Radio & Television Museum
The Radio & Television Museum 2608 Mitchellville Road Bowie, MD 20716 (301) 390-1020 Vol. 12, No. 5 www.radiohistory.org December 2006
WLW: The Nation’s Station
by Brian Belanger
[This article is part of an ongoing series about early well-known radio stations.] Introduction Cincinnati’s radio station WLW deserves high billing in anyone’s list of noteworthy U.S. radio stations. For a time in the 1930s it operated at a power level of half a million watts the most powerful AM radio broadcast station ever licensed by the federal government. Even without its gargantuan transmitter, WLW would be a pioneer station worthy of note, but its record-setting power level tends to overshadow all of its other achievements. Powel Crosley, Jr. Creates WLW Cincinnati businessman Powel Crosley, Jr. is best known as a radio manufacturer. His station WLW and his manufacturing business are closely intertwined. The WLW story begins when Crosley first became interested in radio. During the World War I era Crosley’s American Automobile Accessories Company made a variety of small products and sold them mail-order. A best seller was a radiator cap flagholder. His accessories business earned him a comfortable living. He also owned a small printing company and a woodworking shop. In 1921 Crosley’s nine-year old son, Powel III, begged to have a radio, the newest fad at the time. His dad was shocked to learn that most factory-built radios sold for $100 or more (>$1000 in today’s dollars). Dad and son decided instead to build a crystal set
A Special Event for RHS Members Reception for the New Exhibit “Radio Enters the Home” at the Library of American Broadcasting Monday, December 18 See page 10 for details.
Radio & Television Museum News
1930s WLW promotional booklet cover Page 1
using plans from a then-popular radio book The ABC’s of Radio. When they connected the earphones to their home-made set and heard music coming through the air, the “wow” experience got Powel Crosley, Jr. hooked on radio. Before long he upgraded to a $200 factory-built radio ($2,070 in 2006 dollars), still aghast at how much radios cost. In spite of those prices, radios were selling well. As an experienced manufacturer, Crosley probably thought, “I’ll bet I could make radios, sell them for less than that, and still make a healthy profit!” He resolved to pursue that line of business, soon buying out a small Cincinnati radio manufacturer, Precision Equipment, which sold radios under the “Ace” trade name. Crosley’s business plan was to go after the lowend radio market. He thought he might do for radio what Henry Ford had done for the automobile.
Crosley’s business strategy proved successful. By 1924 The Crosley Radio Corp. was booming. Crosley hired a young engineer named Dorman Israel (later Emerson Radio & Phonograph’s chief technical designer), who proved innovative at designing radios that could be manufactured at low cost. Crosley’s Harko crystal set, introduced in 1921, priced at around $10, and the one-tube Harko Senior, priced at $16 (less tube), sold as fast as the factory could turn them out. These simple radios were crudely made, but they worked. Soon Crosley was also offering more expensive sets in fancy console cabinets such as the Model XX for $100, intended for well-to-do families.
