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From Shortwaves to Internet
- During the Korean war (1950-53), my father was quite skilful in talking
to Americans. By talking to a high-ranking American naval officer, he
was able to obtain a shortwave radio for me in 1951. The radio was a
Hallicrafters Model-38. Here is a photo of myself
with my father taken the day before my commencement (1961)
at the Orren Jack Turner Studio in Princeton.
- The Hallicratfers Company was established in 1933 by Bill Halligan
from Boston for producing shortwave receivers and transmitters, but
the company was not able to expand until World War II. The company then
had to mass-produce military communication gadgets.
After 1945, Hallicrafters was the first company to see a consumer market for shortwaves while Americans are beginning to open up their ears to the world. The model S-38 was the first of the series of sw radios the company produced until 1966 until it was bought by Northrop Corporation.
Hallicrafters produced so many copies of the S-38 during the period 1946-49 that they are still available from ebay trade. Since this radio is so important ro my heart, I bought one for $270 through ebay (in July 2007). This 60-year-old unit is still working. Unfortunately, I left my original Hallicrafters in Korea when I came to the United States in 1954.
Hallicrafters had its sales outlets in major cities throughout the world. The Model S-38 was available also in armed forces PX stores during the Korean War. This long-distance radio receiver was a very popular item among the navy people who had to stay on ships which could far away from land-based broadcasting stations.
My Hallicrafters came from the US Navy hospital ship called Repose. My father was a frequent visitor to that ship, and I accompanied him twice. This partial-view photo of the ship was taken by John Rich, who was a distinguished photo reporter. I took this photo at his photo exhibition held at the Korean cultural center in Washington, DC (2008). For various photos of this unique American product, you may click on http://www.navsource.org/archives/09/12/1216.htm.
- After coming to Pittsburgh in 1954, I was without a shortwave radio until
1957. During this three-year period, it was like living in total
isolation from the world. In 1957, I made enough money during the summer
vacation to buy a Hallicrafters Model-85 from its store in Pittsburgh.
This photo shows I was tuned to this radio while studying in my dormitory
I was interested in listening to Europeans, especially east Europeans. I used to listen to Radio Moscow regularly. I was also able to pick up signals from Warsaw and Prague. Albania was and still is a small country, but its communist radio used to send stern warnings to American capitalists.
- I came to the University of Maryland in 1962, and I got married in 1963.
My wife insisted that my shortwave radio was so ugly that it be thrown away.
This was a good excuse to trade in my S-85 to for a Hallicrafters Model S-108
(produced in 1962). It looked so nice and modern, but its circuit scheme
(electronics inside) was the same as that of my old S-85 (produced in 1956).
I still turn on this radio occasionally, and have a set of
spare vacuum tubes
Indeed, the Model S-108 was the last civilian-oriented radio Hallicrafters produced. The company failed to pick up emerging semiconductor technology, and became annexed to Northrop Corporation in 1966.
While I was listening to those far away from me, I developed my interest in talking to them. Indeed, the internet technology allows me to do this. Yes, it is a trivial matter for those to look at my webpages. The question then is how to attract those viewers. Another question is how to close the gap between the monitor screen and human sensory organization. People can look at my webpages, but there will be many different interpretations of the same page. How to make their interpretations the same as mine. This is really a challenging problem.
You may be interested a brief history of wireless communication which I wrote. Click here.
copyright@2007 by Y. S. Kim, unless otherwise specified.