Radio FE, Vancouver's First Station

Bits and Pieces of BC Radio History

Radio FE, Vancouver's First Station

Postby cart_machine » Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:47 am

The first radio station in the Lower Mainland appeared out of nowhere. It sounds that’s the way the owners wanted it.

In March 1922, the little Vancouver Sun was publishing stories about radiophones and starting a radiophone station. Imagine the paper’s surprise when the Vancouver Province went on the air, without any warning, on Monday, March 13, 1922, beating the Sun.

The Province had never shown any interest in radio before this, at least in its pages. In reading between the lines, it would appear publisher Walter Nichol and manager Frank Burd decided to react quickly after reading the Sun’s intentions. They cooked up a deal with the Vancouver Merchants Exchange to use their transmitter and attached a mechanism for it to broadcast speech. In the meantime, the paper applied to the federal government for a license, and contacted the Marconi Company to send it a transmitter.

What you’ll read is the day-by-by account of the station from sign-on until the end of the month. (March 31st is not included as it deals in how to set up an aerial and a receiving set).

The station used the call letters “FE.” Things get a little confusing after the Department of Transport granted a license. The Province was given the call-letters CKCD. The Marconi Company was given the call letters CFCB. Radio Digest reported in June 1922 that the Merchants Exchange was given call letters CHCL. The newspaper operated CKCD for one week in mid-June, then took over the running of CFCB, which had a shiny new transmitter. At one point, it appears the Province had both stations on the air simultaneously. A year later, CFCB was renamed CKCD.

Anyway, let’s carry on with the posts. I hope I have corrected all the OCR errors.

cArtie (was not on the air in 1922).

Tuesday, March 14, 1922
Province Broadcasts
News and Music by Radio

Events of Day Are Sent to Scores of Districts
BROADCASTING a budget of news and several musical selections, a radiophone service was inaugurated by The Province on Monday night. For the first time in the history of the Canadian West, radio “waves” carried the news of the day to scores of districts, many of them so much beyond the reach of the mailed evening newspaper that news with them by ordinary channels is often three or four days old. Last night's test was thoroughly successful.
The central despatching station used by The Province is in the Merchant's Exchange, Vancouver. During several weeks past negotiations and experiments have been proceeding, last evening at 8:30 all plans were ready and equipment installed so that the first messages were sent out. The mechanical devices used are of the latest type and are supplied by the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company.
Bright and early, this morning, from points up and down the coast, messages were received describing the clearness and satisfactory nature of the service supplied last night. The greatest distance covered was recorded by the government station at High River, Alberta, which is 600 miles away across the Rockies.
"Perfect music and speech received from your station last night," says Mr. Gorman, operator at Thurston Harbor, about 200 miles up the coast.
Another coast point about 100 miles distant, the Forest Branch Radiophone at Myrtle Point "heard voice and music perfectly." Seattle, Victoria and New Westminster all sent messages that the voice sounds had been received quite clearly.
Besides the official stations enumerated, scores of amateurs throughout Vancouver and the district listened for half an hour to the new and uncanny call of the wireless phones. In several Vancouver sets which were tested the tones were rather better in clearness and quality than the best “wire telephone” that has ever been used. And as for the music, you close your eyes and you imagine you are listening to a phonograph in the same room with you.
The sending machine, one of the newest manufactured, recently arrived from England for installation at the Merchants' Exchange. There is a very expensive and complicated machine encased in a cabinet, but so far the operator in concerned is concerned the method of transmission is exceedingly simple. He talks into a telephone receiver of the ordinary type. The “waves” of sound are caught up and sent out from a great aerial which extends across the roof the Metropolitan Building to the Post Office. They disappear in the ether or ozone or whatever is the transmitting agent to be caught up by every wireless outfit around the country. Of these there are several hundred amateur sets in Vancouver alone. Others in North Vancouver, New Westminster and Nanaimo—even one at Roberts Creek, where a lonely rancher every night can listen for the news and the music from Vancouver, Seattle and even as far away as San Francisco.
The sending station may be equipped with a most complicated and costly machine, but the little receiving set which any boy can have installed with a forty-foot aerial on the roof is an extremely simple and inexpensive device. A few have been made almost entirely by the amateurs themselves, while the Marconi Company manufactures very satisfactory ones costing from $25 to $100. These instruments can be attuned not only to hear one but a number of radio stations. Tests made last night showed that not only could The Province be heard with great distinctness, but calls from stations at the north end of Vancouver Island and musical selections being played in San Francisco or Oakland were not beyond the range of the receivers here.
Tonight, news will be broadcasted starting at 8:30. Interest tonight centres on getting a good service to Penticton, where a new machine has been set up today. The broadcasting test will continue every night this week, pending the issue of permanent licenses by the Federal Government.
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Re: Radio FE, Vancouver's First Station

Postby cart_machine » Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:09 am

Radio, the great and mighty peacemaker!!

It didn’t happen, did it?

Part of the end-piece waxing on about technology saving the world can be found in Dennis Duffy’s book Imagine Please. It’s published in full below. (Maybe, some day, someone will call their station “The Porcupine.” There’s been no end of ridiculous monikers over the last number of years).

