A century after the first commercial radio station began broadcasting, 83% of Americans ages 12 or older listen to the radio in a given week. It’s a technology that we may take for granted now, but the rapid development of radio technology and programming in the early 1920s led to significant changes in American culture and communication. [Read more…] about The WGY Players: A Pioneering Radio Acting Troupe
Barker Schwarz said WGY when it began in 1922 “was really at the cutting edge of technology and the caliber of the music being played was of such high quality.” Violinist Edward Rice played a piece called “Romance” by renowned Polish composer Henri Wieniawski during WGY’s first broadcast on February 20th, 1922. [Read more…] about High Quality Music in Radio’s Early Years
The boom in home radio usage began in the early 1920s. The Department of Commerce issued regulations to control the chaotic spread of radio stations in December of 1921.
A listing from March 10th, 1922, included 67 stations that were officially licensed to use the public airwaves. One of those would become extremely significant in the life of Jared van Wagenen, Jr., a graduate of Cornell University and a farmer who lived at Hillside Farm at Lawyersville (north of Cobleskill) in Schoharie County.
Van Wagenen (1871-1960), though a self-proclaimed “dirt farmer,” was a prolific writer and speaker on all things agricultural. He championed an agricultural civilization where human values were prized over profit. [Read more…] about Farm Paper of the Air: WGY & The Sage of Lawyersville, Jared van Wagenen
Capital Region radio station WGY, New York State’s oldest broadcaster, will celebrate their 100th year with a live afternoon of broadcasting on Sunday, February 20th.
WGY’s original licensee was General Electric (GE), headquartered in Schenectady. In early 1915, the company was granted a Class 3-Experimental license with the call sign 2XI. That license was canceled in 1917 due to the First World War, but 2XI was re-licensed in 1920. [Read more…] about Radio Station WGY’s 100th Anniversary of Broadcasting
This week on The Historians Podcast, a look at the 100th anniversary of WGY, the pioneer Schenectady radio station founded by General Electric in 1922. GE sold the station in the 1980s. Featured are the voices of broadcasters Kolin Hager, Martha Brooks, Howard Tupper, Earl Pudney, Don Tuttle, Elle Pankin and Diane Ward. [Read more…] about New York’s First Radio Station WGY Celebrates 100 Yrs
This week on The Historians Podcast, Bob Cudmore has stories from his Daily Gazette and Amsterdam Recorder Focus on History columns including Amsterdam’s horse racing track, the life of a volunteer nurse in the Civil War and Amsterdam radio announcers who served in Armed Forces Radio. [Read more…] about Amsterdam’s Racetrack and Other Mohawk Valley Stories
RISE volunteers read articles from newspapers, periodicals and books to audiences who would otherwise be unable to access such information. RISE also carries each episode of The Historians Podcast. [Read more…] about WMHT’S Radio Information for the Blind History
“Sing a song of sixpence, and eke of dollar bills,” he wrote in a poetic ditty, published October 3rd, 1922 in The Post-Star of Glens Falls. “Four and thirty thousand fans, paying for their thrills.” [Read more…] about 1922 World Series Was First To Be Broadcast
The July episode of “Crossroads of Rockland History,” turned its attention to the life and career of Steve Possell, who is retiring after a fifty-year career in local Rockland County radio.
First at WRKL and now at WRCR, Possell has had an impact on local radio and our community that can only be called significant. We learn about how he got started in radio, his favorite moments over the past decades on the air and his plans for retirement. [Read more…] about Steve Possell’s 50 Years on Rockland County Radio
In Fallout: The Hiroshima Cover-up and the Reporter Who Revealed It to the World (Simon & Schuster, 2020), a crisply-written, well-researched book, Lesley Blume, a journalist and biographer, tells the fascinating story of the background to John Hersey’s path-breaking article “Hiroshima” and of its extraordinary impact upon the world.
In 1945, although only 30 years of age, Hersey was a very prominent war correspondent for Time magazine — a key part of publisher Henry Luce’s magazine empire — and living in the fast lane. That year, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel, A Bell for Adano, which had already been adapted into a movie and a Broadway play. Born the son of missionaries in China, Hersey had been educated at upper class, elite institutions, including the Hotchkiss School, Yale, and Cambridge. During the war, Hersey’s wife, Frances Ann, a former lover of young Lieutenant John F. Kennedy, arranged for the three of them to get together over dinner. Kennedy impressed Hersey with the story of how he saved his surviving crew members after a Japanese destroyer rammed his boat, PT-109. This led to a dramatic article by Hersey on the subject — one rejected by the Luce publications but published by the New Yorker. The article launched Kennedy on his political career and, as it turned out, provided Hersey with the bridge to a new employer – the one that sent him on his historic mission to Japan. [Read more…] about John Hersey and the Hiroshima Cover-up