Reviewed by Bruce Vaughan, NR5Q. This review is from the September 1999 edition of Electric Radio. Reprinted with permission.
This well illustrated book will bring back many memories to those who remember the thrill of tuning in a foreign station on a detector-one step in an attic hideaway, in the family room or in the living room. Many hams are less than enthusiastic when answering SWL cards. This book reminds us that SWLing is a hobby within itself and not necessarily a step toward becoming a ham. As I read the book I became aware that we, the ham fraternity, were all SWLs before we were hams.
Mr. Berg's book is illustrated with literally hundreds of interesting pictures. Relive the days of Gernsback Publications such as Short Wave Craft (my favorite magazine of the thirties), Radio News and Radio Craft.
This carefully researched and well documented volume covers the emergence of radio from the time of spark and Alexanderson generators up through the post war Voice of America stations.
Illustrations alone are worth the price of the book. Here you will find pictures of rare QSL cards and verification letters, early advertising, men and women who played a part in early radio, radio equipment, antennas, broadcasting stations, magazine covers, and diagrams of radio installations.
For many, the most appealing part of the book is the excellent index, making any aspect of early radio quickly available.
One can only hope that more radio books from Mr. Berg are forthcoming. I assure you my copy of "On the Short Waves, 1923-1945" will soon show signs of wear as I constantly refer back to it for needed information.