On this day 75 years ago, March 7, 1942, the War Production Board (WPB) ordered that civilian radio production would cease on April 22, as reported in this clipping from the March 8 Chicago Tribune.
As of that date, the entire industry would be on a wartime footing, and the entire industry, with the exception of replacement parts production, would be converted to war production.
A billion dollars worth of war orders were already in the pipeline, and half of that business was to companies making home radio sets. The WPB acknowledged that some unemployment would result as companies switched over to war production, but it was estimated that 95 percent of the conversion would be complete by the end of June.
The board estimated that when the last civilian set rolled off the assembly lines, there would be 60 million sets in operation, with a set in 87% of American homes.
More details of the order can be found at our earlier post.