By 1922 Crosley’s station had obtained the call letters WLW and had the 500-watt transmitter shown here. The horn speaker on the desk appears to be a Western Electric model. The radio receiver on the desk was probably used to monitor distress calls from ships. In the early 1920s stations were required to listen for SOS calls and to cease broadcasting if and when such an emergency arose. it was 8XY and later 8XAA. Perhaps he had requested 8CR, for Crosley Radio, but that call might have already been in use. It is also possible that he used the 8CR call even though it had not been assigned to him. Early in the 1920s regulation of radio was lax compared to today and violators were rarely prosecuted. Besides, no one outside Cincinnati would likely have heard the low power station. Crosley’s earliest broadcasts with a 20-watt transmitter in his home were music from phonograph records. When he purchased Precision Equipment, their even smaller station, WMH, came along with it. WMH’s equipment was surprisingly crude, even for that era. It was a cobbled together 10-watt transmitter with an antenna consisting of a short vertical steel rod resting in an empty wine bottle serving as the tower base insulator. The only advantage of acquiring WMH was getting its time allocation. That meant Crosley’s station could be on the air more nights per week during a period when most broadcasting stations
Meanwhile, Crosley applied for and received an experimental transmitter license later in 1921. His own later writings recalled that its call sign was 8CR, but scholars who have searched Department of Commerce records say
Powel Crosley, Jr. began broadcasting in 1921 from an experimental station in his home. Here he is holding a microphone in front of the phonograph. Radio & Television Museum News
The Radio & Television Museum: A cooperative venture between the City of Bowie and the Radio History Society
shared the same 360-meter wavelength (833 kHz), and time sharing was common. But soon, since major radio manufacturers, like General Electric, Westinghouse, and Grebe were operating wellreceived radio broadcasting stations, Powel Crosley, Jr. felt a need to do likewise and upgrade his small amateur station to something more professional. By March 1922 he had obtained a license for a larger station that was assigned the call letters WLW. When WLW came on the air, there were about 60 to 70 other entertainment stations around the nation. In the 1920s receiving a radio program from a distant city was such a thrill that people would stay up late to pull in far away stations. As Dick Perry says in his WLW history (p. 21), “Back in the early days of radio, part of the fun was seeing how many stations you could hear. If the man next door got Kansas City last night and you didn’t, chances are you went around brooding for several days.” When WLW began its broadcasts, letters from excited listeners poured in from states such as Colorado, Maine, and Connecticut. In January 1923 the station offered a free box of candy to the first person from each state to send a telegram documenting reception. Entries were received from 42 states, three Canadian provinces, and the District of Columbia. And that was with a transmitter output of only a couple hundred watts. Crosley understood marketing. He published a free newsletter called the Crosley Radio Weekly (later renamed Crosley Radio Broadcaster and still later, the Crosley Broadcaster). In 1923 there were 25,000 subscribers. WLW’s 10,000-member fan club was called “The Lightning Bugs.” The station sponsored special nights, such as “Hoosier Night” when messages were directed at Indiana residents, and “Radio Party Night” when listeners were supposed to invite friends over to dance to radio music. In 1924 WLW began calling itself “The Station with a Soul.” Early 1920s daytime programs were produced by WLW’s staff, but evening talent tended to be anyone who strayed into the studio. There were plenty of willing volunteers who played musical instruments or sang and were delighted to have the opportunity to be on the radio. Initially, no one thought of asking for reimbursement for performing. There were no paid commercials until 1926, so there was no revenue to pay for talent. The Crosley name was mentioned frequently of course, so that could be considered “commercials.” Among the more difficult to envision WLW programs was eight weeks of swimming lessons by YMCA instructor Stanley Brauninger. WLW was not the first station to air drama, but it was an early adopter. WLW’s
WLW’s huge antenna tower erected when the station went to 500,000 watts.
term for short dramatic excerpts was “radarios.” Crosley recognized that transmitter power equated to station prestige during this era, and he upgraded his transmitters each time the state of the art advanced. WLW quickly progressed from 200 watts (in August 1922) to 500 watts, to 1000 watts (in early 1924), and then in January 1925 to 5,000 watts. At that time elegant new studios were constructed in the Crosley factory building. In 1925 WLW ordered a 50-kW type 7-A transmitter from Western Electric the maximum power permitted at the time (and even today, the highest power level for AM stations). The new transmitter went on the air in October 1928 (on a frequency of 700 kHz), and may have been the first to use 50,000 watts regularly. Later that year only four other stations were operating at the 50 kW level (WEAF, New York City; WGY, Schenectady; WBAP, Fort Worth; and KDKA, Pittsburgh). WLW’s signals were so strong in the Eastern United States that Newark station WOR on 710 kHz complained about co-channel interference. (WLW was not the only Crosley-owned station. In 1927 Crosley purchased another Cincinnati station, WSAI. This low-power local station was sold to the Marshall Field Company in 1944.)
