For 83 years now listeners of Czech Radio’s external service broadcasts have been accustomed to hearing our specific call-sign. Both the call sign and the station’s name have changed over the years. Another small change is now in the pipeline. As of September 1, Radio Prague will become Radio Prague International. Use our audio slider for a walk down memory lane…
Czech Radio’s main headquarters in Vinohradská street in the centre of Prague, photo: Lenka Žižková
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, David Iurescia (LW4DAF), who shares the following news items from Radio Prague regarding the 95th anniversary of Czech Radio’s first broadcasts:
Listening Sessions at a Prague Cinema: Czech Radio’s First Broadcasts Recalled, 95 Years Later
A historic moment occurred at 20:15 on Saturday May 18, 1923 when the first ever broadcast by Czechoslovak Radio was made from a tent at a military air base in Prague’s Kbely district.
After the United Kingdom, Czechoslovakia was the second country in Europe to launch regular radio broadcasting.
Zuzana Foglarová is communications manager at today’s Czech Radio. Speaking at a new exhibition of radio technology at the station, she describes the scene in May 1923.
“Above all it was very simple. There was one tent, which had been borrowed from the scouts. On the floor in the tent was a piano and stool. There was also a table for the presenter, technicians and so on. There was only one microphone, and the story goes that if somebody was playing the piano and somebody else was singing, the latter had to sit under the piano so the microphone could pick up all the sounds.”
Many of the first listeners 95 years ago were waiting to hear the signal come through at a cinema just off Prague’s Wenceslas Square.[…]
The spectacular Rudgers?v Palace built in the Neo-Classicist style is home to Czech Radio’s Ostrava studios, photo: Daniel Martínek, Czech Radio (Source: Radio Praha)
Past and Present: A Gallery of Czech´s Radio Buildings
Czech Radio is celebrating its 95th anniversary this year. The Czech national radio broadcaster has come a long way since its pioneering days. Today it is the biggest radio broadcaster in the country with 9 channels, manned not only by its Prague staff but 14 regional branches providing news and reports from around the country. The station’s buildings are also an important part of its history. On the occasion of Czech Radio’s 95th anniversary we have prepared a photo gallery of its buildings, some of them valuable architectural landmarks.
The three letters – QSL – constitute one of the codes originally developed in the days of the telegraph. All codes consisted of three letters beginning with “Q”. Later some of these “Q” codes were adopted by radio-telegraphists and radio listeners. QSL means “contact confirmed” or “reception confirmed”.
The expression “QSL card” or just “QSL” gradually came to be used among radio-amateurs and then more broadly as radio began to develop as a mass medium. Radio stations were keen to know how well and how far away their programmes could be heard and began to send their listeners “QSL cards” in return for reception reports. The card would include letters making up the “call sign” of the station – the system still used in the United States – or the broadcasting company’s logo or some other illustration. The card would also include a text stating the frequency and the transmitter output power, and a confirmation of when the listener heard the station.
Domestic broadcasters do not tend to use QSL cards these days, but their popularity remains among radio stations broadcasting internationally. They are still keen to know how well they can be heard in the parts of the world to which they broadcast. In the era of shortwave broadcasts Radio Prague sent out QSL cards for reception reports received. After curtailing our shortwave transmissions as of February 1, 2011 we will continue issuing QSL cards for reception via the Internet.
August 21, 1968 – a turning point in this country’s history. The invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact soldiers crushed hopes of life in a freer society.
Please share your memories of that time with us. When and how did you first learn about the invasion? How did the media in your country report on it? Did you by any chance directly experience those events in Czechoslovakia or by the country’s borders?
Send us your recollections, photographs and other materials. Next year Radio Prague will be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the events of August 1968 with a special project. Become part of it.
Czech Radio 7 – Radio Prague
120 99 Prague 2
Czech Republic firstname.lastname@example.org