Off Topic - "News Flash, KDKA Is On The Air"

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Off Topic - "News Flash, KDKA Is On The Air"
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Harper - Keene, NH on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 10:07 am:

Snipped from today's "The Writer's Almanac" by Garrison Keillor:

"It's the anniversary of the first scheduled radio broadcast in the United States, in 1920. Station KDKA in Pittsburgh broadcast the results of the presidential election in which Warren G. Harding defeated James M. Cox. The broadcaster read telegraph ticker results over the air as they came in, and the few people in the eastern part of the country who owned radios could tune in to listen. The 1920 election was also the first election in which women were allowed to vote, following the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution."


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 10:47 am:

WWJ in Detroit also makes the claim of making the first regularly scheduled broadcast, though KDKA seems to get the most agreement.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Henry Petrino in Modesto, CA on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 11:11 am:

My dad was born about 4 months before that broadcast and is now 96 years old. We've come a long way in one lifetime.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 11:23 am:

The radio craze of the twenties that established a new mass medium was similar to the rise of the internet, and just as fast. By 1930 there were three national networks and hundreds of stations.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 11:27 am:

More radio trivia;


Radio call letters usually had a meaning, although most are lost or forgotten today. Stations were not their own corporations, as they are today. They were owned by businesses who used them as a promotion and advertising tool and the call letters were chosen as abbreviations for the name of the business or their slogans. Here's a few;

WJR Detroit, named after Jewett Radio
WLS Chicago, World's Largest Store, (Sears Roebuck)
WSM Nashville, We Shield Millions, (National Life & Accident Ins. Co.)
KWKH Shreveport, named after the owner W.K. Henderson, (nation's first "shock jock", http://fadedsignals.com/post/38588182990/kwkh-signed-on-the-air-in-1926-from-shr eveport )
WWVA, Wheeling West Virginia

Anyone got any more?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Humphrey on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 11:58 am:

Please forgive me.... but why did people own radios if there were no radio stations to listen to??? Its almost like the chicken and the egg...LOL


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 12:03 pm:

I often listen to my radio when it is turned off. It's still there ! My ears are still working.

Same thing, right ? :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 12:04 pm:

They were experimenting, maybe listening to ships - there were also unscheduled experimental or private broadcasts etc,

(Maybe they had bought a new Ford so there was nothing to tinker with for a few months until it started to wear a little, so time to tinker with something new :-) )


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 12:20 pm:

KHJ, Los Angeles, Kindness, Happiness, Joy
KECA Los Angeles, Earle C. Anthony, Inc. (Packard dealer)
WSB, Atlanta, Welcome South Brother


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Miller, mostly in Dearborn on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 01:06 pm:

WKNR - Keener 13 out of Dearborn was owned by the Knorr family.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 01:30 pm:

Steve,

Roger is correct. The stations we're mentioning were/are commercial affairs. Before that, it was experimental operators, hobbyists and "ship-at-sea". Most early broadcasts were not "voice" broadcasts but instead morse code, broadcast by spark-gap transmitters.

The rise of radio led to a new hobby; DXing, which was essentially "collecting" radio stations and trying to receive signals as far away as possible. In the early days of radio, the airwaves were essentially silent, except for the electromagnetic radiation of the sun, which was only later discovered, and stations of relatively low signal strength, (e.g. 50 watts, 100 watts), could be heard nearly across the nation. When regulation took affect, the signal strengths were capped at 50,000 watts, which they still are today. However, in the 40's, radio stations in Mexico took advantage of the wattage cap in the U.S. and broadcast as much as 100,000 watts or more, covering all of North America and drowning out any U.S. station at or near the same wavelength. These were referred to as the X stations, as their call letters began with an X.

Signing off...


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Rick J. Gunter -- Sparta, Missouri, USA on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 01:48 pm:

KWTO -- Springfield, MO -- (K)eep (W)atching (T)he (O)zarks


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Dugger on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 02:55 pm:

RICK: I REMEMBER SLIMP PICKEN'S Wilson AND HIS BAND ON KWTO THERE ON THE MIAN STREET GOING TOWARD THE SQUARE IN downtown SPRINGFILED. PORTER WAGGONER GOT HIS START AT KWTO. Sorry about the caps
That was the good old times. We/I remember going to the station and watching thru a big glass window watching the guys or band playing music. At that time I was about 17. My Mom and Dad and lived east of Mansfield. When we had our Junior-Senior sneak day we went to Branson , and played around on Lake Taneycomo or the was the name of the lake then. and spent the day there. Now look at it , you have to take your own plot of ground to stand on as the traffic I a bit bigger and the crowds the same. Oh one last thing , I have a friend that was a Sargent in our outfit in Germany that lives in Ozark..


