[AMATEUR RADIOFICATION OF THE USSR] Radio-liubitel’ [i.e. Radio Enthusiast] #15/16 for 1926, #5, 6, 7, 8, 9 for 1929. Overall 6 issues
Moscow: Trud i kniga, 1926-1929. Item #1484
In original illustrated wrappers.
#15/16 Tears of spine and edges, fragment of back cover cut out (there was a coupon), otherwise very good and clean.
#5 out of binding, small fragments of spine lost, otherwise very good and clean.
#6 spine repaired with paper band, some pale stains, tear of p. 225-226, otherwise good and clean.
#7 no back cover, spine repaired with paper band, outer edge of last leaves chipped, otherwise good and clean.
#8 spine repaired with paper band, otherwise very good and clean.
#9 spine repaired with paper band, otherwise very good and clean.
Mass non-fiction monthly magazine dedicated to amateur radio technics and broadcasting that was published in 1924-1930. It came out in parallel with ‘Radio vsem’ (Radio for Everybody; 1925-1930) that was in contrast published throughout the Soviet era and later.
Just like cinema, radio became a mass medium and was being introduced everywhere. Radio became a symbol of the future, but it was understood differently. For instance, Lenin spoke about it as an advanced periodical, “newspaper without paper and distances”. Velimir Khlebnikov wrote “radio will inaugurate new ways to cope with our endless undertakings and will unite all mankind” in his utopian manifesto ‘Radio of the Future’ (1921).
It truly connected rural areas with cities, was a tool of announcements, mass broadcasting and a powerful channel of culture and enlightenment. In kolkhozes, receivers for reading rooms were installed for free. Peasants were provided credits for purchase. Thanks to the Shukhov Tower completed in 1922, the first Soviet radio concerts were held in 1922. Popularity of everything related to radio increased.
In the 1920s, numerous volunteering societies were established, including the Society of Radio Friends (SRF) Leningrad. Its local branches and radio groups turned up at factories and educational institutions. Newspapers began publishing articles on the role of radio for the socialist society, radio engineering successes and failures in the Soviet Union and abroad. A widespread movement of radio enthusiasts gained government support.
In the Soviet Union, radio equipment was produced by amateur radio engineers themselves and was made of both pre-existing materials and special details provided by the SRF. Schemes with instructions were printed in radio periodicals and books on this topic. When a receiver was ready, it was registered through a post or telegraph office. The process of domesticating the radio technique began, moving it to kitchens of communal apartments.
Curiously, the development of amateur radio receiving was blocked by electrification. One Soviet radio discussion of 1926 included: «Many of our enthusiasts have an advantage that they live in a province, not affected by electro-culture: no trams, no engines, no electric wires and other enemies of receivers that added interference and noise». Issue #15/16 published a whole list of such “interventionists”. It also demonstrated diversity of Soviet enthusiasts and the intensity of their use of radio equipment.
Among constant contributors to the magazine were employees of the Nizhny Novgorod Radio Laboratory (NRL) under direction of Mikhail Bonch-Bruevich. It was the first Soviet science laboratory in the field of radio electronics that was built in Moscow in 1918 and then evacuated to Nizhny Novgorod. This institution was a true “lighthouse”: for Soviet radio enthusiasts. Issue #15/16 (1926) included an article by engineer F. Lbov about ‘Novyi Komintern’ radio station. He is considered the first radio user connected with a foreign station. The article is illustrated with a photo composition featuring engineers of this laboratory.
Issues published photomontages of the Kiev radio exhibition (1926), contemporary radio receivers, also a picture of a moving radio station for demonstrations and numerous schemes. Cover design of a jubilee issue #8 shows a photomontage of various ‘Radio Enthusiast’ covers and its audience below.
The periodical contained radio equipment assembly instructions from simple to advanced mechanisms, news about components and contemporary achievements in radio culture and other related articles. For example, conditions of radio connection between the USSR and America were printed; the main topic of issue #9 (1929) became commonly used «microbulbs», new generations of which were fully criticized by the magazine. Issue #7 includes a script by V. Lebedev-Kumach for a radio play that was included to Blue Blouse repertoire. Back covers show advertisements of radio workshops and components, including batteries, handles, etc.
Due to changes in political atmosphere and rapid technical development with new experiments, Soviet authorities closed the SRF as many other societies in the early 1930s, remaining only radio sections in schools and universities under control of party organizations.
Not found in Worldcat.