Radio & Television Museum News
weight.) The transmitter fed 72 amperes of RF current to the antenna through a rigid ten-inch diameter (!) coaxial feed line, complete with expansion joints, mounted on concrete pilings. Later, for technical reasons having to do with the coverage footprint, the tower was shortened to just over 700 feet. Lightning struck the high tower frequently, passing to ground through a gap near the tower’s base. The transmitter’s power was sufficiently high that whenever lightning caused the gap to flash over, the resulting arc would not extinguish on its own. The transmitter had to be turned off momentarily until the flashover stopped, and then turned back on again. A photocell was mounted near the lightning gap so that it would detect a sustained arc and automatically switch off the transmitter to clear the fault. Listeners would be aware only of a momentary lapse in transmission.
Studio A, WLW’s largest, on the top floor of Crosley’s main factory building. This air conditioned studio could accommodate an orchestra as well as a sizeable audience. For a time jazz great Fats Waller played the organ at the left. Super Power for WLW Never satisfied with the status quo, Powel Crosley, Jr. approached RCA’s engineers in 1932 to inquire about whether a 500,000-watt transmitter might be feasible. RCA was willing to consider it, and called upon engineers at Westinghouse and GE to help design this monster transmitter. It did not take long for RCA’s team to conclude that they could do it, and Crosley lost no time in signing a contract with RCA for a cost of approximately $400,000. Of course the station would need the federal government’s permission for such a daring experiment. I suspect that Federal Radio Commission officials might have been hesitant about authorizing this high power experimental station, but there are suggestions that Crosley was well connected politically, and that probably helped grease the skids. Permission to begin construction came in June 1932. At the transmitter site near Mason, Ohio, the company erected an 831-foot Blaw-Knox double-diamond-shaped antenna tower that cost $46,000 (more than half a million dollars today). It flared out in the middle to a distance of 35 feet, both for structural reasons and because the radio frequency currents were predicted to be highest at that point. The tower rested on a massive insulator that had to withstand the weight of the tower and guys. (One source says 200 tons, another says 450. In either case, a lot of Radio & Television Museum News
The tower was robust. In 1935 a small airplane crashed into it at the 600-foot level, killing the pilot and causing great damage to the plane, but almost no damage to the tower. Providing electric power to run the transmitter required construction of a special utility substation at the site. For redundancy, Cincinnati Gas and Electric ran two 33-kV transmission lines to the site from opposite directions, each of which could power the station should the other be out of service. The station’s existing 50-kW Western Electric transmitter was used as the exciter to drive the new transmitter. The final amplifier consisted of three modules, each employing four RCA type 862 tubes (100-kW rating) connected in push-pull parallel. Later the 862 tubes were replaced by the more modern type 898A tubes. The modules could be operated separately for reduced power output, or all turned on when the full 500 kW was desired. The modulator unit also employed 862 tubes. The two PCB-filled 12-foot tall modulation transformers weighed 50 tons each. This was no ordinary radio station! Since the transmitter’s water-cooled final output tubes operated at high voltages, non-conducting Pyrex glass tubing was used to carry the distilled cooling water that kept them from melting. Each tube required 30 gallons per minute. The distilled water circulated through a massive heat exchanger in which the heat was transferred to a Page 4
The engineer at the operating console is dwarfed by the half-million watt transmitter final output modules, which occupy the entire far wall of the building (54 feet wide). It must have been hot in the room given all those large glowing tubes visible behind the glass panels. separate circulating tap water loop that dumped the hot water into an outdoor cooling pond near the transmitter building, where fountain sprays cooled it before it was pumped back into the building at the rate of 1500 gallons per minute. There was a lengthy period of testing and de-bugging before regular broadcasting began (during the middle of the night). The experimental call sign W8XO was used during these tests and later experiments, as noted below. On May 2, 1934, around 9 p.m., President Roosevelt in the White House pressed a key — the same gold key that Woodrow Wilson had used to open the Panama Canal — and via telephone