> > And another item on
> > memories. Back several weeks ago, we presented the story here in
> > Wavescan of what could be the oldest radio station in the world,
> > station KUOA in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. The program producer at this
> > station, Matt Reddin, discovered the script of this program on a
> > website, radiodx, in New Zealand and he made contact with us,
> > requesting a live 20 minute interview over the phone. As a result of
> > these events, radio station KUOA is seeking registration as a Heritage
> > Site, as the oldest radio station in the world (Adrian Michael
> > Peterson, AWR Wavescan Feb 29 via John Norfolk, DXLD)
> Hmmm... I've heard of a lot of stations (KDKA, WHA, KCBS, WWJ, CFCF,
> various European stations) claiming to be first, but this is the first
> time I've heard KUOA stake that claim.
> It depends on what you consider to be a "radio station".
> From context, one can generally assume people mean "first broadcasting
> station" - that the early spark-gap experiments of Heinrich Hertz don't
> A number of stations experimented with broadcasting in the years before
> 1920. Some of the earliest operated before radio licenses were
> required. (predecessors of KCBS) Others operated under amateur or
> experimental licenses. (WHA and WWJ IIRC)
From what I've read, the first radio station in America at least to
broadcast on a regular schedule was Charles Herrold's transmitter in San
Jose, California-the station that eventually became KCBS. This was in
1909 IIRC, before any licensing requirements of any kind existed.
Herrold ID'ed by announcing the address of his small, private
engineering college and the location of the transmitter. If you want the
first voice transmission of any kind, that was done in Massachusetts in
I think 1906, and was directed to ships at sea. It was a one time only
event, and although it was repeated several more times the MA station
never broadcasted on a regular schedule. Before that all radio
transmissions were in Morse code because radio was thought of as a
> Evidence strongly suggests KDKA was the first station to take out a
> license for the express purpose of broadcasting. Even then, KDKA's
> license wasn't a broadcasting license - it was a "limited commercial"
> license. It seems that "broadcasting" licenses weren't issued until
> some time in 1922.
Before the law that legalized commercial broadcasting, all radio
stations were licensed as amateurs. The callsigns didn't look like they
do today-they had a zone number followed by two letters. (For example,
Herrold was licensed as 6FI or 6FN (I can't remember exactly) 6 being
the zone number for California and FI being his station.) KDKA was
licensed as an extension of the laws for ship radios-KDKA simply got the
spot between KDJZ and KDKB, although I can't remember the ship names.
When a ship sank its call would be assigned to a land
station-superstitious sailors didn't want the "jinxed" calls.