The 1945 Wireless World Magazines

See history of the Wireless World magazine (1913-1983) since it's beginnings in 1911 as The Marconigraph. From 1925 it was published by Iliffe and sons, Ltd., Dorset House, Stamford Street, London S. E. 1. with H. F. Smith as editor fom 1941 to 1957. The previous editor Hugh Pocock was managing editor at the time. In the late 1960's publishes added the title Electronics World and dropped the original title in the early 1990's. It is interesting that the Internet is making the World wireless again.

1945 the 34th year of publication had 12 monthly issues (18.5x24.5 cm) Volume LI with a total of 388 text pages numbered from January to December. Each issue also has exactly the same number (32) of pages of advertisements (some regulation ?) which were on separate sheets and independently numbered. I have been unable to find the circulation of the magazine in 1945 but estimate it to be of order 10,000 based on the membership of the ham Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) in that era. I found about 250 libraries in WorldCat which have Wireless World listed among their holding. I have not checked how many of them have the 1945 volume.

The 1945 magazines with the famous proposal by Arthur Clarke on Geostationary Satellite Communications were purchased by Kavan Ratnatunga on ebay in 2002 April 3rd from Norman Field of Birmingham, England. He had purchased the lot of 11 issues of the magazines (excluding Nov) about 20 years previously purely in view of the fact that they covered the end of WW2 and he wondered what sort of things they would be talking about at that time. According to Norman Field
The interest in radio in general increased enormously during WW2 because of the thousands of telegraphists, service engineers etc. trained up into the Armed Services. In 1945, returning to civilian life, they gave the radio/radar/television industries excellent personnel to develop and exploit the vast technical strides made during the war, particularly in the VHF/UHF fields. The circulation of the UK 'RSGB Bulletin' (the equivalent of the American QST) increased from about 5,000 in 1939 to maybe 12,000 by 1945... and this in spite of the fact that amateur radio was of course 'off the air' here during the war years!

In 2005 October I was able to buy on eBay the 1945 November issue to complete the 1945 year volume, and it contained a brief reference to Arthur Clarke.

Original unbound copies of the magazine are probably very rare since most would have got discarded as the technology became dated and most of the Library copies are probably bound. The copy I referenced at the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh had been rebound with the covers removed and the advertisment pages moved to the back of volume. It took over 2-years monitored by an automated Favorite Search with keywords for one to come up for Auction. I have been contacted by very few with a unbound copies, and none among the many collectors of Arthur Clarke books. It is probably more rare than the First Edition of Childhoods End which sold for over $3.7K 2-weeks before on Ebay. Many copies of that expensive Edition are on sale currently on the Internet. The market value however also depends on demand but for me this is by far the most rare and interesting item I have ever won on Ebay in the last 5 years. In 1945 the Annual subscription was one sovereign (20 Shillings), and it was clearly a bargain to buy them for about 1.5 sovereigns after 57 years. I am glad it was listed under Books:Magazines:Technical and not noticed by the ACC-SF Fans who would clearly have taken it far out of the price range I can afford.

Sir Arthur Clarke has been a resident of Sri Lanka since 1956, and I have known him since the late '60 as patron of the Ceylon Astronomical Association. He inspired me into my career in astronomy. I have had the pleasure of meeting him whenever I visit back home to Colombo, Sri Lanka. In 2000 August I did a video interview with him.
See also Treasure coin from shipwreck discovered on 1961 March 22nd by Arthur Clarke and Mike Wilson at the Great Basses reef off the south east coast of Lanka.