links, officially switched on the plate voltage of the transmitter. In a message to the station, the President said “ I feel certain that WLW will give the people of our country and those of our neighboring nations a service managed and conducted for the greater good of us all.” After a huge banquet for 200, the festivities continued into the wee hours. Congratulatory telegrams were received from luminaries such as Albert Einstein, William S. Paley of CBS, Vice President John Nance Garner, and even from Guglielmo Marconi. The Vice Chairman of the Federal Radio Commission, Thad Brown, was present for the ceremonies. Radio & Television Museum News Powel Crosley, Jr. in front of one of the 19-ton oilfilled modulation transformers for the 500,000 transmitter. In his right hand is a tiny modulation transformer used in one of his earliest transmitters. Page 5
By the time the big transmitter was inaugurated, WLW had a “clear channel.” No other stations occupied its 700 kHz slot. Reports of strong reception began to pour in from all over the United States and some foreign countries. To some, the station’s call letters suggested “Whatta Lotta Watts.” Unfortunately, complaints from stations that claimed WLW interfered with their coverage also began to arrive. The most insistent were from station WOR WLW’s transmitter site. Water from the transmitter heat exchanger was in Newark (710 kHz) that had pumped to this outdoor pond. Fountain sprays cooled it before it was pumped complained even when WLW back into the building. was at the 50,000-watt level, and Toronto station CFRB (690 kHz, 10-kilowatts). WLW cut shipped. its nighttime power level back to 50,000 watts while it searched for a better long-term solution. By building two During WW II the government was concerned about additional towers and feeding them signals of the right sabotage at major radio stations. Fences were erected and phase, WLW was able to control its signal pattern so as to a guard tower overlooking the site was staffed with armed reduce interference with those two stations. WLW’s was guards. one of the first phased array AM directional antennas to be used by a broadcasting station. (Actually, as Stinger There are numerous stories about how the incredibly high explains, by controlling both the vertical and horizontal power caused bizarre effects near the station. A fluorradiation pattern, the antenna system was designed to escent tube held in the hand even at considerable distance reduce the signal in a given geographical area rather than from the transmitter site would light up without wires, just just in one compass direction.) Still, one could pick up from the strong electric field in the air, so nearby residents WLW coming in strong almost anywhere in the eastern with fluorescent lighting could leave the switches off and half of the country. With the new tower system in place to save on their electric bills, but might have trouble minimize interference, WLW resumed 500,000-watt sleeping at night. People who lived near the transmitter operation in May 1935. reported hearing WLW programs coming out of their refrigerators, milking machines, and furnaces. Initially Constructing the supplementary antenna towers was tricky, dismissed as exaggeration, such stories are actually quite because the induced radio frequency currents in the metal credible, because in the presence of such an abnormally tower sections from the main tower nearby were sufficient high radio-frequency field strength (said to be at least 6 to be a hazard to workers. Each tower section had to have volts per meter a mile from the tower), even a short length a ground strap attached to it as it was lifted into place. of wire connected to anything that might act as a rectifying junction constitutes an antenna and a crystal In 1938 WLW adopted the motto “The Nation’s Station” radio. Such effects could be minimized by grounding to call attention to its extensive coverage area. metal objects properly and no doubt station engineers were called out frequently by nearby residents Super Power Ends complaining about hearing WLW when they did not want to. Some farms actually had to be rewired to minimize The 500-kW transmitter was in service until February problems. 1939. It operated now and then after that date, and especially early in World War II when as W8XO it was There were people who strayed near the station and heard occasionally fired up late at night, after WLW’s regular WLW in their heads. Fillings in one’s teeth can also act broadcasting hours ended, to transmit special coded like a crystal detector, and the bones of the skull and jaw messages long distances for the Office of War can vibrate at audio frequencies, allowing one to hear AM Information. Dick Perry’s book says the transmitter was signals. A long wire fence near the site could pick up sometimes cranked up to about 700,000 watts. Stinger’s substantial induced voltages and provide unexpected article says peak power could reach 2 million watts. Perry shocks. A technician at one of CG&E’s nearby power also says that at one point the military considered shipping plants said that when the 500-kW transmitter was on the the transmitter overseas. Parts were crated, but never air and a radio was turned on, he could see the systemRadio & Television Museum News December 2006 Page 6
