The practice of long distance radio listening began in the 1920s when shortwave broadcasters were first established in the US and Europe. Audiences discovered that international programming was available on the shortwave bands of many consumer radio receivers, and a number of magazines and listener clubs catering to the practice arose as a result. Shortwave listening was especially popular during times of international conflict such as World War II, the Korean War and the Persian Gulf War.
In Europe, shortwave broadcasts from Britain and the Netherlands began in 1927, and U.S. shortwave listeners could hear the well-organized international broadcasting efforts from Germany, Italy, the Soviet Union, Britain, and many other countries. Various well-known shortwave broadcasters became established. The BBC began as the \”BBC Empire Service\” in 1932 as a shortwave service.] Its broadcasts were aimed principally at English speakers. Radio Moscow was broadcasting on shortwave in English, French, German, Italian and Arabic by 1939. The Voice of America (or VOA) began broadcasting in 1942 as a result of the United States entry into World War II and was introduced with the Yankee Doodle theme that is still familiar to shortwave listeners.
In some other countries, during the war, listening to foreign stations was a criminal offense. Established in 1939, 35-kilowatt Chinese shortwave station XGOY broadcast programming aimed at Japan, where such listening restrictions were in place. The station suffered persistent bombing that destroyed its antennas and studios.
During the war, short messages from prisoners of war were often read by studio announcers at stations in Germany, Japan, and other Axis powers countries. Shortwave listeners copied the prisoner names and addresses and notified families by mail or telephone. Although the Allied government provided similar services, the families usually heard from shortwave listeners first, sometimes as many as 100 at a time. Listeners in other countries monitored POW messages as well, and the practice was resumed by New Zealanders during the Korean War when the voices of POWs themselves were often broadcast over Radio Peking.
Given the importance of Short Wave Radio Stations, this globe has preserved a piece of history.
Also note the advertising plaque to the base, promoting Gilmore Oil Company. During the early 20th century, globes were one of the most popular promotional gifts.
Offering the handsome look of understated elegance, the petite 7 inch diameter orb is mounted into a cast metal full meridian and metal base. Total height of this model is about10 inches.
The map is exceptionally well preserved; details are crisp, highlighting radio towers and call letters in red. Colors are warm and rich.