The Vancouver Province wasted no time in publishing testimonials about how great its new radio station sounded. Strangely, when it took over operation of CFCB three months later, it stated the old Province station was hampered by interference, but the new station, well, how clear and great it sounded!!

King Cavalsky was one of the technicians who got CFDC on the air in Nanaimo. It later moved to Vancouver and became CKWX (Cavalsky went to work for BC Tel in Vancouver).

I don’t know the fate of young Master Longmire. His father was a bank manager.


Wednesday, March 15, 1922
Another Big Budget Of News Is Distributed
Province Radio Service Again Heard Up and Down Coast.
Dr. King’s Election and Other Interesting Features Are Included.

A GREAT budget of news was distributed Tuesday night by The Province Radiophone Service. That it was clearly heard up and down the Coast and into the interior of B. C. was demonstrated this morning when further telegrams were received.
Mr. W. A. Pierce, wireless operator on the steamer Princess Louise, lying at Victoria, said: "Your music and news broadcast clearly received at Victoria."
J. K. Cavalsky, an amateur at Nanaimo, wires: "Congratulations. Your music and spoken words perfectly received here tonight."
Mr. F. G. McGee at Myrtle Point, 100 miles from Vancouver, wired this: "News received last night far exceeds any previous tests. Exceptionally clear and very strong. Perfectly modulated, audible twenty feet from phone."
First messages with a new machine at Penticton were not entirely satisfactory last night. A new test will be carried out tonight.
One of the most enthusiastic amateurs in the city is George Longmire, aged 14, who lives at 2130 Williams [sic] street, Grandview. He "got" everything that the radio sent out last night.
The instruments at the Merchants' Exchange send wave-lengths of 2000 metres and receiving sets should be attuned to that distance to give best results in hearing.
The first bulletin sent out last night was that announcing the election of Hon. J. H. King in East Kootenay. Powell River, Bull Harbor, Victoria, Nanaimo, Roberts Creek, North Vancouver, Chilliwack and many other points got this information almost the name moment that it was posted on The Province bulletin board on Hastings street. Then followed nearly a score of bulletins of news of worldwide interest, some from London and New York and one giving the latest news from the strike situation in Johannesburg. Then came the weather report, the official forecast for the next forty-eight hours. The third section was given to market reports, for the benefit especially of rural communities, where prices of wheat, oats and eggs are of Interest. A number of excellent musical selections rounded out a fine programme that was not complete until nearly 10 o'clock.
Tonight the programme will be along similar lines. On Thursday night there will be a special Irish concert. For this event, a receiving set has been placed in St. Andrew’s Church, Forty-ninth avenue east, South Vancouver, and the radio numbers will be a feature of the entertainment. These numbers will be played as usual from The Province Merchants' Exchange set starting at 8 o'clock, and will, of course, be heard by every other station which listens in, as well as in the church for which the programme is specially designed. From 9 to 9:30 on Thursday evening the regular news bulletins and market reports will be issued.
In a later issue, detailed announcement will be made of the specifications, cost, etc., of receiving sets, which the Marconi Company will be able to supply for use by all who wish to avail themselves of The Province radiophone service. The intention is especially to reach all those points where daily mails are not available. Enquiries for sets are being received from such places as Lillooet, Alta Lake, Alberni, Brookmere, Quesnel and a hundred and one slightly remote settlements up and down the coast.
Rev. Dr. McKinnon, formerly of Kitsilano and now travelling mission superintendent for the Presbyterian Church, writes to The Province from Cariboo a very interesting and pointed letter on the radio project. He says:
“With the inauguration of wireless and radiophone service as now contemplated, the rural districts and isolated mining centres which have long waited their opportunity will come to their own. The present trend of rural depopulation and urban congestion will not only be stemmed but reversed. Nothing can save the world like this advance. Get the people on the land satisfied and get all the people that can be removed from the cities on the land and we shall have no more unemployment and no more radical agitation inflaming people to rage and acts of disloyalty to their country. When wireless and radiophones can be installed at nominal cost in every nook and corner of the land, the cause for the loneliness which often seizes the dwellers in isolated places will be removed, and they will feel that they are one with their fellow-men all over the planet.
“People are like the porcupines we read of in fables stories. A group of porcupines once decided to organize into a society. First they agreed to live close together but they found it unsatisfactory as their quills annoyed one another. They tried to live far apart but they found that inconvenient. Finally they agreed to live within hearing distance of one another but not close enough to interfere with each other in the slightest.
“People do not want to be closely and densely huddled together and they do not want to live ‘in a finite shivering solitude.’ They want to live with sound of each others’ voices and to see each other as they will be able even when they are many miles apart. The cry ‘back to the land’ can now be listened to without a haunting sense loneliness stealing into the mind, and within next decade, it is safe to conjecture that millions of people now stranded and half in the cities will enjoy the freedom, leisure and happiness unattainable alone in rural areas. It is a safe forecast if this wireless communication of important news, worthwhile concerts, thought-provoking addresses, inspiring operas and ennobling and uplifting sermons can be supplied to dwellers in the remote plains and interior belts of British Columbia, that people can be numbered by hundreds of thousands in a few years, where now we can find only a few hundreds. The world is on the eve of great advances which portend the end of discontent and the ushering in a longer and brighter day of peace."
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Re: Radio FE, Vancouver's First Station

Postby cart_machine » Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:25 am

Thursday, March 16, 1922
People of Cloverdale Hear Fine Concert By Clever Device.
Numerous Out-of-town Enquiries Are Received for Equipment.

