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As we near Y2K, shortwave may seem, to some, curiously quaint. In one sense, perhaps, that view is understandable in an era when even yesterday's technology is often obsolete. Indeed, shortwave broadcasting has been around for a long time; the first regular worldwide broadcasts date to the late 1920s.
But viewed from a different perspective, we should remember that it's not really ancient history we're talking about. After all, there are among us some SWLs, now octogenarians mostly, who recall those first SW broadcasts.
The rest of us may not have those personal memories of the early days, but we still can find tim and, yes, excitement in tuning in to the world on shortwave today. Perhaps, as this century winds down, it is appropriate that we pause to look back on the history of our hobby and how it all began.
Happily, Jerome S. Berg has captured both the detail and flavor of those pioneer years of shortwave broadcasting and the listening hobby in his book, On The Shortwaves, 1923-1945, published earlier this year.
Berg, a veteran DXer and avid SWL historian, draws upon both old-timers' memories and information from his extensive collection of early radio publications to weave a fascinating account of SW radio's earliest days.
Berg quotes Hugo Gernsback, pioneer publisher and "spiritual father" of today's Electronics Now magazine, speaking …