Dual-wave and multi-band receivers were quite popular during
the late 1930s through to the mid 1950s. These sets covered both the broadcast
band and a selection of shortwave bands between 1.5MHz and 30MHz.
Initially, multi-band receivers covered just the medium-wave
band of 550-1500kHz and the long-wave band of around 150-400kHz. In the early
days of wireless, it was considered by "the powers that be" (ie, government
authorities) that wavelengths shorter than 200 metres (1500kHz) were useless for
long-range radio operation. As a result, they decided to allow amateur radio
operators to use wavelengths shorter than 200 metres in the belief that they
would be able to do no more than "get over the back fence".
The Kriesler 11-59 was a budget-priced dual-wave mantel receiver. It covered the broadcast band from 540-1650kHz and the 6-18MHz shortwave band.
In practice, the amateurs quickly demonstrated that shortwave
was the best to use for long-range communications. That, in turn, soon led to
the authorities (having wiped the egg from their faces) allowing various
broadcasting stations to use the shortwave bands. These early shortwave
broadcasts were mainly nationalistic programs loosely disguised as general
Eventually, various segments of the shortwave bands were
allocated by international agreement for these broadcasters. These bands became
known as the 120, 90, 75, 60, 49, 41, 31, 25, 19, 16, 13 and 11-metre bands,
with a 23-metre (13MHz) band added at a later date.
Like millions of others throughout the world, Australians
grasped the opportunity to listen to shortwave radio broadcasts, particularly
the direct test cricket broadcasts from England. There was nothing like
listening through the static and fading while Bradman compiled another