Mayor Tisdall will speak on The Province wireless telephone tonight at 8:45. He will give a message of goodwill from the people of Vancouver to everyone within, hearing throughout the province. He will address a few words each especially to Powell River, Thurston Bay, Victoria, Penticton, Vernon, Nanaimo and Fraser Valley points.
VANCOUVER has become radio-phoney.
Ever since The Province started to broadcast news and music into the night air, amateur wireless fans all over the city have been erecting apparatus to get in on the latest news and entertainment. Telephone calls asking what sort of equipment is necessary and how it is to be set up have been pouring into The Province office for the past two days. Numerous out-of-town enquiries have also been received.
"What is your wave length?" ask the enthusiasts.
When told that The Province Merchants' Exchange set operates on a 2000-metre wave length they hurry away to tune up.
This 2000-metre wave is the standard capacity for commercial work. It is sufficiently powerful to reach all over British Columbia. Some of the smaller amateur receiving outfits are on a 200 wave-length basis. If they do not catch The Province service satisfactorily, they can easily be strengthened by the adding of honeycomb coils, which can be purchased for a dollar or two.
Thanks to the ingenuity of R. M. Ralfe of the B. C. Electric substation at Cloverdale, and Mr. Lemax, municipal clerk, the residents of that town were able to sit at home and listen to The Province news and concert on Wednesday night. By means of an aerial strung from the top of the flagpole outside the Municipal Hall and microphonic amplifier connected to the town telephone system the service was widely distributed.
On board the Empress of Russia lying in the harbor the concert was listened to by a party of Merchants' Exchange and Marconi officials and newspapermen. The high-powered and complicated set on board the liner took considerable tuning to bring it down to 2000-metre wave length.
When it finally began to pick up the messages the wireless cabin was flooded with music which was almost too loud for pleasure.
The concert last night consisted of popular songs and dance music, with one or two classical records. "Killarney" floating through the inky darkness sounded beautiful. Sir Harry Lauder singing "Roamin' In the Gloamin' " was picked up very clearly. The strains of the violin and other musical instruments seem to be even softer when they come through the air than when played in a concert hall.
It is uncanny in a way. Voices give directions and orders through space to people in Penticton or High River, Alberta, or on Vancouver Island.
Another interesting achievement Wednesday night was to communicate with cities in the Okanagan. On Tuesday night a set that had been hurriedly installed at Penticton worked rather poorly, but on Wednesday the service was quite clear and satisfactory. In Vernon, The Province news was picked up on a crystal detector, the simplest kind or receiving advice.
Altogether Wednesday evening, the radiation was much better than on the two previous nights and adjustments were obtained rapidly and in good shape.
Numerous reports as to the excellence of The Province service have been received. Those who got in on the news and concert the first night now look upon themselves as old subscribers and have been very helpful in notifying the office of the results of each night's work. The system has not been working long enough to have ironed out all the wrinkles, but each night there is an improvement in the clearness, enthusiasts report.
The concert and news service will start tonight at 8 o'clock. This is half an hour earlier than it has been broadcasted to date. The big event of the evening is an Irish concert, specially designed for a social gathering at South Vancouver Presbyterian Church.
"Everything was correct and clear as a bell; we heard you beautifully. Our set is upstairs and we could hear twenty feet away downstairs," said Mr. Stewart Reid, 4675 Kingsway, Central Park, when he "reported in" this morning on last night's concert. Mr. Reid not only has a very fine receiving set but a complete radiophone outfit and on other occasions has been heard in Victoria. He has a very fine type of British navy aerial.
CLOVERDALE, March 16. — The Province radiophone concert surprised and delighted residents of Cloverdale and district who Wednesday night filled the Municipal Hall to its capacity. Reporting the result of the unique entertainment, Mr. R. V. Balfe, engineer in charge of the B. C. Electric Railway Company's substation here, said:
"There was no interruption, the carrier wave being hardly audible; the music was clear and distinct with strong carrying power. The modulation was perfect and there was no fading. "With the assistance of Mr. Lemax, municipal clerk, a small aerial was strung from the flagpole to the upper window of the Municipal Hall, in which was connected the tuner and amplifier. This, in turn, was connected to eight pairs of phones, with a loud speaker. A microphonic amplifier was also attached to the town phone and anyone who wished could hear the music after it had passed through the air.
A large number of people were present at the hall and heard the concert through the air. Also many for miles around Cloverdale enjoyed hearing the music coming into their homes through the air and then over the phones from this centre. All expressed their surprise at the loudness and clearness of the speech and music.
“While the concert was in progress a long distance call was put through from Cloverdale to the Radiophone Station in Vancouver. Then the microphone amplifier was attached to the long distance phone, thereby enabling Mr. Hawkins or the Marconi Company to experience the unique sensation of listening to his own voice after it had passed through the air and back over the long distance line. This was done without interruption to the people at Cloverdale who were listening to the speeches and concert.”
VERNON, March 16. — Cliff Greyell listened in on the radio messages which are being sent out each evening by The Province from Vancouver. He caught a message on Tuesday night and soon expects to hear some fine orchestral concerts come through the air from the Coast.
Vernon is in direct communication with the outside world in many ways and today she is well equipped with amateur wireless outfits that catch messages from near and far.
For some time pedestrians along Barnard avenue have wondered what "those wires on the top of the post office" were. They make up the antennae of Harold Kaufman’s wireless apparatus and he listens in on messages that are flashing through the air. The set is quite up-to-date and by tuning the instruments messages sent hundreds of miles away can be distinctly heard. Other Vernonites who have wireless sets are Jack Stewart and Hobday.

AT 8 o'clock tonight, an Irish concert will be given by The Province Merchants Exchange radiophone, especially arranged for an entertainment in the South Vancouver Presbyterian Church, Forty-seventh avenue. The first number will be "Irish Reels," an accordion [sic] solo by J. J. Kimmel ; then the McKee trio, violin, 'cello and piano, will render "Come Back to Erin," "Alice Where Art Thou?" "Kathleen Mavourneen," and "Killarney." Charles Harrison, tenor, "That Tiny Shack in Athlone," "Dear Old Pal of Mine," and "My Isle of Golden Dreams."
From 9 o'clock until 9:30, the regular news bulletins, market and weather reports will be issued.
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Re: Radio FE, Vancouver's First Station

Postby cart_machine » Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:39 am

Getting a sports score instantly these days is pretty much nothing. But it was a big deal in 1922 to follow the Stanley Cup and learn about each goal soon after it was scored, thanks to the magic of radio.

There was no play-by-play on the Province’s station. Someone simply read the score off the Canadian Press wire. All games for the ’22 Cup were played in Toronto. I suspect you can guess who won.


Friday, March 17, 1922
Chief Magistrate Sends Out Good Wishes Over Province Wireless.
Special Irish Concert at St. Andrew's Is Greatly Enjoyed.

The good wishes of the citizens of Vancouver to residents of every part of British Columbia were broadcasted by The Province radio phone services on Thursday night when Mayor C. E. Tisdall made a speech into the transmitting set at the Merchants' Exchange.
Hundreds of receiving sets picked up the message of greeting as it sped through the moonlit night. Ranchers in the Okanagan, lonely watchkeepers in up-coast lighthouses, and amateurs sitting comfortably in their Victoria and Nanaimo homes listened to the good wishes of their Vancouver brothers and sisters. Telephone calls and messages stating that the speech was perfectly heard and much appreciated have been received.
"On the occasion of the inauguration of the new service by the Vancouver Daily Province I desire to express the goodwill of the citizens of Vancouver toward all our friends throughout British Columbia who are listening in to these words," said the chief magistrate in his speech. "I am sure you will join with me in congratulating the city of Vancouver in having such a progressive paper as The Province, which has given us all the benefit of this marvellous new invention. It is the first newspaper in Canada to provide such a service."
By linking city and country more closely together, the radiophone will be a great factor in creating a better understanding and improving those harmonious relations, which are essential toward national and provincial progress, his worship declared. The farmer, rancher and fruitgrower, cut off as they are from the comforts that a city affords, will be able to keep posted on world events and listen to the best of music, he pointed out.
Each night has seen The Province service improve until on Thursday it was well-nigh perfect. Not only was the mayor's speech clearly audible at points all over the province, but the news bulletins and the special St. Patrick's Eve concert were distinctly heard.
At St. Andrew's Catholic Church in South Vancouver several hundred people assembled to hear the typically Irish music which was broadcasted. Fifteen telephone sets were provided those present taking it in turn to listen in.
"The music was perfect and was greatly enjoyed," according to reports which reached The Province office this morning. Telephone calls were received from scores of amateurs in the city who were listening in on Thursday night. All stated that the modulation was perfect. Every word of the speech and bulletins was picked up.
Tonight's programme will begin at 8:30 and continue for an hour. About the first bulletin to be sent out will be the result of the Stanley Cup game at Toronto between the Vancouver Millionaires and St. Patricks. News and market bulletins, as well as musical selections, will follow.
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Re: Radio FE, Vancouver's First Station

Postby cart_machine » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:02 am

“World series hockey” is not a term you hear these days; at least, I haven’t. But it’s found in a number of Vancouver Province stories in 1922 referring to the Stanley Cup. The paper either had a baseball fan or an American writing for it.