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Dugger on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 02:57 pm:

Rick: It should be SLIM PICKEN's Wilson not SLIMP


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 03:25 pm:

Yes, early radio began as a means of sending Morse code. But Lee Deforest broadcast voice and music as early as 1910. WWI gave radio a boost. Many of the vets who had served as radiomen took it up as a hobby after the war. As Jerry says, it was experimental operators, hobbyists and "ship-at-sea". But it was only two years after the war that KDKA began regular broadcasting.

There was one notable exception to the 50,000 watt limit. In the twenties Powell Crosley began selling radios to feed the craze, and bought WLW in Cincinnati to provide programming. Somehow he got permission to broadcast "experimentally" at a half million watts. I've read that people within a few miles of the transmitter could hear the station on barbed wire fences, on their glasses frames, and even on their fillings.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry VanOoteghem - SE Michigan on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 03:35 pm:

Steve,

Didn't know that about WLW. Wow! Wonder if WLW didn't stand for Worlds Largest Wattage.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Garnet on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 03:49 pm:

Reginald Fessenden beat the weasel Deforest by 4 years with a Christmas Eve broadcast of voice and violin music. Imagine what that must have been like to radiomen who had only heard Morse until then.

Garnet


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Harris, Huntington Beach California on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 03:52 pm:

KFI Los Angeles Stood for "Farmer's Information"
Another 50,000 watt clear channel am radio station.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Marshall V. Daut on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 04:28 pm:

For you radio and TV buffs, this is probably too basic information, but for the rest of us unwashed masses, here goes:
Did you know that TV stations (and radio stations, too?) east of the Mississippi River have a "W" as the first letter in their call name, while stations west of the Mississippi River have a "K"? This wasn't always so and maybe there are a few exceptions. But this is the general rule. Our local "WOC" TV and radio station was an exception to this rule for years and years, being located in Davenport, Iowa, on the WEST side of the Mississippi. It should have been "KWOC". Well, it is now! It must have changed after I moved to Arizona in 1971. I suppose I could look it up somewhere, but I'm too lazy today to do that.
Marshall


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By John Zibell, Huntsville, AL on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 04:31 pm:

Interesting that a Pittsburgh station call sign would begin with the letter "K". It is my understanding that stations east of the Mississippi would begin with "W", and those west with a "K". Must have slipped through the FCC gates.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Eviston on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 04:35 pm:

WOWO Ft.Wayne was Wayne Offers Wonderful Opportunities.Those were the days when a rustbelt city was an industrial phenomenon.I grew up on a farm about 10 crow fly miles from WOWO's 50kw transmitter.In the 60's and 70's if conditions were just right,and you were very quiet,you could hear WOWO in the big hip roof barn--without a radio.Then they got a new transmitter that grounded differently,an ended that.So said Homer Evans,transmitter operator.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Eviston on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 04:37 pm:

John,that was before that way of assigning call letters was used.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Eviston on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 04:41 pm:

WOWO Ft.Wayne was Wayne Offers Wonderful Opportunities.Those were the days when a rustbelt city was an industrial phenomenon.I grew up on a farm about 10 crow fly miles from WOWO's 50kw transmitter.In the 60's and 70's if conditions were just right,and you were very quiet,you could hear WOWO in the big hip roof barn--without a radio.Then they got a new transmitter that grounded differently,an ended that.So said Homer Evans,transmitter operator.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Eviston on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 04:45 pm:

I dont know how I did that.The InterstateCommerce Commision regulated radio before the FCC was created.Eugene Mcdonald that owned Zenith and WJAZ in Chicago mutinied and broadcast on whatever frequency was open,and caused a period of chaos on the airwabes.fascinating history.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Eviston on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 04:49 pm:

Marshall-- World Of Chiropractic =.WOC.Palmer owned it. Anybody know what H.F.'s station was,without lokking it up?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 04:56 pm:

