1942 Farm Sets for Emergency Use


A month after Pearl Harbor, civilian radios were still being produced. The War Production Board was created on January 16, 1942, and issued its order  on March 7, for consumer radio production to cease on April 22.  During those intervening months, there was uncertainty as to the availability of both radios and parts, but both production and advertising continued, but with the War clearly in mind.

Later in the War, the availability of B batteries became an issue. In fact, numerous construction articles, such as this one from 1943, focused on how to make a battery set work on household current. But in the early days of the war, there was a demand for battery operated sets, since it was believed that there might be blackouts and the AC power wouldn’t be available.

This is apparent from the Radiola ad shown above from the January 1942 issue of Service magazine.  Directed at dealers, the ad shows two “farm set” models, suitable for use with batteries on farms that had not been electrified. This ad suggested a new market for such sets, as an emergency set “that stays on when the power goes off.” It also suggested that electrification might be delayed in some areas due to the war.

The ad noted that one of these sets could be the best of both worlds. An optional accessory was the RCA model CV-42 “Electrofier” which would allow either of these sets to operate on household current. So there was a market for these sets even in town: The owner could run it off household current, but quickly switch over to batteries during a blackout.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *