History of wireless telegraphy and broadcasting in Australia/Topical/Publications/Wireless Weekly

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Australasian Radio World was an early radio periodical which circulated primarily in Australia but also to a lesser extent in New Zealand. It commenced publication in April 1936 and its content was initially focused on the amateur and broadcast listener community with a variety of technical articles as well of reports of amateur radio activities and details of recent loggings of amateur and broadcast (medium wave and shortwave) stations.

Publishers, Owners and Editors[edit | edit source]

Australasian Radio World was a relatively small publication and throughout its print run the roles of ownership, publisher and editor were mostly commonly held and driven by a single passionate individual, often with little additional support. At its commencement in May 1936, it was published by Alfred Earl "Earl" Read, an expatriate New Zealander and former editor of the New Zealand Radio Times. From the December 1936 issue, the publisher formally became Trade Publications Proprietary Limited, but that firm had been behind the publication from its outset. The company was formed in April 1936 as printers and publishers, with initial subscribers Edward Marriott, Alfred Earl Read, Frederick S. Wales , Archie N. A. Wales, John C. L. Driver, Doris Wood and Clive B. Mellor. First directors were Frederick S. Wales and Archie N. A. Wales. Frederick S. Wales, Archie N. A. Wales and John C. L. Driver also had major interests in the magazine's printers Bridge Printery Pty. Ltd. From the April 1939 issue, with the magazine in financial difficulties, the publisher transitioned to Read Publications, a partnership solely between Alfred Earl Read and Frederick Stephen Wales. The rights to the publication were acquired by Allan Galbraith "Braith" Hull, with the first issue under his proprietorship being March 1940.

Publishers[edit | edit source]

The magazine was initially published by Trade Publications of Sydney, with A. Earl Read as Editor (he was an expatriate New Zealander). Allen Galbraith Hull (brother of the more widely known Ross Hull) purchased the magazine in 1940 and resigned his editorship of Radio and Hobbies. Hull became editor of Australasian Radio World and continued in that capacity until he sold the publication in November 1950. The new owner was Radio and Electronics (N.Z.) Ltd.

Notes prepared to develop this portion of the article (including transcriptions of publication notes from each magazine issue) can be found here:

Australasian Radio World - Publication Notes - all available issues complete

Regular Contributors[edit | edit source]

All-Wave All-World DX Club[edit | edit source]

Printers[edit | edit source]

Printing of the magazine was undertaken by Bridge Printery from the initial issue in May 1936 until February 1949 and there was a close relationship between this printer and the two publishers of the period. At commencement the printer was located at 214 George St, Sydney, but in January 1940 the firm relocated to 117 Reservoir St., Sydney. Bridge Printery's period of responsibility for production was almost 13 years, including all but the final two years of the magazine's print run. In the magazine's tenth anniversary issue on May 1946, Braith Hull paid tribute to Bridge Printery's service in glowing terms, noting that production was personally supervised by the principal Fred Wales and his son Noel. As well as the actual printing, the firm took responsibility for magazine wrapping and bulk postage. Publisher Hull had relocated to Melbourne in the mid 1940s to assist with the war effort and struggled with liaison with a Sydney printer. Hull's plan was to establish his own printshop at his Mornington mansion. As an interim measure, Crusader Press of Auburn, Victoria printed two issues in early 1949. The following ten issues till March 1950 were printed by Hull's local newspaper, the Mornington Post. As a result of post World War 2 problems with paper supply and printshop capacity, there were no issues produced for April and May of 1950. Hull again reallocated the placement of printing to The Clyde Press of Thornbury and that firm produced the remaining magazine issues for 1950. However, the magazine was sold late 1950 with transfer of ownership commencing 1 December 1950. The new owners Cranch / Radio & Electronics (NZ), returned printing to Sydney, commencing January 1951. Printing was undertaken by R. V. Byers (an ARW advertiser) of North Lidcombe for the first half of 1951. When Cranch's own company Radio & Electronics (Aust.) assumed control, printing was undertaken by Acacia Press of Annandale, New South Wales. However Cranch's financial difficulties resulted in cessation of production, with the last issue being October 1951.

Notes prepared to develop this portion of the article (including transcriptions of statements as to printer from each magazine issue) can be found here:

Australasian Radio World - Printers - all available issues transcribed

Editorials[edit | edit source]

There were three editors over the lifetime of the magazine: Read, Hull and Cranch. Read only chose to include editorials sporadically, while both Hull and Cranch rarely missed an editorial each month.