business that Crosley did. The replica “Crosley” radios one can buy today that are made in China have no relationship to the original Crosley firm. WLW in the Modern Era In the 1950s WLW upgraded its AM transmitter for higher fidelity. Like most major stations, WLW also got into television rather early, and also FM. Its television station W8XCT came on the air in 1946, and in 1948 became WLWT. It was said to be the first TV station to formally become an NBC-TV affiliate. However, there were no coax cable or microwave links at the time, so kinescopes (essentially filmed recordings of programs) had be used to air network programs. WLW’s audio control panel (1930s). voltage meter needle dancing slightly in sync with the station’s program. Crosley also built a high-power shortwave station, WLWO, which the government made good use of early in World War II. When the Voice of America, which was created early in the war, wanted to have stations of its own, it turned to Crosley’s engineers, who knew how to operate such stations. The Voice of America’s huge shortwave complex at Bethany, Ohio was operated by Crosley people until the VOA developed sufficient inhouse expertise. WLW’s Programs WLW joined the NBC Blue Network in September 1927. Over the years WLW had sufficient clout to be able to get program material from both the NBC Red and Blue networks as well as from Mutual. It originated a few network programs, for example, “The Crosley Hour.” The famous soap opera, “Ma Perkins,” was a WLW creation. Another network program that originated at WLW was Red Sketon’s “Avalon Hour,” WLW’s late-night program, “Moon River,” attracted loyal listeners by the millions. The Clooney family Rosemary, Betty, and Nick, appeared on WLW regularly. Sports-casters Red Barber and Al Helfer were on WLW before becoming nationally known. WLW’s huge studio A contained an extensively used pipe organ that jazz great Fats Waller played for a time. Every chance he got Waller switched to jazz, but Powel Crosley, Jr. hated jazz and eventually kicked him out. In 1945 Crosley decided to abandon radio and concentrate on automobiles and other non-radio products. (Anyone driving an antique Crosley auto today?) He sold his radio holdings to Avco, but Avco never made the success of the Radio & Television Museum News Our museum library has a wonderful promotional videotape about WLW, stressing to potential advertisers the large audiences for WLW’s radio and TV transmissions. Presumably the station did well financially. Today WLW has a modern 50,000-watt solid-state transmitter (Harris DX-50), but the old Western Electric 7-A built in 1927 is still there as a backup. On New Year’s Eve 1999, the engineer on duty, cognizant of Y2K concerns that might affect computer controls on the new
Powel Crosley, Jr. in front of one of the transmitter modules, holding an 862 tube. Page 7
transmitter, fired up the old Western Electric and brought WLW into the 21st century using a 70-year-old vacuum tube transmitter. Warms the cockles of our radio historian hearts, doesn’t it? Today 50,000-watt WLW is a successful AM station, featuring news, weather, sports, talk, and country music, and it is still at 700 on the AM dial. Much of the halfmillion watt transmitter is still there. It deserves to be preserved as an industrial heritage site. Bibliography: Crosley Radio Corp., “A Trip Through WLW.” Promotional booklet, 1935; reprinted 2000. Douglas, Alan, Radio Manufacturers of the 1920’s, Vol. 1. Vestal, NY: The Vestal Press, 1988. Haehnle, Clyde and Ed Dooley. “The WLW 500 kW Transmitter.” The Antique Radio Gazette, Part 1 (Fall 1991): 40-43; Part 2 (Winter 1991): 8-12. Matzen, Ted. “More on WLW.” Antique Radio Classified (June 1993): 13. Price, John. “The Nation’s Station.” (A photocopy of this article was given to me years ago without provenance.) Perry, Dick. Not Just a Sound: The Story of WLW. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1971. Schecter, Dorothy. “WLW The Nation’s Station.” Antique Radio Classified (November 1992): 4-6. Schwesinger, W. L. “Brief History of Super-Power Station WLW.” Old Timer’s Bulletin (September 1983): 6-8. Stinger, Charles. “The Eminent Years of Powel Crosley, Jr., His Transmitters, Receivers, Products, and Broadcast Station WLW, 1921-1940.” AWA Review Vol. 16, (2003): 7-95. Web Pages: http://hawkins.pair.com/wlw.shtml http://members.aol.com/jeff1070/wlw.html www.wlw.com.
