Man From Mars Productions
24, 1930 - WDRC closed its studios at the Hotel
Taft in New Haven and moved the equipment to Hartford.
5, 1930 - At 5:00PM, WDRC greeted its new audience
with live music programs from studios in the Corning Building at
11 Asylum Street. The transmitter was housed at 783
Blue Hills Avenue in nearby Bloomfield. WDRC became the
76th affiliate of the CBS Radio Network.
11, 1930 - CBS officially welcomed WDRC to its
roster with a nationwide hookup from 10:30-11:30PM. Governor John
H. Trumbull and Hartford Mayor Walter E. Batterson were among the
speakers. The Guy Lombardo and Ben Bernie orchestras were featured
1931 - The licensee name was changed from Doolittle Radio
Corporation to WDRC Incorporated.
- Franklin M. Doolittle
asked the Federal Radio Commission for authority to increase power
from 500 to 1,000 watts. He submitted a detailed financial statement
indicating WDRC made a net profit of $34,787.96 in 1932 on
its investment of $5,000.
23, 1933 - Power was increased to 1,000 watts.
The Hartford Daily Times,
Tuesday, December 2, 1930, p.23
shot of WDRC's building at 750
Main Street in Hartford; Traveler's
Tower is to the right
for photos of 1936 studios
13, 1934 - A routine FRC license renewal application
revealed that WDRC Incorporated was owned as follows: New
Haven Broadcasting Co., of Hartford, 50%; Sam Pickard, of Rye, NY,
22.4%; Lawrence W. Lowman, of New York, 22.4%. Pickard and Lowman
were both CBS vice presidents.
27, 1934 - The FRC authorized an increase to 2,500 watts
day, 1,000 watts night.
1934 - A new transmitting station was built at 785
Blue Hills Avenue in Bloomfield, 40 feet from the original structure.
1935 - The station began utilizing a new 310-foot tower
at the Bloomfield transmitter site. Click
for photo; note 3 towers.
every well-dressed 1934 Plymouth needed - a WDRC license plate
Smith newspaper ad: October 1, 1935.
10, 1936 - Daytime power was increased to 5,000
The Hartford Courant, October 1, 1935
March, 1936 - New
England sustained $100 million damage in a series of deadly
floods. WDRC provided coverage by candlelight when heat and
lights went out in downtown Hartford.
for a photo of 1936 flood coverage.
1936 - Doolittle received permission to operate
W1XSL, one of twelve "Apex" AM high frequency
stations on an experimental basis. It was built on the west
peak of Meriden Mountain and operated at 40,300kc (40.3mc)
with 1kw of power.
16, 1936 - WDRC moved from 11 Asylum Street
to new studios in the 16th floor penthouse of the Hartford
Trust Company (later Connecticut Bank & Trust) building at
750 Main Street in Hartford.
1936 - WDRC featured Joseph Blume and his
Famous Blue Room Ensemble. Click on ad (right) for
a larger view. Blume's son, Jerry,
would be a staff announcer from 1959-63.
14, 1937 - Bloomfield renumbered Blue
Hills Avenue so WDRC's transmitter property became #869.
26, 1938 - W1XSL changed its name to W1XPW.
1938 - WDRC operated daily from 7:00AM to
1:00AM. It's slogan was "The Advertising Test Station in
the Advertising Test City."
display of WDRC logos
over the decades click on the image to the right.
Advertising Test Station in
the Advertising Test City
30, 1938 - The station aired what became one of
the most infamous broadcasts of all time - The Mercury Theater's
production of War of the Worlds on CBS. Directed by,
and starring, Orson Welles, the hour-long drama about an imaginary
invasion of New Jersey by Martians genuinely terrified the
page of the next morning's Hartford Courant detailed
the extent of the local reaction but never mentioned WDRC
by name. The article merely said: "Upon learning from
a local broadcasting company that it was a play, [a Courant
telephone operator] repeatedly explained it to callers,
but in many cases so frenzied was the hysteria, she was unable
to convince them it was fictional and not real."
to read more about War of the Worlds.
9, 1939 - The FCC granted WDRC's application
to use a 100 watt transmitter developed by Dr. Edwin H. Armstrong
to conduct tests of ultra high frequency modulation. The authorization
included tests from 86,000 to 400,000 k.c. and frequency width
up to 200 k.c.
13, 1939 - At a cost of $20,000, Doolittle put
America's first commercial FM station on the air at 2:39PM,
as experimental station W1XPW. It was on the air from
3PM-12M, airing classical music, and later simulcasting WDRC.
All FM promotion and production was supervised by announcer
Bob Provan (right).
for photos of Meriden Mountain
1939 - W1XPW began operating on a regular
schedule at 43.4 MHz. The transmitter and 90 foot steel mast
were atop Meriden Mountain (elevation
27, 1939 - The Federal Communications Commission
approved an AM power increase to 5,000 watts day and night;
construction on a multi-tower directional array began.
1939 - Announcer Jack
Zaiman read a sportscast over W1XPW. It was relayed,
without wires, to FM stations in Albany, then to Schenectady,
then back to Hartford, all without static. No one heard the
broadcast except for the engineers at each station because
there were few FM sets in use.
4, 1939 - W1XPW participated in another frequency
modulation triple rebroadcast. W2CR in Yonkers, NY broadcast a program
which was picked up and rebroadcast by Major Edwin H. Armstrong's
station W2MN in Alpine, NJ, then picked up and rebroadcast a third
time over WDRC's FM sister station atop Meriden