This edition of the Province includes a photo of its studio which was later published in Dennis Duffy’s book Imagine Please. Operator William George Tricker had been a ship’s wireless operator, worked for the Merchants Exchange and doubled as a bookkeeper for the Marconi Company in Vancouver. He died in 1930 at age 43 after a short illness.

The paper did not publish a Sunday edition.


Saturday, March 18, 1922
Enterprising Amateurs Try New Stunt on Radio.
Great Interest Is Shown in Hockey Result at Toronto.

USING their bed springs as aerials, two enterprising Vancouverites lay between the sheets in their Kitsilano homes and enjoyed The Daily Province concert, hockey bulletins, and news service on Friday night. The apparatus consisted merely of an inexpensive crystal director and the ordinary bed spring. Good results were obtained.
Great interest was shown in the world series hockey results from Toronto. After the bulletins were broadcasted, numerous telephone calls were received, stating that they were very clearly heard.
Orchestral music appears to be heard by the amateur sets better than singing, according to reports received last night.
From up-country points enquiries are received by every mail asking for information about the radiophone service. Residents of Armstrong, Penticton and many other places have written in to enquire how they may get in on the news bulletins and concerts that nightly fill the air.
Harold McDiarmid, in Kitsilano, was one of those who used a bed spring aerial. Results were excellent, both the music, and bulletins being clearly audible. Frank Curran, who lives in the 1800 block on Pender street, and John Moore of Kingsway also reported excellent results.
"Coming in fine. Modulation good," was the report made by J. H. Anderson, 3550 First avenue west. Mr. Anderson uses a crystal detector which he states gives a fine load volume of sound. R. B. Vosper, 1616 Napier street, with a crystal cell picked up the concert clearly.
Operating for the first time William Moore, 3048 Glen Drive, soon got tuned up to the 2000-metre wave length of The Province set. He used a valve and two honeycomb cells with good results. Alex. Leitch, 950 Twelfth avenue east, is another radio phone enthusiast who enjoyed the concert without leaving his house. "Heard it fine," reports T. Stirling of Third avenue and Arbutus on Friday night’s concert.
For the first time The Province set operated with 13 amperes radiation on Friday night. This gives a clearer volume of sound than was possible under the set originally in vogue.
A new record for the Province Merchants' Exchange radiophone sending set has just been reported by H. N. Stenan of Stenan, Saskatchewan, 960 miles east of Vancouver. On Tuesday night he picked up the news bulletins and concert sent out by this paper. Interference was bad, but both news and music could be heard, he states.
THIS is The Daily Province Merchants Exchange radiophone sending set which broadcasts news and music each night to all points In British Columbia. The set works on a 2000-metre wave-length and cost $7000 to install. High River, Alberta, 600 miles away, and with mountain barriers intervening, has picked up messages from this apparatus. Mr. W. Tricker is the operator who sends forth the news.

RIGHT REV. A. U. DePENCIER, bishop of New Westminster diocese, will preach a 15-minute sermon into The Daily Province radiophone sending set at 7:30 on Sunday evening. This will be the first occasion in British Columbia that a sermon has been made available for out-of-town points by means of a radiophone.
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Re: Radio FE, Vancouver's First Station

Postby cart_machine » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:27 am

The Province’s early interest in radio seems to have been in its own station as a publicity tool. There were plenty of radio stories from the wire services at the time the newspaper got into the business, and the industry was exploding along the U.S. West Coast. Yet the Province carried no listings of stations elsewhere (and it certainly wouldn’t talk about the ones owned by the other Vancouver papers). There’s a rare exception at the bottom of this story.

The J.H. Hamilton mentioned in the story was the president of the Vancouver Merchants Exchange.


Monday, March 20, 1922
Many Hear Bishop On Province Exchange Radio
Unique Experiment Is Carried Out on Sunday Night.
Beach Avenue Set Picks Up Messages from California.

