March 31, 2010 7:38
50 jobs (and 500,000 watts) in 50 years:
Meet Powel Crosley Jr., lifelong American inventor and entrepreneur.
After making a mint in auto parts, Crosley started in on phonographs and radios. Like many radio manufacturers of the time, Crosley stepped up demand by building a radio station; a BIG radio station. At 500,000 watts it was both the largest-ever commercial radio station with potential coverage of most of the country. With that much throw, it seemed a natural fit for the fantastical: radio facsimile machines. Crosley would later get into appliances, sports, and eventually back into his first love, automobiles.
posted by Mitheral at 7:58 PM on March 23:
I grew up outside of Cincinnati and well remember WLW's unusual (not quite unique) Blaw-Knox diamond-shaped transmitter tower (in Mason, OH, adjoining the VOA antenna farm). When I was a young ham and short-wave listener WLW would drive you nuts. Their signal got into everything.
BTW, I attended a few baseball games at Crosley Field, too.
Oh, and when I was a kid our family had a Crosley station wagon ('48? '49?). It had an engine made out of sheet tin that was originally designed as a starter motor for B-17s. The beastie couldn't get out of its own way climbing the hill up Columbia Parkway -- 38MPH with your wingtips through the floorboards. Speaking of which, they were actual boards and some of them -- weren't there.
The first car my father bought was a Crosley. He was married and had two kids then. I don't know if he bought it in a hardware store. This was probably 1949. One day we drove out to a place where you could go fishing. Time to leave and the Crosley wouldn't start! Somehow a rock had gashed a hole in the gas tank and all the fuel had run out. I learned a few new words that day. Shortly afterward my father bought a Plymouth.
But I admire Powel Crosley. He belongs right up there in the prescient inventor hall of glory with Bill Lear of Learjet and eight-track fame.