Short Wave Craft Magazine, June 1936

"Short Waves Direct You Home!"

Lost in your canoe on a remote lake? No problem! Find your way home with a short wave transmitter and receiver like the one shown in June, 1936 Short Wave Craft.

Well, maybe. This is another in the parade of ideas for ingenious, if not very practical, uses for shortwave radio, championed by Hugo Gernsback, publisher of Short Wave Craft and similar magazines.

The cover article lays out an elaborate scheme. The canoeist has a portable transceiver like the one in the painting. On becoming lost, he calls the home station on shore. Then, two assistants, located some distance from each other, use receivers with directive antennas "such as the new rotating beam aerials" to plot the canoe's location on a map of the lake. Following directions from the assistants, our adventurer can use his compass to find the way back.

Of course, the canoeist could simply have brought along a map in the first place, but that wouldn't have made a very interesting magazine cover!

In a more down to earth vein, another article describes how a network of shortwave transmitters would broadcast reports of a sailboat race around Long Island, New York, using transmitters located on cars and boats.

The cover of Short Wave & Television for February, 1937 shows another novel use for shortwave. A sports announcer broadcasts the progress of a race while riding in a speeding iceboat!

©1995-2023 Philip I. Nelson, all rights reserved