[AMRadio] Speaking of radio history...

SBJohnston at aol.com SBJohnston at aol.com
Wed Dec 6 00:14:21 EST 2006

Speaking of radio history...  I found this quite cool:

Monday marked the 90th anniversary of the first regular, public radio “
broadcast” (as opposed to two-way communications) from station 9XM, later WHA - the 
flagship station of my employer here in Madison, Wisconsin.  

At 11:00am on December 4, 1916, station 9XM at the University of Wisconsin 
began a daily schedule transmitting the state weather forecast in Morse on 176 
kHz.  The time of the broadcast was planned specifically to follow the 
telegraphic time signals sent at 10:55am-11:00am each day from naval radio station 
NAA, used for setting clocks on ships and a target of many hobby listeners and 
amateurs. The 9XM broadcast included the weather forecast received from the 
Chicago weather bureau and the temperature trend expected for the next day and 
half.  These transmissions continued until all stations were shut down and 
private receivers dismantled for the duration of WW I.

After the war, 9XM resumed the Morse weather report, adding farm market 
reports in the fall of 1919.  9XM began a regular schedule of voice broadcasts of 
the weather forecast, on January 3, 1921. The archives of the Weather Bureau 
confirm 9XM was the first radio station to do so in the U.S. The transmissions 
continued to begin with the forecast by code at two different speeds, then the 
phone transmission.  Those receiving the forecast were asked to write it down 
and sharing it with others in their community.  It is known that at least one 
person did so, taking the forecast to his local telephone exchange.  The 
operator would ring everyone on her circuits to read them the forecast.

A new history of these early days has been written by my colleague, Randall 
Davidson, titled "9XM Talking".    You can find out more via the link at   

Steve WD8DAS

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