When it all began, the "short waves" were a mysterious part of the ether; the domain of the experimenter. But the futurists saw the potential.  Early success in using these frequencies led to the use of shortwave for transoceanic communications. Refinements in audio quality led to the use of shortwave for overseas broadcasting; particularly from Europe, as the world moved toward World War Two.  Several commercial broadcasters built shortwave facilities for simulcast; the larger of those operations were pressed into service by the U.S. government during the war to launch the Voice of America.  After the war many of these facilities were shut down.  It was left to just a few entrepreneurs to carry on.

Long Wave broadcasting is still used in some countries but it was never practical in the United States.  Still, some had ideas for a "National Broadcast" system using mega-power at the LW frequencies.

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