The Sun Signs On — 1922

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The Sun Signs On — 1922

Postby cart_machine » Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:05 pm

As mentioned in Pluto's Today in History roundup, March 14th is the anniversary of the Vancouver Sun's radio station going on the air.

It appears the station went on very suddenly. Broadcasts are seemingly in the future on the 14th, and then the next day, readers are told the station has been on the air for several days. Say what?

What happened was the Sun got scooped. The Province put its station on the air first, so the Sun quickly got on the air without any warning to readers of the debut broadcast.

Here are the newspaper stories for the 14th, 15th and 16th (page one, no less).

Radiophones Simple To Operate Despite Mysterious Status
[Vancouver Sun, Tuesday, March 14, 1922]
THREE HUNDRED years ago a person that would dare suggest that the human voice could be heard 1000 miles by the use of any device, would immediately be elected to the select circle of spookism.
Today, amateur radio operators of from 14 to 20 years of age look upon other beings as more or less stupid if they have not progressed from the student stage in wireless research.
The contrast herein is solely due to the fact that wireless is not so involved, scientific of mysterious as the average citizen believes.
This fact is being emphasized more every day and as it is the army of radio operators is increasing.
Fifteen years ago wireless activities were confined to sparks and codes. With the introduction of radiophones, where music, words, sermons, speeches or other sounds can be transmitted easily and clearly, the art is becoming of general interest.
It is safe to say that there will be hundreds who will avail themselves of The Sun’s radiophone service when it is installed.

Sun Radio Telephone Broadcasts Musical Numbers and News
[Vancouver Sun, Wed., March 15, 1922]
Latest news reports and a musical programme were broadcasted over The Sun’s radiophone last night. The news service consisted of a digest of world happenings, while the musical programme included some of the latest and best-known selections. Two world news bulletins were spoken slowly in order to be audible to all operators.
There will be another programme tonight. Starting at 8 o’clock, The Sun’s radiophone will broadcast a summary of the latest local and world happenings in the form of news bulletins. From 8:30 till 9:30 there will be a musical programme of selected numbers.
The Sun’s radiophone has been in operation for several days, since the announcement of the inception of this service by the paper over a week ago. It has been in communication with Seattle and as far south as San Francisco.
Announcement of programmes which will be broadcasted over The Sun’s radiophone will be made daily.

Sun Radiophone Broadcast Lauded
[Vancouver Sun, Thurs., March 16, 1922]
“Hear you perfectly, modulation excellent.”
Such was the comment that poured into The Sun office last night. From all parts of the city, from New Westminster, North Vancouver and other points came reports that The Sun’s Radio Broadcast registered clearly and distinctly. Working on a 200 metre wave length, the Radio Broadcast got into operation promptly at 8 o’clock and within a few minutes amateurs were enthusiastically telephoning that they were getting excellent service.
“Am getting great results, marvellous modulation, don’t stop,” phoned one enthusiast who was much excited over the fact that his instrument actually caught and gave forth the news bulletins as spoken.
REPORTS CLEAR
C. Longley, Radio 5 A.H., 3351 Quebec Street, was highly elated. He telephoned The Sun saying that the news reports were very clear and that they had been easily and distinctly heard. Some of the fainter musical selections were a little difficult to hear, he said.
“The Wabash Blues, however, were very good,” he stated.
[line unreadable] called up The Sun office and remarked on the clearness with which the news bulletins were received in that city.
“The news reports were heard very plainly,” he said. “The modulation was excellent.”
F. Sterling, Arbutus and Third, heard the broadcast very distinctly, he stated. He said that The Sun’s radio recorded on his instrument better than he expected and much better than other broadcasts he has caught.
One enthusiat who has been following closely The Sun’s announcement concerned its radio phone service, called up over the telephone last night and asked to be connected with the radio phone.
“I’ll hold the phone until you can connect me up,” he said.
Some time later it may be possible for The Sun to make these connections.
AMATEURS JUBILANT
Amateurs, naturally jubilant that the broadcast was being sent out on a low wave length, were not slow to tell The Sun of their pleasure. By working at 200 metres, all the amateur stations could easily tune in on the broadcast, and it is the intention of The Sun to operate at that wave length.
Gerald Newmarch, Radio 5 C.D., on Comox Street, gave considerable assistance last night by checking in at regular intervals, reporting on his the broadcast was registering on his instrument, and all amateurs can assist in the success of The Sun’s daily radio programme by co-operating with The Sun in this. Call up Sey. 40 and ask for the radio man; he will appreciate your interest.
COVERS WIDE RANGE
The Sun’s Radio news programme last night covered a wide range of events. A resume of the latest market reports giving closing quotations and summary was broadcasted from 8 till 8:15 o’clock. Following that flashes received from all parts of the world were given out. Items from London, Dublin, Constantinople, Johannesburg, El Paso, New York, Chicago and other points were sent out in quick succession.
The musical programme broadcasted last night was “Underneath [line unreadable] sung by Enrico Caruso; “Bright Eyes,” “Wabash Blues,” “Humoresque,” played by Kreisler, and “Sal-O-May.” The last number registered very effectively, according to reports telephoned the Broadcasting station, and it was repeated by request.