Dwight Heasty Departs for Richmond
The Radio & Television Museum has no more dedicated volunteer than Dwight Heasty, who announced recently that he and his wife Gwen will be leaving the area to move to Richmond, Va. Dwight is a radio interference and electromagnetic compatibility expert, who enjoyed a long career with RCA, and later, a smaller consulting company. Upon his retirement a peer described him as the Navy’s “foremost expert” on radiation protection. Dwight has worked tirelessly to make the museum a success. Early on, he realized that we needed interactive exhibits, especially ones for kids. He created, for example, the Wimshurst machine, the Jacobs Ladder, the human battery demonstrator, the crystal radio and Atwater Kent Model 20C display. He made the Plexiglass boxes to enclose the Marconi induction coil unit, the Audion tube, and the donation box; he constructed the magnificent stained glass Nipper dog window, the stand to hold the visitor book, the authentic tables in the first room, and even small items such as the aluminum sheet and the coconut shells for the sound effects display. If complex electronics needed to be designed from scratch, Dwight did it. The museum’s scanning disc television demonstrator took dozens if not hundreds of hours to design and build. Dwight almost never needed to be asked—he just saw a need and took the initiative. Dwight served as our volunteer coordinator for most of the life of the museum — scheduling docents and scrambling to reschedule people when there were conflicts, filling in himself if no one else was available. Dwight arranged special tours, of which there were many, and most of the time, Dwight was one of the docents doing the special tours. Dwight has donated dozens of valuable items to the museum, ranging from rare early RCA receivers to the Hallicrafters 7-inch and the Philco Safari TV sets, and even the big Nipper dog. He has restored sets to operating condition, e.g., the Belmont 7-inch TV set that we demonstrate frequently. On November 18 the Board of Directors held a farewell dinner for Dwight. He has been designated an honorary life member of the Radio History Society. A plaque reminding people of his remarkable contributions will hang in the museum. Dwight, we can never thank you enough!
Current Museum Hours:
Fridays 10 to 5 Saturdays and Sundays 1 to 5 Other times by appointment
Radio & Television Museum News
Donations Received Since the Last Newsletter Listing
Anthony Abierra Washington, D.C. Westinghouse WR-366 console Evrith Andrews Potomac, Md. Radio books, parts, ham gear, much more Michael Beaghen Alexandria, Va. Radio Engineer’s Handbook Victoria Bergmann Edgewater, Md. TV parts Jay Blass Bowie, Md. RCA Model C-9-4 console Frank Boyd Crofton, Md. Tubes Barry Cheslock Arlington, Va. Book about the history of WSB Ronald Delfendahl Lanham, Md. Philco 48-1262 radio/phono John Dryden Germantown, Md. RCA RT-21 tape unit Peter Eldridge Alexandria, Va. Book - Thunderstruck Bob Elliot Suitland, Md. Tubes, test gear Sam Folley Rockville, Md. Tubes Robert Gray Odenton, Md. Hammarlund HQ-100A, RCA Model 262 Radio & Television Museum News David Green Laurel, Md. Realistic