For ease of reference, a complete set of the text-corrected editorials is being progressively developed here:

Australasian Radio World - Editorials (all available issues complete)

Issues[edit | edit source]

Hardcopy Collections[edit | edit source]

Despite the popularity of the magazine during its publication run from 1922 to 1943, the only complete hardcopy set of the Australian Wireless Weekly magazines existent is held by the Mitchell Library within the State Library of New South Wales (a handful of included supplements are missing from the set, but likely available elsewhere). There are substantial but fragmented partial sets held by The National Library of Australia, other State Libraries and in a few private hands, while numerous individual collectors have smaller holdings.

Softcopy Collections[edit | edit source]

At the time of writing (mid 2020), there are two major sources of scans of the magazine: National Library of Australia and WorldRadioHistory.com.

The Mitchell Library scanned its entire Wireless Weekly set about 2015 and those scans were published then on NLA's Trove digital platform within in its Magazines and Newsletters section. Unfortunately that section does not provide for text correction and there are significant problems with its OCR rendition. (Trove's Newspapers and Gazettes section does permit text correction of the OCR content and has world-class enabling software). Nevertheless digital publication does provide ready access by all internet users to an essentially full set of wireless weekly magazines.

WorldRadioHistory.com is a website established around 2010, owned by David Gleason and devoted to bringing together the vast majority of the world's publications relating to the past and present of radio. Initially the website was mostly a presentation of Gleason's own holdings which were personally scanned, but in more recent years the scope of operations has become primarily crowd-sourced from the large number of individual website supporters. At the present time (mid 2020) about 50% of Wireless Weekly issues have been published on the website.

Source file features[edit | edit source]

Desirable features for source files are as follows:

  • High resolution uncompressed imagery of each page
  • High accuracy OCR of page content
  • Integrated OCR within a PDF
  • Single multipage PDF of an entire issue
  • Inline user text correction of the invariably partially-flawed OCR first pass

Available source files[edit | edit source]

At this stage, not all the desirable features are available in a single file in the case of the Wireless Weekly publication. It is necessary to refer to a variety of individual files for each issue which provide best implementation of each specific feature:

  • General utility: most readers prefer to refer to full issue PDFs of good resolution and integrated (if imperfect OCR) and have no inclination to invest time in text correction. Complete PDFs are available for every issue on the NLA's Trove (Newsletters & Magazines section), but the PDFs have been very heavily compressed to the point where readability is compromised. Additionally, those PDFs are solely graphical images without integrated OCR, so that searching for text within the PDF is not possible. Suitable PDFs are available from WorldRadioHistory.com but at the present time only about 50% of issues have been published to web:
  • Text accuracy: where accuracy of OCR'd text is a priority, the most accurate OCR'd text available appears to be the individual .TXT files for every issue on the NLA's Trove (Newsletters & Magazines section). The OCR engine utilised appears particularly successful for this magazine and the provided files may well have been subsequently handcrafted to keep distributed articles together.
  • Image resolution: high resolution uncompressed scans of individual pages are available for every issue on the NLA's Trove (Newsletters & Magazines section). These JPGs are particularly suitable for extraction of specific graphics, but resolution appears to be higher than 300dpi which is the optimum for many generally available OCR engines.

Text-Corrected Issues[edit | edit source]

Pending enhancements to the files available from the National Library of Australia or WorldRadioHistory.com, this Wikibook has been extended to provide for text corrected articles and other content but without associated graphics (photos, diagrams). A single mis-rendered character (for example in a callsign) may prevent a search engine locating a specific reference. This will also ensure that WW articles relevant to multiple biographies or other Wikibook content, need only be text corrected once. At this stage only a small number of issues have been entered, but the format has been established and extension is simple. Where reference need to be made to graphical material, links are provided to the relevant files at NLA or WRH.

Wireless Weekly - Issues - Only a handful of issues entered to date

Contents[edit | edit source]

The contents pages of each issue have been amalgamated here as an index and finding aid to specific articles and authors:

Australasian Radio World - Contents - A brief start

Notes[edit | edit source]

A variety of notes prepared to develop this article can be found here:

Australasian Radio World - Notes

Citations[edit | edit source]

A major driver to the creation of these Wikibooks ARW pages is to make its content more broadly accessible. While it is possible to make citations exceedingly brief, a more detailed citation is both more professional and more informative. To minimise the time to create a detailed citation, the following page has been developed which provides a completed citation in Wikipedia Template:Cite magazine format for each monthly issue (and, where possible, for each regular section):

Australasian Radio World - Citations ARW

Issue List[edit | edit source]

For ease of reference, to supplement the transcriptions of each monthly issue, particular types of magazine content have been brought together in single pages (eg. publication notes, printer statements, editorials etc.). To assist the creation of this type of content a list of issues has been prepared for use as an initial proforma:

Australasian Radio World - List of Issues ARW

Guide to Editing[edit | edit source]

Several sections of ARW changed little in format and even content from month to month. To assist in achieving greater consistency of presentation in this Wikibook, a proforma approach has been developed:

Australasian Radio World - Guide to Editing ARW