RADIO PROGRAMME
The Sun’s Radiophone Broadcast Tonight on a 200-metre wavelength is as follows:
7:30 p.m.—Latest market reports and summary of news reports received right up to that time.
7:45—Concert numbers.
8:00—Sport report and special wire despatches.
8:15—Musical selections.
8:30—Resume of important news.
8:45—Music.
9:00—Final flashes from every corner of the world, including important local news happenings.
The musical numbers that will be broadcasted at 7:45, 8:15 and 8:45 are as follows—“Bow Bow Blues,” “La Forsa Del Destine,” sung by Stracofiari and Hacket; “I ain’t Nobody’s Darling,” “Cuckoo,” “O Terra Addio” from Aida, sung by Rosa Ponselle and Hackett; “Frankee and Johnny,” “It’s You.”
Remember the wave length is 200 metres, and don’t forget to phone Sey. 40 and ask for the radio man; he wants you to co-operate by checking up the broadcast and reporting to him.
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Postby jon » Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:40 pm

Since I wrote it yesterday evening, it is still fresh in my mind, but I will repeat it here:

In 1922, CJCE Vancouver signed on by the Sprott-Shaw School of Commerce. The Vancouver Sun was owner, but had been beaten by two days by The Province, which signed on CFCB on March 13th. The World, Vancouver's third newspaper, got CFYC on the air March 23rd. CJCE signed off forever in 1924 after Sprott-Shaw acquired CFCQ. CFCB became CKCD in 1923 and had its license revoked effective February 1940 after the CBC, then also a regulator, decided that there were too many stations in Vancouver. CFYC's new owners failed to get their license renewed after experiencing financial difficulties, and went off the air in 1928.
---

I don't think it should be surprising that The Sun doesn't talk about The Province's station. I'm sure The World didn't talk about either station. The CCF site has this to say about it:

Records of early broadcasting in Vancouver are not clear. The race between the three newspapers to be first on the air, the shortage of transmitting equipment and delays in the issuing of licenses, led to short-cuts and confusion.

On March 13th, 1922 The Daily Province went on the air with music and news programming. The location and designation and unusually low frequency used suggest that station “FB” was actually someone else’s transmitter pressed into service to be the first of the Newspapers on the air.
---

Elsewhere, the CCF states that the station originally signed on to 440 KHz, then moved to 410 KHz. Seemingly, always with 500 watts.
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Re: The Sun Signs On, 1922

Postby cart_machine » Thu Dec 17, 2020 3:47 am

Sure, let's follow up an almost 13-year-old story.

Here's the Vancouver Sun's story from March 17, 1922 about its radio station's coming broadcast day and some DXing from the night before. At no time are the call-letters mentioned.

“E.A. Westlake” is Edward A. Westgate, age 17, who found work as a telephone operator in 1926. He graduated from Kerrisdale Elementary in 1917. His father, Alfred J. Westlake, was a druggist. Dad died in the bushes off Marine Drive in the Marpole area in 1925. Drug overdose. What a pleasant story this is turning out to be!

Just to clarify the unintelligible lines in the previous story, the first one reads E. Peck, Radio 5 D.G., New Westminster and the second one is “Underneath Hawaiian Skies,” “O Solo Mio,”

cArtie.

- - - -

Daily Sun Radio Telephone Will Broadcast Selections Given by Capitol Orchestra
AS a result of experiments that have been carried on for some time it will now be possible for residents of outlying districts to hear the wonderful music of the Capitol Symphony Orchestra at the regular evening performances. The task of collecting the volume of sound created by this large orchestra was no small one, but has been overcome, and thus another barrier isolating the country from the city will be shattered.
AMATEURS HEAR REPORT
As on previous evenings, practically all the amateurs within a radius of 25 miles listened in at the appointed hour for The Sun's Radio broadcast last night. Every amateur set located within the radius of the broadcasting station can hear The Sun programme because it is broadcasted on a 200-metre wave length. Any wave length under 600 metres is well within the range of amateur operated instruments. The small sets do not require additional apparatus to hear the live news bulletins and musical selections; in fact, the receiving apparatus is weakened by attachments necessary to tune up to a higher than 600-wave length.
CONCERT CLEAR, STRONG
E. A. Westlake, 8696 Oak Street, Marpole, telephoned to The Sun stating that the news reports were very interesting and the concert was strong and clear.
R. M. Ellis of North Vancouver Radio 5 BI., one of the foremost amateurs of the district, called The Sun, saying that the modulation was excellent last night, giving very clear speech. The music was loud and very clear, and could be danced to without difficulty, he said.
P. Z. Noorlin, Radio 7 G.J., Portland, wired The Sun yesterday that he had received The Sun's radiophone broadcast very distinctly Wednesday night.
HEARD ALONG COAST
At 7:30 o'clock last night all amateurs and wireless operators were notified to listen for The Vancouver Sun’s broadcast. Portland, Seattle and Tacoma stations received this announcement and listened carefully for the radiophone.
News reports were given at 8 o'clock, the musical programme of the evening being as follows: "Bow Wow Blues," by Bennie Kreuger's orchestra; "I'm Cuckoo Over You," by Paul Kreuger's orchestra; "I Ain't Nobody's Darling," by Paul Biese Trio; "Frankie and Johnny," by Paul Bless Trio; "It's You"; xylophone solo; Hawaiian medley.

