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Category: Columns

The Early Marconi Years at Chelmsford

Back in the early days of wireless and radio, station callsigns were applied in several different ways; there was no clear, no regular pattern.  Official internationally recognized callsigns were in use to identify a specific transmitter, or a specific transmitter frequency, or a particular programming service, or a particular transmitter usage, such as amateur, experimental, communication or broadcasting.

Radio Stations for the Navajo Nation in the United States

The use of radio had an appeal to the Navajo in the pre-war years, and there were occasions when a tribal scene was enacted depicting the use of a receiver.  For example in October 1924, a photo was published in Radio News showing a Navajo mother with her baby at the rim of the Grand Canyon, listening to a broadcast on a radio receiver.

The Radio Scene on the World’s Largest Private Property

The world’s largest property in private ownership was Victoria River Downs with its almost 16,000 square miles of cattle country, some 500 miles south of Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia.  In the year 1879, the South Australian government awarded the concession to two men, Englishman Charles Fisher and Australian born Maurice Lyons, who developed the land together as a cattle ranch…

The Second VOA Relay Station in the Philippines

In our brief mini-series of topics here in Wavescan about the VOA Voice of America radio stations in the Philippines, we have presented the story about their first relay station, which began as a submarine operation under the callsign KZSO which subsequently morphed into a landbased station as KZFM in Manila city.  We move on now to the story of their second relay station in the Philippines which was located in the regional city of Malolos on Luzon Island.  Let’s go back to the beginning.

AWA in Australia: Snowy Mountains Radio

The Snowy Mountains Scheme involved the hydro-electric generation of electric power and the down stream irrigation of water for use in farming areas. The Barren Jack Hydro-Electric Scheme was a significant part of the over all Snowy Mountains Scheme which was the largest engineering project in the history of Australia. The name Barren Jack was the nearest English pronunciation for the Aboriginal name of the area.

The World’s First Radio Weddings – Part 1

In our program today, we provide an answer to the probing question: What was the first radio wedding; that is, a real time wedding with a new husband and a new wife, that was broadcast live over a radio broadcasting station? As an answer, we examine a claim that was listed in a historic resume for the mediumwave station WSB in Atlanta Georgia.

The First VOA Relay Station in the Philippines

According to the official history of PBS, the Philippine Broadcasting System in the Philippine Islands, the first programming from OWI the Office of War Information in Los Angeles California, and VOA the Voice of America in New York City, was on the air from a low powered mediumwave transmitter aboard an American submarine in the Lingayen Gulf, off the west coast of Luzon Island.  This unique radio broadcasting station operated with just 50 watts under the callsign KZSO, and it took to the air in its Philippine service in December 1944.

AWA Radio Station Callsigns

The 1927 issue of the AWA Radio Guide contained a wealth of collected radio information that was not available anywhere else back then.  AWA [Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Ltd], was a mega-radio organization in Australia that was founded one hundred years ago and it welded together British, German, American and Australian radio companies, in the same way as RCA [Radio Corporation of America] welded together in the United States similar American and European radio companies.

The World’s First Radio Weddings – Part 2

Two more early Radio Weddings from the 1920s, broadcast over KDKA, Pittsburgh, USA, and 2MT in the UK.

Radio Station 2MT Centenary

Radio historians in England inform us that the very first radio broadcasting station established anywhere in the British Isles was located at Writtle in England, and the auspicious date for their inaugural broadcast was Tuesday February 14, 1922.

Three International Radio Weddings

The first international radio wedding in our program today took place in Perth Western Australia on Saturday October 2, 1926, and it was described at the time as the first radio wedding in the history of Western Australia.  Back during that era, many radio weddings were broadcast live on radio in many parts of the world, and they were sometimes described as a publicity stunt to gain an increase in listenership.

American Shortwave Stations: On the Air in 1925

During the year 1925, there were just 5 shortwave stations on the air in the United States with a regular broadcasting schedule.  These pioneer stations were operated by 4 different radio companies.

Barbados in the Caribbean: The Royal Visit and the Radio Scene

According to recent news items out of the Caribbean, the world’s newest independent republic celebrated its new status with flag ceremonies, a 21 gun salute, official speeches, and general merrymaking during the midnight hours of Monday November 29 and the early morning hours of Tuesday November 30 (2021).

Radio Scene on the Outlier Islands of New Caledonia in the South Pacific

The main island is known locally as Grande Terre, and also included in the territory of New Caledonia are nearby island clusters that are identified as the Loyalty Islands, the Isle of Pines, the Belep/Daos Islands, and the Chesterfield Islands, together with a few remote and uninhabited islets. We look at the radio scene in each of these islandic clusters, and we take them in the order of their population figures.

Voice of America Relay Station in a Submarine        

The Voice of America radio stations in the Philippine Islands, that subsequently became so well known throughout the international radio world, underwent a very small though very interesting beginning towards the end of the Pacific War in the middle of last century.  In order to understand those early origins way back then, let’s go back to the year 1942. This is what happened.

The Radio Spectrum on the South Pacific Island of New Caledonia

New Caledonia is a verdant tropical island with a quarter million population and it lies close to a thousand miles off the east coast of Australia, and a thousand miles north of New Zealand. This French Overseas Territory is made up of more than 140 different islands, some 40 of which are inhabited.

Eclipse Broadcasts from Airplanes

Eclipse historians inform us that the first attempt to observe a solar eclipse from an airplane took place for an aerial observation of the Great American Eclipse which traversed the entire continental United States on June 8, 1918. This first occasion was a simple flight into the zone of totality with no attempt at any scientific research.

The Search for an old Historic Shortwave Station KUSW

In 1939, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints which is headquartered in Salt Lake City in Utah was interested in getting on the air on shortwave. They struck a deal through their mediumwave station KSL to buy shortwave station W9XAA…

Six Local Radio Broadcasting Stations on Antigua

The story of six local radio broadcasting stations that have been located on the island of Antigua, a British territory on the northeastern edge of the Caribbean. The stories associated with this cluster of local radio stations span more than half a century of interesting radio history.

The Island Called Antigua in the Caribbean

The island called Antigua is the main island of the independent Commonwealth mini-country in the Caribbean that is identified under the twin title as Antigua and Barbuda.

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