THE blowing out of a fuse on the high power Daily Province-Merchants Exchange radiophone last night cut short the sermon preached by Bishop A. U. de Pencier, much to the disappointment of interested listeners from scattered points who were taking advantage of the two-thousand metre wave. However, the bishop has promised to preach again and a similar mechanical accident will be guarded against.
His lordship was much interested in the experience, for his words were heard as far away as the Okanagan, at various points along the Coast, in Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. It was the first occasion in British Columbia for a sermon to be broadcasted by radiophone and the machine started to carry the bishop's words into the ether at 7:35 o'clock. A hymn had preceded the sermon. His lordship had preached for five minutes when the fuse blew out.
Reeve A. K. McLean of Burnaby telephoned to The Province on Sunday night to say how much he had appreciated the opportunity of hearing the sermon preached by Bishop de Pencier over a radiophone installed at the home of Mr. Charles Reid, Central Park. On behalf of the residents in Burnaby, who listened to the sermon the reeve wished to express their appreciation and thanks to The Province for the opportunity of hearing the bishop’s message.
“We could plainly recognize the bishop’s voice and knowing the spirit in which the message was sent, we all highly appreciated the sermon,” said the reeve, who went on to comment on the Installation of the first telephone within the memory of many now living and the subsequent invention of the gramophone and phonograph and wireless telegraphy, all of which were wonderful inventions, but were now, he believed, eclipsed by the most wonderful invention of all— the radiophone.
At the home of Mr. J.H. Hamilton, 1772 Beach avenue, a powerful receiving apparatus is installed, and last night it was fascinating for people new to this latest development to hear messages from far-off points. After The Province-Exchange sending machine shut down, Operator Walker proceeded to Mr. Hamilton's house and explained for the benefit of a few guests the various calls and codes picked up.
A concert given at the Sacramento Country Club was quite audible, and it was strange for people in a Vancouver house to be listening to music played in California. Various ships at sea, chattering in the international Morse code, were heard, and radiophone messages from and to Avalon and Catalina could be distinguished.
Radio-telephone has ceased to be a fad and has become a great and fast-growing industry. This is evidenced by a special article which appears in the New York Times. There are now 700,000 radio receiving sets in the United States, according to this paper. Nine months ago there were less than 60,000. The number increases each day.
To keep these sets supplied with the very latest news and music thirty-five high-powered sending sets working on commercial wave lengths have been established and more are building. In addition to this there are many thousand amateur and low-power commercial sending sets.
The growth of radiotelephony has been so rapid that there is grave danger of the air in the United States becoming overloaded with electrical waves. Even at the present time interference has grown into a gigantic nuisance. In an effort to find some solution for ethereal overcrowding, Secretary of Commerce Hoover recently held a conference in Washington. At this meeting there were representatives of the United States Government, commercial wireless companies and amateurs from all parts of the Union.
Regulations governing the use of wireless south of the line will be issued shortly as an outcome of this meeting. England has regulations in force, but they are so strict that it is said that wireless telephony is being sadly handicapped in the Old Country.
Radio enthusiasts should keep the following information for future reference: Enquiries as to radiophone apparatus and its cost should be addressed to the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. of Canada Limited, Dominion Building, Vancouver. Telephone Seymour 2298.
The news is broadcasted from the Vancouver Merchants' Exchange, Metropolitan Building. Seymour 2434. Reports as to how the service is functioning should be telephoned by Vancouver and district residents to the Merchants' Exchange the same night. Suggestions as to the improvement of the service, reports on the service from out-of-town points and other enquiries should be sent to the Radio Department, Vancouver Daily Province, Vancouver.
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Re: Radio FE, Vancouver's First Station

Postby cart_machine » Sun Aug 11, 2019 3:51 am

“Jack Conlan, Aged Fourteen, Has Made A Radiophone Set,” read a headline in the Vancouver Province in 1922. His accomplishment took six months.

Conlan is quoted, with his name misspelled, in the article below. He never worked in radio, or even in the communications industry as a technician. His father was a manufacturer’s agent, and that’s what he became. He died in 1991 at the age of 83.

On this date, the Province station signed on early due to the Stanley Cup.


Tuesday, March 21, 1922
LAST NIGHT’S CONCERT is Declared the “Best Yet”
Splendid Results are Obtained Over Province Radiophone
Greater Vancouver Now Has More Than 400 Receiving Sets.

The Province Merchants' Exchange radiophone has been heard in Trenton, New Jersey, 2200 miles from Vancouver. Word to this effect was received by the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company in a letter from K. Benedict in the New Jersey city.
While listening in on his apparatus Mr. Benedict heard The Province testing and then the words: "This is the Vancouver Daily Province radio broadcasting set speaking. Station F. E." became clearly audible. The station F. E. is the official designation of the Merchants' Exchange set.
While in view of the day-to-day marvels of radio telegraphy it is dangerous to make too great claims, it is thought that this is a world record for across land transmission of the spoken word by wireless. When the mountainous character of the country over which the wireless must pass, and the great amount of electrical interference from radios in the United States is taken into consideration the performance of The Province set can only be considered miraculous, wireless officials declare.
WITH a new dynamo working sweetly The Province-Merchants Exchange radiophone broadcast on Monday night was "the best yet," according to reports telephoned in from all over Greater Vancouver.
A programme which took up a full hour from 8.30 to 9:30 o'clock was sent out. This included the last-minute news, market reports, weather forecasts and other useful information and a concert of six numbers. A record of Rubenstein’s Melody in F, played on the piano by Leopold Godowsky, proved so popular that a number of requests were received for its repetition. It was therefore played twice during the evening. Songs, fox trots and medleys were also sent out.
More gramophone music was requested by C. B. L. Reid of Central Park, who reported that the songs and dances sent out by The Province set were very good and clear.
Jack Conran [sic] of 62 Eleventh avenue west has been listening in every night since The Province first instituted radiophone broadcasting over a week ago. The results he obtained on Monday night were the best yet, he reported.
Although his receiving apparatus is very close to the high-power sending set, Cyril Bellinger of 615 Hastings street west, had no difficulty in hearing clearly everything that was sent out. A number of others called up to say how much they enjoyed the concert.
There are now more than 400 licensed receiving sets in Greater Vancouver and the number is growing so rapidly that it is expected that 1000 sets will be working by the end of April. In the rest of British Columbia radiophony has naturally been slower to start, as until The Province high-powered set began broadcasting, there was no source of news and music to induce amateurs to go to the expense, slight though it is, of erecting receiving equipment. From the number of enquiries which have reached this office from all parts of the province it will not be long before several hundred sets are working.
It is hoped that as time goes on the services of a number of eminent British Columbia vocalists and instrumentalists will perform for The Province radio set. Arrangements are being made to this end. The radio department is also arranging for distinguished speakers to talk to wireless enthusiasts over the radiophone.

