From David’s Desk: Issue 13

May 24 2006


Cosy Kanimbla Memorabilia

Recently donated to our memorabilia collection is something very different – a tea cosy.

HMAS Kanimbla Tea Cosy 1943-49.
© Jan Shelcott Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation.

Jan Shelcott of Felixstowe, England sent the item, originally from HMAS Kanimbla and commented that her grandmother came from Townsville [Queensland] and that a family member had picked up the souvenir and sent it to England in the 1940’s.

The MV Kanimbla was built in 1936, the only ship with a full radio broadcasting studio as part of its original design. Licenced as VK9MI, the radio station broadcast for just over three years, as the vessel followed a regular coastal run from Fremantle [Perth]-Adelaide-Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane-Mackay [south of Townsville].

MV Kanimbla and VK9MI, Listener confirmation card 1937.
© Eric Shackle Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation.

In 1939, it became HMS Kanimbla and was sent to Hong Kong. It survived the outbreak of the Pacific war in 1941-42 and became HMAS Kanimbla in 1943.

By 1949, it had reverted to passenger duties on its original routes as the MV Kanimbla, but without the radio studio. It was finally broken up in 1974.

This tea cosy [used to keep a teapot warm] is made of thick serge like material and dates from the 1943-49 period.

We’re grateful to Jan for donating this unique item to us, and for reminding us of VK9MI, the world’s only bult-in radio studio aboard a ship. Such items of tangible memorabilia are rare links to long gone and forgotten radio stations around the Pacific.

If you have any items of memorabilia from such stations, we offer a good home for them. Now, who’s got the teapot?


AFRS Sapporo 1949-1951

As Remembered by Dan Taylor

In October 1949, Sapporo AFRS began airing spots looking for announcers, no experience necessary. A friend, Lennie Nordgren asked if I wanted to go try out with him. At the time we were assigned to the 7th Signal Company, of the 7th Infantry Division, and I liked what I was doing. I wasn’t interested in the job, but I told him that I would go to keep him company.  > read more

Dan Taylor
© Dan Taylor

7HO Hobart’s Original

7HO Hobart, the first commercial station to operate in Tasmania, and one of the first seven in Australia, is known to a wide and appreciative audience as “Hobart’s Original Station.” It is owned and operated by commercial Broadcasters Pty. Ltd. and is a unit of the Macquarie Broadcasting Network.  > read more

K.B. Goyne, Director of 7HO.

Australian High Commission Supports Digitalization Project

A key digitalization project of Australian radio heritage materials held in the Radio Heritage Foundation archives has received a boost with a grant from the Australian High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand.

Announcing the grant, Public Affairs Manager Paul Irons said:

“This is a tangible way of offering our support for this worthwhile project. Australia and New Zealand have enjoyed close broadcasting ties since the early days of wireless, and the digitalization of some of the Australian material held in New Zealand makes sure that it now becomes easily accessible for everyone.”

David Ricquish, Foundation chairman, has welcomed the grant, which will enable the roll out of the “Long Lost Australian Radio Stars’ series to be accelerated, as well as a start on the digitalization of an early 1930’s collection of Australian radio ephemera.


Emil Voigt 2KY #5

On the move

In March 1932 2KY applied to have its power increased to 3,000 watts input to bring it into alignment with some of the now more powerful B-class Sydney stations. At first this was refused by the PMG due to the location of their transmitter at that time. When Voigt responded that they were willing to move their transmitter to a more suitable site further from the GPO and where there were less houses it was approved.  > read more

Presentation by the Radio Manufacturers Association of NSW to Emil Voigt in 1930
(Part A)
© Robin Voigt Collection

Media Release

Government Ignores Bigger Picture with Kiwi FM Bailout

Radio Heritage Foundation Media Release

The Minister of Broadcasting is keen to save Kiwi FM from extinction, but won’t lift a finger to help an existing not-for-profit organisation save even more endangered aspects of New Zealand radio.  > read more


Emil Voigt 2KY #4

The first transmission

Once built, the station was handed over by Voigt to the Labor Council and it commenced transmission on 31 October 1925. For the first few months 2KY was forced to broadcast at only 650 watts as there was difficulty procuring the particular valves that were needed, but by June 1926 the station was running on the full power of 1500 watts > read more

Emil Voigt and son Rion Voigt with an early TV set.
© Robin Voigt Collection

Audio Archive Goes ‘On Air’

Look out for our ‘Tahiti Ted’ around the website. He’s always got something great for you to listen to! Wherever you see this symbol, you’ll know he’s dug another gem out of the vaults, has given it the OK, and it’s ready for you to enjoy.

‘Tahiti Ted’ appears on a 1973 listener confirmation card designed by F.Seli for ORTF’s Radio Tahiti. Ted, of course, stands for ‘the ear drum’! © Keith Robinson Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation


Emil Voigt 2KY #3

The beginning of broadcasting in Australia

He returned to Australia in January 1925 enthusiastic about radio and excited by the possibilities it offered.

A man of great vision, Voigt was the prime mover behind the Labor Council getting into broadcasting. He was clearly concerned that the same conservative powers who controlled the newspapers would try to dominate this new medium as well and attempt to control what information was broadcast over the airwaves.  > read more

Emil Voigt, founder of 2KY
© Robin Voigt Collection

2KY 12th Anniversary

The fourth in our new series of ‘Long Lost Radio Images’ features a wonderful art deco design cover from 2KY’s 12th anniversary booklet (1937) . > read more


HCJB Quito Celebrates 75th Anniversary #1

On December 25 2006, the world famous radio station HCJB in Quito, Ecuador, celebrates 75 years of broadcasting to Latin America and the world.

We’ve searched in our vaults and found a wonderful little booklet issued by HCJB 50 years ago when they celebrated their 25th anniversary.  > read more

Felipe, HCJB’s original gatekeeper

Column: Reminiscing with a Radio

Voice of America Hicksville, Long Island, New York

Back in those days, we were surprised, and literally amazed, at the rapid increase in the number of shortwave stations that began to carry the programming of the Voice of America. At the time, the only shortwave receiver I owned at our family home in country South Australia was a small home-constructed battery-operated un-calibrated set that utilized the old bulbous English Cossor valves.  > read more

W2XGB Hicksville, Long Island, NY listener card, 1940
© Adrian Peterson Collection, AWR

Emil Voigt 2KY #2

The Clarion Movement

During the early 1900s in England Voigt had become involved with the Independent Labor Party and joined the Clarion Movement and the Vegetarian Cycling Club. He joined members cycling around England distributing the socialist newspaper The Clarion and spreading the message of socialism to towns and villages. This was a period of depression in trade, unemployment was rife  > read more

Robin Voigt

2KY Raids Sydney from the Air

The third in our new series of ‘Long Lost Radio Images’ features a stunning poster for 2KY Sydney painted by Anthony W White. > read more


Emil Voigt 2KY

EMIL VOIGT: the man behind the birth of radio station 2KY

by Robin Voigt
Part 1 of 5

Emil Robert Voigt (1883-1973), an English born engineer, was one of the foremost pioneers of the fledgling Australian broadcasting industry in the early 1920s and the genius behind the birth of radio station 2KY.  > read more

Emil Voigt at the 2KY mike.
© Robin Voigt Collection

National Advertisers Endorse NZ’s ZB Network

The second in our new series of ‘Long Lost Radio Images’ features 1939 advertiser support for New Zealand’s ZB Network.  > read more


Cowtown Boys and KELW Radio

The first in our new series of ‘Long Lost Radio Images’ features the Cowtown Boys, Long Horns, Hill Billies and KELW Radio Station.  > read more


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