AND HOBBIES MAGAZINE - A CULTURE NOT FORGOTTEN!
Radio and Hobbies
magazine, and its successors Radio Television and Hobbies and Electronics Australia, were instrumental in the 1950s in supporting
an active involvement by younger people in radio and electronics construction.
was Australia’s longest-running
general electronics magazine.
It can claim
to trace its history to 1922 when the Wireless Weekly was formed.
Its content was
a mix of general and technical articles on the new topic of radio.
In 1939 the magazine
became monthly and was renamed Radio and Hobbies. As its name suggests it was a more technical publication for hobbyists,
but it also featured articles on TV, optics, music and aviation. Nonetheless its base was radio, and it contained many how-to-build
projects. The first editor was John Moyle.
With the advent
of television, television to its title in the 1950s, Radio Television and Hobbies, or RTV and H. During these years numerous
how-to-build articles on high fidelity, amateur radio, even electronic organs and television sets were published.
The growing fields
of scientific, medical, computing and other applications of electronics necessitated a name change to 'Electronics Australia'
Electronics Australia published a number of innovative computer construction
projects, including the Educ-8 in 1974, the Mini Scamp, the Dream 6800 and the Super-80 a joint venture with Dick Smith Electronics.
competitors came and went during the 1970s and 1980s, such as Electronics Today International and Australian Electronics Monthly,
Electronics Australia survived into the 2000s.
For a couple
of years more consumer electronics items were introduced, and technical material occupied the rear pages. Possibly due to
this reduction in importance of technical slant, several of the magazine's staff moved to its main rival Silicon Chip.
A change of name
to Electronics Australia Today spelt the death knell. All technical content was removed and EAT changed focus to become a
purely consumer publication. Original readers and advertisers deserted in droves and the magazine failed to pick up new readers
(there were already many established magazines covering consumer electronics).
The rights to
Electronics Australia are now owned by Silicon Chip have now made some back issues available on CD.
In the 1950s,
the release of a new edition of RTV&H was eagerly awaited by thousands of young people, including myself, around Australia!
the old magazines provide a fascinating insight into the development and evolution of radio and electronics. Careers were
shaped by the magazines, as well as electronics as a long term, lifetime hobby.
From the early
1940s, the Shortwave Notes, compiled by Ray Simpson, were very popular, as were the Ham Band Notes, written by Bill Moore.
I first started
buying RTV&H in 1953 whilst in Year 8 at High School.
in my possession many older editions, the first being September 1946. I picked these up from the old Eastern Market, for almost nothing around 1950 – that establishment was in Bourke St, Melbourne, just
up from Russell St, and had thousands of old books and magazines dating back to the beginning of time!
Below are cover photos of R&H from my personal
collection, and the R&H Crystal Set.