"Wavescan" is a weekly program for long distance radio hobbyists produced by Dr. Adrian M. Peterson, Coordinator of International Relations for Adventist World Radio. AWR carries the program over many of its stations (including shortwave). Adrian Peterson is a highly regarded DXer and radio historian, and often includes features on radio history in his program. We are reproducing those features below, with Dr. Peterson's permission and assistance.
Wavescan N258, February 2, 2014
The Early Shortwave Stations by Jerome Berg
The 4th book on the 90 year old history of shortwave radio broadcasting, all authored by the noted radio historian, Jerome Berg in suburban Boston, USA, is now on the market and available to all who have a keen interest in the fascinating backgrounds to international radio broadcasting.
This new volume, The Early Shortwave Stations, is replete with more than 300 pages of information on the early shortwave stations and it makes for very interesting reading. The new book completes the four volume compendium on shortwave broadcasting and shortwave listening, running from the earliest year, 1923, right up to the present time.
The 1st book in this series, under the title On the Short Waves, was issued in 1999, and it covers the early shortwave scene from 1923 up to the end of World War 2 in 1945. Because of its popularity, this volume has already completed its 2nd printing.
The 2nd book, Listening on the Short Waves, covering the era from the end of World War 2 up to the present time, was published in 2008, and this one also has already gone through its 2nd printing.
The 3rd volume, Broadcasting on the Short Waves, covering the era from the end of World War 2 up to the present time, was also released in 2008, and as we would expect, a 2d printing was issued just two years back.
And now, Book 4 is available, and in this volume with the title The Early Shortwave Stations, Jerry Berg has gone back to the beginning and covered the era from 1923 up to the end of World War 2. Thus it is that these four volumes, Listening on the Short Waves 1 & 2, and Broadcasting on the Short Waves 1 & 2, cover the entire spectrum of shortwave history during the past 90 years.
Volume 4, The Early Short Wave Stations, was released just before the end of last year, and it begins with the story of the earliest radio broadcast programming on shortwave via the well known mediumwave station KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1923. Back then, most of the programming via Westinghouse shortwave 8XS was a relay from the mediumwave unit KDKA itself. Although KDKA shortwave was the dominant shortwave station in those very earliest days, yet other stations quickly followed, not only in the United States, but also in other countries overseas, including England, Germany and Australia.
The book documents a year by year progression in the book as many other shortwave stations, large and small, took to the air in so many different countries around the world. By the end of the era covered in this book (1945), volume 4, the shortwave bands were full of stations all around the globe, as it still is to this day.
Among the many almost forgotten and interesting observations that are brought to light in this new volume, we could mention that:
When we come to the concentrated radio events associated with World War 2, we find ample detail regarding many interesting mediumwave and shortwave stations in a multitude of countries, and these are covered effectively in volume 4. For example:
We might also add that the detailed information contained in the appendix makes for very interesting reading. And, in addition, you will appreciate the many pictures of QSL cards, letters and documents that are reproduced in volume 4.
The complete set of four volumes of Jerome Berg's monumental series on the history of shortwave broadcasting and listening has set a standard of excellence in this area of radio broadcasting that is not met in any other way by any other publications. No other histories cover the intricate details of the widespread impact that has been accomplished to the peoples of the world during the past nearly one century of shortwave broadcasting.
All four volumes are worthy of attention by all international radio monitors, and we would recommend them for inclusion in the libraries of the communication departments of all universities throughout the world. We here at Wavescan are pleased that we can offer one of these volumes as an award each year in our annual DX contest.
These books have been produced by McFarland & Company of Jefferson in North Carolina and also in London, England. You can make contact with them at their website www.mcfarlandpub.com or by phone at 1-800-253-2187.
We conclude this monograph with reference to the fact that the author, Jerome Berg, has followed a regular publishing custom and dedicated each volume to specific people. We are grateful, and humbled too, that he has included our DX host, Dr. Adrian Peterson, on the dedication page of his volume 4, The Early Shortwave Stations.