Even in the 50's, long after the 'golden years' of radio, it was not uncommon to still see radio antennas on most houses, at least in my neighbourhood!

If you haven't visited this wonderful resource yet, I'm sure you will be amazed at what you find.


Photon said...

What fabulous cover art! I had to laugh at the unchanging nature of operators: my kitchen is currently hosting a VLF antenna of the same scale as the 'radio compass' guy!

Steve McDonald said...

Thank you Photon and the best of the season to you! Isn't it true how some things never change, when it comes to radio work. I've often found solutions to bench problems by looking back to the mid 30's as those boys were pretty sharp for the most part. For me, radio has still not lost its 'magic'!

SARC Communicator said...

Great material Steve.

David Gleason F. said...

Thanks, Steve, for the very kind and complete blog write-up on www.americanradiohistory.com.

I continue to add new material almost daily, and there is an update page that details recent additions.

To answer your question, this is a one person and one dog project. Many of the magazines are contributions, as are many of the scans, particularly those from Australia, Europe and the UK.

Steve McDonald said...

No David...THANK YOU, for your continuing effort to provide such a great resource!! Every time I visit your site I see a LOT of new material, now more than enough for a lifetime of reading and research. So many projects, so little time :-))