SUN'S RADIO PROGRAMME
The programme arranged for The Sun's Radiophone Broadcast tonight on a 200-metre wave length is as follows:
7:30 p.m.—Latest market reports and summary of news reports received right up to that time.
7:45—Concert numbers.
8:00—Sport report and special wire despatches.
8:15—Musical selections.
8:30—Resume of important news.
8:45—Music.
9:00—Final flashes from every corner of the world, including important local news happenings.
The musical numbers that will be broadcasted at 7:45, 8:15 and 8:45 p.m. are as follows:—
"The Sheik."
"Kentucky Home."
"Serenade," violin solo.
"Song of India."
"Mon Homme."
Remember the wave length is 200 metres, and don't forget to phone Sey. 40 and ask for the radio man; he wants you to co-operate by checking up the broadcast and reporting to him.
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Re: The Sun Signs On, 1922

Postby cart_machine » Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:05 am

Here’s the Vancouver Sun story plugging its radio station in the Saturday, March 18, 1922 edition. It's the third time it talks about broadcasts. It still does not mention call-letters mentioned or name of the announcer.

The story reminds readers how easy it is to build a crystal set. My dad put one together in the 1920s and he wasn’t even into his teens.

The “Mr. Castleman” in the story is likely Ernest Ralph “Casey” Casselman, age 16, the son of physician Dr. Vestes E.D. Casselman, a former president of the B.C.M.A. Born in Manitoba, Casey was a noted rugby player in the mid-‘20s, worked for a number of brokerage houses, and died in 1980.

Someone must have loved “Bow Wow Blues.” That’s two nights in a row it got played.

Steamers Are Hearing Slow Speech Broadcast From Sun Radio phone
A FURTHER development of the news and concert broadcast service inaugurated by The Vancouver Sun makes it possible for passengers in ocean-going vessels within considerable radius of Vancouver to hear a summary of the latest news and market reports.
This forward step in the distribution of news made possible by the use of the radiophone is accomplished by speaking very slowly into the broadcasting apparatus. Operators on ships are thus able to take the report in long hand and the bulletins are then posted up in the ship's saloon.
Although oll [sic] ocean-going vessels are equipped with wireless apparatus, despatches have been confined to commercial messages and ships' business. Now, through the enterprise of The Vancouver Sun, a complete resume of important events is conveyed dally to passengers.
The special slow speech broadcast will be made daily at 8 p.m., and The Vancouver Sun invites ships' radio officers, when they are in port, to call at The Sun office, 137 Pender Street West, for a supply of special blank news forms to write the bulletins on.
GIVE HOCKEY RESULTS
A distinctive feature of The Sun broadcast service last night was the excellent reports on the Stanley Cup game in Toronto between Vancouver and St. Patricks. Judgig [sic] by the number of enthusiastic reports that came back to The Sun, the service given made a hit.
An entertaining programme of musical selections alternated with despatches from all parts of the world. Some pieces reproduce better than others, and by a curious circumstance, the jazz numbers take best to the aerial flight, probably as the office wag says, because then are lighter music.
VOICE VERY DISTINCT
Mr. Castleman, Twelfth Avenue and Cambie Street, got a great kick out of the broadcast last night. He reported that the voice was particularly distinct and that the music was great. Karl Chang, 486 Pender Street, said that the modulation was fine. His report shows that The Sun radiophone is operating at high efficiency, as it is considered good work when nearby operators get the voice and music distinctly.
The wonderful feature of the Radiophone is the fact that the small amateur sets are very simple to operate. As a chrystal detector is used in the small receiving apparatus, batteries are not necessary. All that is required is a wire hung from the gutter at the roof of your house connected with the receiving set having car phones at which you listen.

SUN’S RADIO PROGRAMME
The programme arranged for The Sun's Radiophone Broadcast tonight on a 200-metre wave length is as follows:
7:30 p.m.—Latest market reports and summary of news reports received right up to that time.
7:45—Concert numbers.
8:00—Special slow speech broadcast for ships at sea.
8:15—Musical selections.
8:30—Resume of important news.
8:45—Music.
9:00—Final flashes from every corner of the world, including important local news happenings.
The musical numbers that will be broadcasted at 7:45, 8:15 and 8:45 p.m. are as follows:—
"Rose of My Heart," Johu [sic] McCormick.
"Buffalo News March," Xylophone Solo.
"Le Rondo des Lutins," Violin Solo by Jascha Heifetz
"Bow Wow Blues."
"Dance California," Bell Solo.
All Victor records supplied by courtesy of Mason, Risch Ltd., 738 Granville St.
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