© 1999-2014
Man From Mars Productions


History
obg logo
 
 
  November 27, 1922 - Radio Inspector Walter Butterworth travelled from Boston to personally inspect Franklin M. Doolittle's radio appartus at 817 Chapel Street in New Haven. He liked what he saw, recommending that the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Navigation grant a Class A Limited Commercial license. The paperwork was approved in Washington on December 2nd and a three-month license was granted.  
 

click to see a portion of WPAJ's first commercial license application

December 10, 1922 - Above a shop in New Haven, Connecticut's first commercial radio station was born: 30-watt WPAJ (360 meters/833 kilocycles). Working in cramped quarters, Doolittle was President & Treasurer of Doolittle Radio Corporation.

WPAJ - March, 1923

The very first performer on the young station was Miss Florence A. Morrison, a New Haven school music teacher. For the opening broadcast, she presented a program of piano music (note the player roles atop the piano).

click for enlargement

April, 1923 - WPAJ changed its wavelength to 268 meters (1120 kc).

click for enlargement

WPAJ  studio - September, 1923

October, 1923 - New Haven native Italo A. Martino joined Doolittle to sell radio sets. He later became an officer of the company.

January 1, 1924 - WPAJ's three-month license renewal form indicated Doolittle Radio Corporation had relocated to 109 Crown Street. Only one 85-foot wooden tower was in use and permission was granted to boost power output to 100 watts.

1924 - Doolittle hires Walter B. Haase to sell and install radio sets. The collaboration would continue until 1959.

May 23, 1924 - Another license renewal application indicated Doolittle had relocated to 115 Crown Street. A two-tower array was again in use, each 85 feet in height.

August 6, 1924 - The Bureau of Navigation's Radio Division authorized WPAJ to conduct duplex (binaural) broadcasts on two frequencies - 268 & 227 meters (1120 & 1320 kc). The same program was broadcast over both, with two microphones feeding the two transmitters. "Listeners were invited to join in the experiments in such unheard of things as stereo broadcasting, years before there were any stereo records."

Crown Street, New Haven CT
Hotel Taft, New Haven

December 10, 1924 - The quarterly license renewal directed WPAJ to broadcast only on 268 meters (1120 kc).

February 21, 1925 - WPAJ's call letters were changed to WDRC (Doolittle Radio Corporation).

November 15, 1926 - WDRC was one of sixteen charter affiliates of the new National Broadcasting Company. The affiliation ended in March, 1927.

early 1927 - WDRC moved to the luxurious Hotel Taft at 70 College Street in New Haven.

June 15, 1927 - Power was increased to 250 watts and the frequency moved to 1090 kc, sharing the frequency with WCAC Storrs, CT. WCAC moved to another frequency August 27th.

August 15, 1927 - The transmitter was moved to 5 Beacon Avenue, Beacon Hill, New Haven and the frequency changed to 1060 kc (283 meters).

November 3, 1927 - WDRC broadcast with 500 watts of power. WAIU, Columbus, OH, shared the frequency with 5,000 watts. To eliminate heterodyne, WDRC employed a "zero beat" method whereby it was synchronized with the Columbus station. Doolittle received permission from the Federal Radio Commission to operate two hours nightly on 810 kc (370.2 meters) until December 31. This frequency was shared with WMCA in Hoboken, NJ. While 70 miles apart, the stations broadcast the same program identically on the same wavelength.

January, 1928 - WDRC was on the air from 70 College Street in New Haven six hours a day (9:30-10:30AM, 11:00AM-12:00N & 5:00-9:00PM). It was affiliated with the WMCA Network, originating at New York's Hotel McAlpin. WDRC employed five people and reported an annual net income of $18,700.

November 11, 1928 - A national frequency reallocation program relocated WDRC to 1330kc.

WDRC's Walter Haase announcing from 70 College Street, New Haven, circa 1927

Walter B. Haase announcing at
70 College Street, circa 1927.

1929 rate card January 1, 1929 - WDRC issued its first national rate card; click for enlargement.
 
Man From Mars site WPOP site return to top home