Monday, May 3, 2010
Powel Crosley, Jr., never intended to be a broadcaster. Son Powel, III, in the very early twenties, pestered Dad for one of those wireless outfits. Instead of spending $100 for a wireless, they bought "The ABC's of Radio" for 25 cents. The next step involved parts for a crystal set. Then came a $200 receiver, and soon a 20-watt transmitter. The first Crosley radio receiver, the "Harko," was only $9.00.
Summer, 1921: Department of Commerce issues license for 8CR as a "special land station." Power is 20 watts, transmitter by the Standard Precision Instrument Company, of Cincinnati at 710 kc. --March, 1922: Call letters WLW assigned by the new Federal Radio Commission. WLW is 65th licensed radiotelephone station to go on the air. Letters are received from Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin, Connecticut. --
June 1, 1927: WLW moves to 700 kc On April 17, 1934, the FCC granted Crosley Broadcasting authority to use 500 kW experimentally, during regular hours, with its regular WLW call. On May 2, 1934, a signal pair had been ordered to terminate at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where a man whose fireside chats had made him well aware of the power of radio was prepared to assist. The golden key which Woodrow Wilson had used to open the Panama Canal was connected. That log shows a final high-power test from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. 9:02 p.m. Cut to remote line from Washington. President Roosevelt: "I have just pressed the key to formally open Station WLW. . ."
From Broadcasting, March 1, 1939: WLW, Cincinnati, world's first station to operate with 500,000 watts power, returned to its regular output of 50,000 watts March 1 by FCC mandate, after one of the hardest fought legal battles in radio annals. Just a matter of hours before the FCC order reducing its power to 50,000 watts was to have become effective, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied the Crosley plea for a stay order to permit the station to continue regular operation during the pendency of its appeal. http://jeff560.tripod.com/wlw.html
Two Cincinnati-area properties associated with Powel Crosley, Jr. (1886-1961) are listed on the National Register of Historic Places: VOA Relay Station and Pinecroft, the Crosley estate. See more information and pictures at: http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/search.php?cx=008494392894044742559%3A2eoolpufsy0&cof=FORID%3A9&q=crosley#1191