Early radio was one of my dad's passions. When he died, he had over 200 old radios. The earliest manufactured and sold radio he had was from 1919. He said it predated scheduled/commercial broadcasts. I don't know how many of the station call letters he knew off the top of his head, but it was a lot. I read some of the radio magazines he had. While experimental stuff went back to before 1900, regular hobby broadcasts went back to before the "Great War", about 1910/'12.
Like with many things, huge advances in technology were made during the war. Many soldiers came back to become hobbyists or professionals in radio broadcast or producing. Definitely part of the reason for the commercial emergence so soon after the war. But radio was on its way regardless. A lot of early entertainment and news stations were hobby stations, run by passionate individuals, much like the beginnings of the internet.
By the time commercial broadcasts began, there were many hundreds, probably into the thousands, of radio receivers in this country. Nearly as many more were scattered around the rest of the world. A lot of those receivers were simple crystal sets. They could be bought ready-made, or a few simple pieces acquired and build one yourself. I built one when I was about eight years old, and used it for several years. (I still have pieces of it somewhere). I was probably the only eight year old kid in the world using a home made crystal set to seek out and listen to classical music stations. (I was a strange kid!)

Much of my working career was spent in RF (Radio Frequency). Weird stuff. It is as close to pure magic as anything firmly rooted in the laws of physics and mathematics can be. I have seen numerous occasions of spontaneous reception. It happens a lot more often than you would likely expect. It is amazing the number of common every day things that can capture a radio wave, and convert it into audible sound.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George Mills_Cherry Hill NJ on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 05:11 pm:

Wayne,

At 8, I wanted a new-fangled transistor radio. My Dad said, nope and he offered to teach me how to make a scratch built crystal set. It was way more cool...but I could only listen in my bedroom as it had an antennae that was a whole coil of wire that was mounted in a frame...

I remember we had a radio set when I was real young, like toddler...and it had 2 bands on it. The AM , and what was probably the ship channel. because Grandpop would pull a chair up next to it and listen on low while he kept slowly changing the dial. Grandpop was born in 1881.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 05:13 pm:

George, Great stuff!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jerry Davis Houston TX on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 05:31 pm:

As a kid in Houston TX, when I finally got a 3 tube radio, I use to listen at night to a 500,000 watt radio station, XER, the Voice of North America, broadcasting out of Acuna Mexico. I could listen to "Piano Dave" where for just pennies he would teach you how to play. Also, there was this preacher who for 15 pennies he would send you an autograph picture of Jesus Christ. That's what I call educational radio...Jerry.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Justin H. - Western PA on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 06:31 pm:

There is nothing that reminds me of summertime more than hearing a Pirates game on KDKA radio at my grandparents house.

Wayne, you may appreciate this car radio. It is a really early one as far as automobile sets go.




Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Robert L. Rogers on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 06:51 pm:

WACO in Waco, Texas.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jim Eviston on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 07:20 pm:

WWI Was Ford MotorCo.station.1100 kilocycles,250 watts in 1924.That was about average wattage,1kw being about the highest in '24.But,by 1929 there were quite a few 50kw stations.Last I knew,WLW's '29 vintage transmitter was still intact and was used on occaision.That transmitter drove the huge 500 plus kw beast.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Wednesday, November 02, 2016 - 08:23 pm:

Justin H, That is without a doubt one of the best early car radios I have ever seen.
My dad had a few from 1930/'32, the post-Motorola early development. I am not familiar with your's specifically, but although very similar to the ones he had, appears to pre-date them slightly. A tremendous amount of history is connected to the Motorola development, clear up to connections to the Learjet.
Earlier car radios could only be reliably played with the engine turned off, not while driving.

About a month ago, there was a 1926 Essex with a '20s vintage radio built into the dash. It was really neat looking! However, I am certain it was not originally intended to work while the car was being driven. Yours could be on either side of that divide.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mike Spaziano, Bellflower, CA. on Thursday, November 03, 2016 - 12:37 am:

I have read that Los Angeles based radio station KNX was once owned by the Los Angeles News Express newspaper, and that's how it got the "NX" in it's call letters.

Apparently, the oldest known radio "air check" to exist, is that of Bing Crosby singing on KHJ in 1931.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jason Kuczynski on Thursday, November 03, 2016 - 09:43 am:

I agree Justin H. I'll listen to the Tigers on AM radio any day over watching them on that damn newfangled television!

Radio is made for baseball games.

jk


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tom Strickling on Thursday, November 03, 2016 - 12:35 pm:

WJER Dover New Philadelphia Ohio
Jeremiah E Reeves JER founder of Reeves Steel Corporation which was the roots of Greer Steel which is now in Morgantown WV.

Reeves made trash cans and ammo boxes for WW2 among many many other products.


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