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Bob LaRose of Escondido, CA has sent along three interesting articles concerning early U.S. "relay" broadcasting. 

An International Broadcasting System, from the July 1938 issue of RCA Review, reviews stations, frequencies, programming and cooperative inter-station efforts as far back as 1925. 

NBC's International Broadcasting System (RCA Review, 1942) covers NBC stations WRCA and WNBI, Bound Brook, NJ, and their broadcasts to Latin America and Europe. Special attention is given to the NBC use of directional antennas. 

CBS International Broadcast Facilities, originally published in Proceedings of the I.R.E. [Institute of Radio Engineers] (March 1942), focuses on Columbia's then-new Latin American network.

While the emphasis in the latter two articles is on the technical side, all articles provide interesting insights on how leading elements of the broadcast industry viewed international shortwave at the time.

International Broadcasting System (1938)

NBC's International Broadcasting System (1942)

CBS International Broadcast Facilities (1942)

Please note that these are .pdf versions of photocopies, and so clarity suffers a bit, particularly as to some photographs and charts. "Zooming in" will help.