|RCA was established in
the aftermath of World War I from the nationalized assets of the
American Marconi Company and certain radio-related divisions of General
Electric and Westinghouse. It grew to be one of the two
preeminent communications companies in the pre WWII era along with
While communications-receiver development at companies like Hammarlund and National are well documented in the press, RCA's efforts in this area a considerably less well known. It comes as a surprise that, not only did the RAB short-wave super-het, developed for the Navy, predate even the Hammarlund Comet-Pro, but represented a level of technical sophistication years ahead of the commercial market.
We'll see that RCA had at least two lines of short-wave communications receivers: The military commercial radios such as the RAB, AR-60, BC-224/348, and RBB/RBC; and an amateur lineup, based on broadcast receiver technology, such as the ACR-136, ACR-175, and AR-77.
All of this culminates in 1941 with the the world-beating AR-88.