Why were the names of cities written on the scale of radio receivers 26 декабря, 2021

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Many boys and girls, now gray-haired, remember that quivering feeling when you slowly turn the tuning knob of a huge radio receiver and the red tuning arrow majestically floats past Berlin, Rome, London, Warsaw, Paris, Stockholm …

The entire scale was strewn with the names of cities, and there were a lot of foreign ones. We have never been able to listen to the radio of Rome or Paris at the indicated places. So why were the names of cities written on the scale then?

The establishment of radio broadcasting practically coincided with the First World War. The first private radio stations were listened to by rare fans of radio engineering, but gradually the equipment was improved and the number of those wishing began to grow exponentially. In the early 20s of the last century, Europe was only moving away from the last war, but a completely different situation was in the United States, where the economy was flourishing.

Many American firms began to produce the simplest radios. To increase demand for their products, they opened their own radio stations. In almost 2 years, 600 broadcasting licenses were issued in the United States. The power of the radio stations was low and covered only one city and its immediate surroundings.

By 1925, every fifth family already had a radio, and this is already a huge audience. Broadcasting has become a huge source of advertising revenue. Chaos was going on in the US radio air: radio stations interfered with each other, disrupting the frequencies and broadcasting power.

In 1928, the Federal Radio Commission issued new licenses to all radio stations, indicating the assigned frequency and power. Subsequently, many radio stations in the cities merged into broadcasting corporations (NBC Red, NBC Blue, CBS, Mutual).

The fashion to indicate on the scale of a radio station by the names of cities began precisely as a consequence of this event. Radio listeners liked it very much — it is so much easier to find your favorite radio station than to remember the frequency in kilohertz.

It was not easy to place such a huge list of cities on the scale.

Over the next 30 years, a huge scale with a long list of cities will become an indispensable attribute of a solid radio receiver.

Radio broadcasting in the USSR took a different path: in 1922, the most powerful radio station in the world was built, which made it possible to cover the entire territory of the USSR with radio broadcasting. Active construction of radio stations in large cities began in the 30s. By the beginning of World War II, there were already about a hundred radio stations in the country.

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