THE Province-Merchants Exchange radiophone will broadcast the results of the second world series hockey game to be played in Toronto tonight between the Vancouver Millionaires and St. Patricks of Toronto. The game starts at 5:30 p.m. Vancouver time and The Province bulletins on the game will start at that hour. Frequently bulletins as to how the play is going will be sent out and the score at the end of each period will be given. This will be in addition to the regular programme of news and music which will commence at 8:30 p.m. Vancouver time as usual.
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Re: Radio FE, Vancouver's First Station

Postby cart_machine » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:05 am

If you’ve been in radio long enough, you’ll know stations get rather odd requests. The Province station got one in the early days that I’ve never heard of—someone asking for a radio.

Mr. Ingram mentioned below was a clerk in a small grocery store on Yew and 5th.


Wednesday, March 22, 1922
Wireless Operator of Princess Louise Gives Expert Opinion.
Many Enquiries for Receiving Sets Coming from Interior Points.

Windsor, Connecticut, about 2500 miles east of Vancouver, has picked up The Province Merchants Exchange radiophone broadcast, according to a letter received from Sanford Gillette of that town by the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of Canada limited.
The station call of The Province set was first heard and then part of the news bulletin was picked up. Interference and static made some part of The Province bulletin very faint, but others were clearly heard, Mr. Gillette stated.
This, with the report received front Trenton, New Jersey, shows that the high power 2000-metre wave-length station of The Province is daily establishing new records for across land radiophone sending.
When a wireless operator of long experience gives his opinion on the radio telephone it is worth listening to. Mr. William A. Peirce, wireless man aboard the new Canadian Pacific steamship Princess Louise, has written in his opinion of The Province-Merchants Exchange radio broadcasting set.
"While lying in Victoria harbor your music and news broadcast came in clear as a whistle," he says, in part. "I have heard a good many radiophones during my service with the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, but your phone is paramount."
In comparing The Province set with another broadcasting station, Mr. Peirce declares that "there is no comparison either in modulation or range. One phone sounds business-like, the other a mere bauble." He expresses the hope that The Province will continue the broadcast and wishes it every success.
From Nanaimo Mr. J. K. Cavalsky writes to express his enjoyment of the nightly service sent out by The Province. "Thanks ever so much for the fine concerts. Last night they were very clear. Please keep up the good work," he says in his letter.
At New Westminster, Mr. John Peck in the office of the chief inspector of steam boilers and machinery is getting nightly pleasure out of The Province service. He has an amplifier on his set and can let a whole room full of people listen in on the news and music.
"The modulation is perfect and the harmony sustained throughout in all the musical numbers," he states.
Using a crystal detector, Ross Ingram of 2075 Sixth avenue west is getting on in The Province service and deriving pleasure from it. "Every word is perfect and the music is great, writes Mr. Ingram, commenting on the broadcast."The songs and records chosen could not be better. I have heard a good many radio concerts, but your songs were the finest I have ever heard."
While the exciting hockey game between the Vancouver Millionaires and the Toronto St. Patricks was being played in the eastern city, The Province set was sending out a running story of the game, giving details of all the plays. As fast as special wires were received at this office they were broadcasted to all points of British Columbia. Between the stories on the game a musical programme of varied numbers was sent out.
Following the hockey game came the regular news bulletin and concert. Both these services were greatly enjoyed by radiophone fans in Greater Vancouver and in other points within the province. Intense interest is being shown in the radiophone by people who reside in other sections of the province letters and wires have been received from Abbotsford, Smithers and Kamloops, asking for full information about receiving sets. One man in Kamloops has asked that a receiving set be out to him by express.
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Re: Radio FE, Vancouver's First Station

Postby cart_machine » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:15 am

Today’s little-known fact: at one time, you couldn’t own a radio in B.C. unless you were a British subject.

You also needed a license to own a radio until 1953. One wonders how the law could ever be enforced.

The Ruby Creek story involved a derailment that hurt no one. If you’d seen the paper that day, you would have been able to read it.


Thursday, March 23, 1922
R. Kerr Houlgate Speaks Over Province Radiophone to Communities.
Hockey Results Will Be Broadcasted Tonight in Addition to Concert.

