While wandering through the Upper Midwest.

Donna Halper dlh@donnahalper.com
Tue Feb 21 01:44:14 EST 2012

Garrett wrote--
> As I said, the boundary used to follow the western border of Texas.
> That explains all the W calls in Texas, not to mention the other
> states I mentioned above.  The original boundary made geographic sense
> because ships in the Atlantic used K callsigns, and ships in the
> Pacific used W callsigns -- the Bureau of Navigation's scheme was that
> shore stations serving the Atlantic (which could be as far west as
> Texas) would get W callsigns, and shore stations serving the Pacific
> would get K callsigns, the opposite of the assignment for ships.

And even as far back as 1922, the W and K rule was not followed 
exactly.  The first station in Alaska was WLAY (not KLAY).  Given that 
some of the early call letters came from ships at sea which had sunk 
(and the next ship didn't want those call letters, thinking them bad 
luck), the Department of Commerce did not always follow logic when 
handing out call letters to the new commercial radio stations.  And 
sometimes, there was a requested call with a K (such as the early Police 
radio station KOP) and the K got assigned even though the station was 
located in Detroit and probably should have gotten a W... somehow WOP 
would not have gotten the job done, I'd imagine.

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