Radio's 100th

Kevin Vahey
Sat May 23 13:33:51 EDT 2009

Some claim WBZ Springfield was the first to air paid ads.

My Dad grew up in Newton and was born in 1908 and he told me his first
memory of radio was hearing the great war in Europe was over which was
in 1918. What he remembered about it was the magic box was saying this
news came from the Boston Post newsroom. The radio was at the local
barber shop.He also recalled the excitement a few weeks earlier when
the barber shop knew the Red Sox had won the World Series before the
papers came out. I would surmise the station was the one in Medford
but who knows for sure.

On 5/23/09, iraapple <> wrote:
> My understanding is and has always been that KDKA was the first COMMERCIAL
> station, that is, the first station to broadcast commercials.
> The arguments over whether KQV - also in Pittsburgh - or some other station
> was the first to broadcast continues.  But as in most "branding" situations
> KDKA wins by better and more consistent promotion.
> Ira
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> [] On Behalf Of
> Donna Halper
> Sent: Saturday, May 23, 2009 11:34 AM
> To: Doug Drown; Boston Radio Interest Board
> Subject: Re: Radio's 100th
> At 10:16 AM 5/23/2009, Doug Drown wrote:
>>For What It's Worth Dep't --- I was listening to WBZ online this
>>morning and they were touting KCBS' 100th anniversary, inviting
>>listeners to check out the San Francisco sister station's website
>>(  KCBS began as an experimental station under "Doc"
>>Herrold in 1909, later becoming KQW.
> Actually, ALL radio was experimental till sometime in 1920 when
> corporations (the Detroit News, AMRAD, Westinghouse) started getting
> behind the idea of putting radio stations on the air.
>>Doug also wrote--
>>Interesting that CBS (Westinghouse) should own three stations that
>>compete for the title of Oldest Radio Station in America (KDKA, KCBS
>>and WWJ).  And wasn't WBZ the first commercial station?
> WBZ was the first station to receive a so-called "commercial license"
> in mid September 1921.  No such license existed until Westinghouse
> pushed for it to be created, so that they could distinguish their
> stations from amateur stations-- in 1920-21, many ham stations were
> interchangeable with the so-called commercial stations, but that was
> changed too-- by February of 1922, ham stations were forbidden from
> doing mass communication broadcasting or from filling in for
> commercial stations when their equipment failed (which it often did
> in those early days).  That is why little 1XE (greater Boston's first
> radio station) had to get commercial call letters and became WGI.

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