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  - 1942 to 1944 RADIO SHACK CATALOGS -

1942 AND 1944 (The World War II Years)?

Not even Radio Shack Corporation could answer this question.

Since I can not locate any Radio Shack catalogs published during 1942-44, I believe that Radio Shack did not produce a catalog during this time period.

World War II began in September 1939 and lasted until September 1945. During that period, recycling was born with the government’s encouragement. Economizing initiatives seemed endless as Americans were urged to conserve and recycle rubber, paper, and all sorts of metal (aluminum, brass, copper).

War demand for materials used in the production of weapons, ammunition, equipment and research for WWII was so great that pennies were made of steel instead of copper in 1943.

Copper was in such demand by the government for wiring circuits, it was unlikely that radios (and other electronic devices) containing copper circuits would have been  available for consumer purchase.  Radio manufacturers made their radios for military use.  New cars weren't manufactured, as automobile production lines were devoted to the production of tanks.

As stated above, paper rationing, and the war effort, meant that almost no company printed a consumer catalog.

We know that Radio Shack produced a 1939 catalog and a 1940 catalog since it clearly states the dates on the front cover. However, from 1941-48, the dates are inconclusive.

Since the U.S. involvement in WWII extended from December 1941 through August 1945, it is sensible to reason that consecutively numbered catalogs might have been printed; #47 in 1941 and #48 in 1945.


Below is my reasoning as to why I think Catalog #48 is from 1945:

- Catalog #48 was most likely printed at the end of WWII (1945).

- This content was taken from Radio Shack's Catalog #48
   "About the book..
   This war-time edition of our catalog is planned to help you find the
   components and equipment needed in the design, the production,
   and the testing of electronic and radio apparatus."

- Below are 2 advertisements published in 1944 in QST Magazine.
   The left ad was from November 1944 and the right ad from
   December 1944 (right ad).  Therefore, Catalog #48 (displayed) was
   introduced in 1944, and was most likely for the 1945 calendar year.

With the rationing of paper (for catalogs), and metals (for electronics), and the advertisements above, it is highly unlikely that Radio Shack printed a catalog from 1942-44. Therefore, until I locate a Radio Shack catalog to disprove this theory, either with a date on the front cover, or product content of specific year, my theory will stand.

Thanks to "Realistic Patrolman" for his contribution to this theory. Read the full forum posting.







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