DX-160 radio, tubes, speakers, etc. Ruth Gruber Danbury, Conn. RCA-Victor Model 18T-244 TV set Dwight Heasty Oxon Hill, Md. Large donation, Radiola Models 17, 18, 25, and 28 (2), 104, Atwater Kent Model 49, test equipment, books magazines, parts, tubes, much more Stanley Ismart Bowie, Md. Majestic 90-B console, Victor phonograph Rowland Johnson Reston, Va. Test equipment, CB transceivers, microphones, Halllicrafters SX-43, much more Benita Kaplan Rockville, Md. Gramco table model Elizabeth Koether Glen Burnie, Md. Many boxes of old radio magazines Roscoe Lamb Silver Spring, Md. Westinghouse WR-184, Knight KN-140, tubes, Bogen RB-115, more Peter Larson Annapolis, Md. Emerson Model 603 TV Library of American Broadcasting College Park, Md. Three boxes of radio literature Leonard Lucci Bowie, Md. Zenith X2391EQ radio/phono/TV December 2006 William Martin Weems, Va. Heathkit items, Philco 1929 lowboy console, Zenith 8S563 radio, other items Joseph Mayhew North Port, Fl. 1936 Kaydette Model 66 radio George Mayo Alexandria, Va. Tape recorders, camera tripod, VCR, speakers, Group W broadcasting records Ken Mellgren Rockville, Md. WISZ banner, microphone radio, other items Marie Mingo Washington, D.C. Sparton Model 25 console Roger Nale Odenton, Md. Atwater Kent Model 60 William Painter Harwood, Md. Atwater Kent Model 55 cabinet Charles Petruzzo Bowie, Md. Philco Model 46-431 Ted Raitch Laurel, Md. Crosley radio/phono console Richard Robertson Fairfax Station, Va. Many boxes of technical journals (Proceedings of IRE, etc.) Hebert Sachs Bowie, Md. Book, magazines, and manuals David Safferman Owings Mills, Md. Tubes, parts, test equipment, books Page 9
Orlando Sanidad Mitchellville, Md. Zenith G-500 Trans-Oceanic radio James Seward Alexandria, Va. Tubes, Fisher 220-T receiver, Atwater Kent speaker Mac Shawe New Carrollton, Md. Tubes, test equipment Ernie Smith Broadway, Va. Hundreds of cassettes of old radio programs Norman Stern Bowie, Md. Crosley 127, Hallicrafters S 108, Dyna hi-fi gear, books & magazines, tubes Carl & Jacqueline Stover College Park, Md. Siemens RC-10, Grundig tape player William and Deborah Swan Alexandria, Va. Test equipment, other radio items Victor Wagher Bowie, Md. TV book
Alexis Webb Gaithersburg, Md. Scott 382 C receiver, test equipment, books, tubes, microphones, Seeburg Selectomatic 200 jukebox, much more Harold Wilson Rockville, Md. Heathkit gear, Vibroplex speed key, Hallicrafters SX-100, parts, tubes, test equipment, ham gear Robert Wilson Hyattsville, Md. Philco 50T-1401 TV, tubes, other items Norman Winnerman Danbury, Conn. Zenith Model B-600 Trans-Oceanic
Cash Donations towards the Matching Funds needed for the state grant
Anonymous Brian Belanger Paul Bernhardt
John Berresford Michael Byrnes Warren Carlson Joe Colick Paul Courson Mike Edelstein Noel Elliott Stan Fetter Earl Flowers Eugene Gardner C. L. Gephart Ted Hannah Greg Hunolt Dave Kelleher Claire Kluskins Paul Lewis Bill McClosky Ken Mellgren Maurice Moore Ron Roscoe Charles Sakran Roy Shapiro Russ Shipley Bill Smith, Jr. Steve Snyderman Dan Sohn Ruth St. John Mary Ellen Stroup Tony Young Paul Klein (If we missed anyone, please let us know.)
