Tag Archives: Radio History

648 kHz: Radio Caroline gets a permanent home on the MW broadcast band

Radio Caroline circa 1960’s.

(Source: ARRL News via Eric McFadden, WD8RIF)

Radio Caroline, the latter-day incarnation of the famous shipboard pirate radio station that beamed rock music to the UK in the 1960s and 1970s, has obtained a license to operate permanently on 648 kHz at 1 kW ERP. A transmitter imported from Europe has been undergoing necessary modifications to suit the MW frequency, which falls between the 10-kHz-spaced AM Standard Broadcast Band frequencies in the US.[…]

Click here to read the full article on the ARRL website.

Relive This Day In Radio History: When WJSV recorded an entire broadcast day

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Bill Patalon, who reminds us that 78 years ago today (September 21, 1939) radio station WSJV made an audio recording of its entire 19 hour broadcast day. Bill points to these details from Wikipedia:

This undertaking was a collaboration between the station and the National Archives, and it was the first time that such a comprehensive recording of a radio broadcast had been made. The station then donated its original set of recording discs to the National Archives, giving it a rare and complete artifact from an era frequently called the Golden Age of Radio. Due to their historical significance, the United States Library of Congress has since added these sound recordings to its National Recording Registry.

https://www.radioarchives.com/WJSV_A_Day_in_Radio_History_p/ra140.htm

Let’s travel back in time…

If you would like to relive September 21, 1939, you can listen to all of the WSJV recording segments courtesy of Archive.org. I’ve embedded the full playlist below–simply press play at the top of the player and each segment will load automatically as long as this page is open. Note that in the very first segment, due to a WSJV equipment glitch, there is a period of silence. Enjoy:

Click here to view or download the full set of recordings on Archive.org.

Many thanks for sharing this bit of radio history, Bill! As a radio archivist, this sort of thing makes my day.

Radio: “One of history’s most important inventions”

(Source: CNN)

There are few more important inventions in the history of the world than the radio.

While in recent years it may have become less popular than television or the internet, it could be argued that the radio was the first electronic gadget to play a prominent part in people’s lives.

Radio is where the world first heard Britain declare war on Germany, where Orson Welles accidentally fooled the public into believing a real alien invasion was under way in his “War Of The Worlds” serial and where young people first heard Billy Haley’s “Rock Around The Clock,” spreading popular music around the world.

But it is not just an aural medium. Like all important pieces of technology, design has had an essential part to play in its evolution.[…]

Continue reading the full article on CNN’s website…

Circa 1924 Parisian radio stockings

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Jarno de Haan (PA3DMI), who shares the following in reference to our recent post about radio hats of yore:

Radio hats are fun but I found radio stockings!

In 1924 French ladies in Paris used their stockings and umbrella to receive the radio transmissions from the Eiffel-tower.

The movie is part of a movietheatres newsreel in Holland so the text is in Dutch but the pictures says it all 🙂

A bit NSFW but hey 1924:

Click here to view on YouTube.

Thanks, Jarno!  I had never seen this video before!

I love the fact that her umbrella serves as an antenna. With this in mind, I hope our buddy, London Shortwave, can sort out a way to make a vertical HF loop for a little umbrella DXing in his local London parks!

Radio Hats of Yore

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ed, who writes:

Hey Thomas, if you haven’t already covered this in the SWLing Post, this might be worth mentioning:

http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/radio-hat-1931-1949-man-from-mars

TURNS OUT, LISTENING TO PODCASTS on your morning commute is nothing new. In 1931, the British cinemagazine Pathetone Weekly—which documented odd fashion trends during its run from 1930 to 1941—premiered a new invention: the Radio Hat.

In it, a man waiting for the bus decides to listen to the radio—via his straw hat, from which two large antennas poke out.

As a Pathetone Weekly title card read: “They say there’s nothing new under the sun—this little French idea to while away the bus waits, must surely be!”

According to an August 1930 issue of Modern Mechanix, a Berlin engineer invented the hat, which allowed its wearer to “listen to the Sunday sermon while motoring or playing golf, get the stock market returns at the ball game, or get the benefit of the daily dozen while on the way to work by merely tuning in.”

[Continue reading…]

The video link in the article to a 1930’s British cinemagazine Pathetone Weekly­-which documented odd fashion trends during its run from 1930 to 1941­-shows a fascinating demonstration of the Radio Hat, which was way ahead of its time!

Click here to view on YouTube.

Very cool! Thank you for sharing, Ed. I love how the radio hat is so conspicuous–hey, I’d wear it!