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February 1994

America's shortwave broadcasting history remains a well-kept secret among today's DXers. The period from the mid-20's through late 1942 was a time of widespread shortwave broadcast experimentation by many of the biggest names in the newly developing American radio industry, including two whose QSL's are shown here: CBS and NBC.

NBC got into shortwave with its station W3XAL, Bound Brook, New Jersey, in order to assist RCA with the exchange of programming with the BBC and other European stations. This eventually led to the establishment of the International Division of NBC and the production of 16 hours of SW programs daily, much of it beamed to South America. The W3XAL card at left is from 1936, the WNBI card from the early 40's (WNBI was formerly W3XL, another NBC SW outlet).

CBS' 250 watt station 2XE came on the air in 1926 as a rebroadcaster of the programs of WABC. By 1937 It was up to 10 kw and, like NBC, it offered a wide variety of international programing In addition to its simulcasting of regular CBS material. It eventually became 50 kw WCBX.