Exhibit Reception at the Library of American Broadcasting 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, December 18
The Library of American Broadcasting (LAB) at the University of Maryland and the Radio & Television Museum have a mutually beneficial ongoing collaboration. The LAB has given the museum surplus radio technical books, and the museum has given the LAB radio scripts. The museum has provided a number of radios and TV sets for display in the LAB’s main reading room on the third floor of the Hornbake Library, the main library building at the College Park campus of the University of Maryland. Recently the LAB developed a special exhibit called “Radio Enters the Home” in the exhibit gallery in the ground floor main lobby of the Hornback Library. This well-done exhibit relies heavily on radios loaned by the museum as well as terrific graphics from the LAB’s own extensive collections. RHS members are invited to attend an evening of radio history, good food and conversation to celebrate this successful collaboration. Admission is free. We guarantee you will enjoy this fine exhibit. For more information, check the LAB website at www.lib.umd.edu/LAB, or call 301-405-9160. Parking is available in parking garages not far from the library. Y’all come!
Radio & Television Museum News December 2006 Page 10
Radio & Television Museum News
Progress Towards the Challenge Grant
As you will recall from the good news in the last newsletter, the museum was the recipient of a $7500 grant from the State of Maryland this year. To qualify, we must match that amount. RHS President, Ken Mellgren, appealed to the members for support in the previous newsletter, and to date we have nearly reached the half-way point towards the matching funds. We have until June 30, 2007 to reach the $7500 figure, and with your continued support, it should be possible to achieve that goal. To those of you who have already contributed (see list on pages 9-10), thank you very much! If you have not already made a donation, please consider doing so. Or, if you have, consider making an additional donation after the first of the year so you can get an income tax deduction for 2007. The purpose of the grant is to upgrade the displays at
the museum. Getting new custom display cases to better show off the artifacts is the top priority. Some of the ancient wood display cases that were purchased used when the museum first opened are far from optimal for displaying adequately the treasures in the museum collections.
Michael Henry Joins the Museum Team
Michael Henry is a Reference Assistant at the Library of American Broadcasting and is a long-time member of the Metropolitan Washington Old Time Radio Club. For some time now, the City of Bowie has provided funding for a person to work at the museum Saturday afternoon and another on Sunday afternoon to supplement our volunteer docents. Michael Henry has been hired to handle Sunday afternoons. As an individual very knowledgeable about radio history, he is a terrific choice. Welcome, Michael!
RHS Officers and Directors:
President & Webmaster Ken Mellgren (2009) 13 Bitterroot Ct. Rockville, MD 20853 (301) 929-1062 email@example.com Vice President Chris Sterling (2008) 4507 Airlie Way Annandale, VA 22003 (703) 256-9304 firstname.lastname@example.org Treasurer: Michael Rubin (2008) 1427 Woodman Avenue Silver Spring, MD 20902 (301) 649-3722 email@example.com Volunteer Coordinator: Dwight Heasty (2008) 1830 Clayton Drive Oxon Hill, MD 20745 (301) 894-0550 firstname.lastname@example.org Museum Curator and Newsletter Editor: Brian Belanger 5730 Avery Park Drive Rockville, MD 20855-1738 (301) 258-0708 email@example.com Membership Chair: Tony Young (2007) The Radio & Television Museum 2608 Mitchellville Road Bowie, MD 20716 (301) 262-1917 firstname.lastname@example.org Directors: Paul Courson (2008) (202) 898-7653 Peter Eldridge (2009) (703) 765-1569 William Goodwin (2007) (410) 535-2952
Acknowledgements: This newsletter was published with support from the George and May Shiers Memorial Fund. The Museum thanks the Maryland Historical Trust for its grant support to enhance the museum’s operations.
Charles Grant (2009) (301) 871-0540 Robert Huddleston (2007) (301) 519-2835 Bill McMahon (2007) (304) 535-1610 Don Ross (2009) (703) 569-5052 Gerald Schneider (2008) (301) 929-8593 Ed Walker (2009) (301) 229-7060
Radio & Television Museum News