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Man From Mars Productions

Daniel E. Noble
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While most of the people on this web site took center stage as on-air personalities at WDRC, there is one man who played a role in WDRC's early FM efforts from behind the scenes.

In fact, it would be more accurate to describe Professor Daniel E. Noble as a contract employee who helped design and build WDRC's FM sister, W1XSL.

The story begins in Naugatuck, Connecticut on October 4, 1901, Noble's birthday.

Daniel E. Noble  
 

The bookish-looking, bespectacled young man was a generational contemporary of WDRC's founder, Franklin M. Doolittle (born in New Haven in 1893). Both were intrigued by the rapid scientific advancements of their age.

On July 2, 1921, the heavyweight boxing title match between Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier was fought before 90,000 fans in Jersey City, NJ. It was heard by countless others over Hoboken amateur radiophone station WJY. The next month's issue of The Wireless Age contained a lengthy description of the fight and numerous ear-witness accounts from listeners, including Noble, who was among 500 fans gathered at a Bridgeport assembly hall. It was a watershed event in proving the usefulness of voice broadcasting.

Fascinated by amateur radio, Noble earned his ham license (W1CAS). He took his interest in radio with him to Connecticut State College (now University of Connecticut), where he earned a B.S. in Engineering (Class of 1929). He also studied at Harvard University and did graduate studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

But it was in Storrs that Noble spent 17 years as a student, professor, engineer and radio consultant. In June 1922 the Federal Radio Commission assigned a license to the Connecticut Agricultural College. WABL was a 100-watt station on 1060kc and Noble was its engineer.

 

Page 3 of the July 2, 1923 issue of the FRC's Radio Bulletin:

FRC Radio Bulletin - July 2, 1923

  Dan Noble and engineering colleagues at Connecticut College
Henry G. Morse, Daniel E. Noble, Dean Walter L.
Edel, and Earl R. Moore of Connecticut College's
Engineering Department in 1932.

In 1923 Noble became a lecturer in mechanical engineering. Eight years later he was named assistant professor. From 1933-42 he managed the campus radio station (renamed WCAC in 1925).

By 1936 WDRC's Doolittle had federal permission to experiment with high frequency broadcasts from W1XSL (40.3 MHz) on Meriden Mountain. Renamed W1XPW in early 1938, it became the first commercially licensed station in America on May 13, 1939. It is believed Noble helped design the installation.

 
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