An invitation to boards of trade outside of the city to visit Vancouver was Issued on behalf of the Vancouver Board of Trade by President-elect R. Kerr Houlgate, and broadcasted all over British Columbia by The Province radiophone on Wednesday night.
In a short speech into the radiophone sending set Mr. Houlgate told the people of the province that the Vancouver Board of Trade works not in the interest of Vancouver alone, but of the whole of British Columbia. The board stands ready to help every part of the province toward greater prosperity and progress, he said.
Expressing the pleasure it had given the Vancouver Board of Trade to tour the various parts of the province, he stated that return visits from the various boards would be welcomed.
In addition to this speech the regular news bulletin and concert were broadcasted. The result of the Nelson by-election was given, and also the final score in the Toronto Granites-Regina Victorias amateur hockey game for the Allan Cup. In the news bulletin were items from Paris, Funchal, Madeira Islands, Ottawa, New York, London, Delhi, Winnipeg, Washington, Prince Rupert, Toronto, Prince George, Vancouver, Victoria, Ruby Creek and many other places.
Radiophone enthusiasts have in many cases been overlooking the fact that certain regulations governing wireless sets have been issued by the department of the naval service, Ottawa. For every receiving station operated a license costing $1 must be secured from the Dominion Government. There are a number of unlicensed stations in Vancouver. It is wild and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which sees to the enforcing of all Dominion laws, is making a survey of the city to find out the delinquent Application for the license with $1 enclosed should be sent to the department of the naval service, radio branch, Ottawa. The licenses at present in force expire March 31. Only British subjects are entitled to have receiving stations, but aliens may be granted the privilege at the discretion of the department of the naval service. Few alien applications have been turned down of late years. This regulation was primarily a war measure to prevent espionage.
The third game of the world's series hockey between Vancouver Millionaires and Toronto St. Patricks will take place in Toronto tonight. The game starts at 5:30 Vancouver time and results will be broadcasted over the radiophone starting at 6 p.m. A running story of the game by periods will be given and some sidelights on the performances of the various players by prominent eastern sport writers. The regular programme will be broadcasted, commencing at 8:30 p.m. as usual.
On Wednesday night a test was made as to how a woman's voice carries over the radiophone when Mrs. J. H. Hamilton gave a short address over the Province set. Numerous telephone messages were received to the effect that her voice carried very well indeed.
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Re: Radio FE, Vancouver's First Station

Postby cart_machine » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:18 am

Friday, March 24, 1922
Dr. A. S. Monro Will Give Brief Lecture Over The Province Wireless Set.
Summer Camps Will Have Receiving Sets, Indications Show.

As part of the health week programme of the Vancouver Medical Association, Dr. A. S. Monro will deliver a 10-minute speech on health topics into The Province radiophone broadcasting at 8:45 tonight.
On Thursday night the radiophone sent out a running story of the Millionaires-St. Patrick world championship hockey match at Toronto. A few minutes after Cook, Adams and Oatman had scored the goals which gave Vancouver a firmer grip on the Stanley Cup, radio enthusiasts all over British Columbia were in possession of the news. The exciting features of the play were read off as they came in. This service was run from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and was greatly enjoyed, according to messages which were telephoned in. At 8:30 the nightly programme of news and music was sent out.
A feature of the radiophone situation is the number of people who are either buying sets or constructing their own for use at the numerous summer camps in the vicinity of Vancouver. No camp will be isolated from the latest world news this summer, and the latest music from Brunswick and Columbia recording laboratories will be available for the back-to-nature devotees.
Several people nave called in to ask why it is that they can pick up spark messages and are not able to get in on The Province concerts and news bulletins broadcasted by radiophone. Radiophone receiving requires a coil with a considerably larger amount of wire than the ordinary spark receiving set. Amateurs who wish technical advice on the matter of operating receiving sets should communicate direct with firms now advertising in The Province.
Even better results are being obtained from The Province high-power set at out-of-town points than in the city, according to Mr. Richard Balfe of Cloverdale, a radio enthusiast of long experience. At that point there is no sign of the carrier wave and the music and news bulletins come in very clearly. Indeed, it is possible to lay the receiving ear pieces down on the table and hear clearly all over the room, Mr. Balfe declares.
It does not require a valve set to pick up The Province broadcast, though better results are obtained from this equipment. A large number of messages and letters have been received from radio enthusiasts stating that they are getting very good results from crystal detectors and homemade apparatus.
Interest in the radiophone is growing in out-of-town points. From Vancouver Island, up the coast, the Cariboo and Okanagan country came letters in each mail asking for formation as to sets. Many other people have written telling how well the concerts and news bulletins are coming in, and offering valuable suggestions as to the service. All these letters are greatly appreciated. The Province has probably the finest radiophone broadcasting set in Canada, as the records which it has achieved clearly prove, and we wish to make the service as nearly perfect as possible. All suggestions and criticisms are very welcome.
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Re: Radio FE, Vancouver's First Station

Postby cart_machine » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:27 am

All the Vancouver Millionaires had to do was win one of the next two games, and they’d be the Stanley Cup champs.

Not tonight. Final score: Toronto 6 Vancouver 0.

“Trout Lake” refers, I imagine, to Trout Lake City in the Kootenays. It was bustling during the mining boom, but even by the ‘20s had seen far better days.


Saturday, March 25, 1922
World Series Will Be Broadcasted by The Province Tonight
Interior Points Get Excellent Results from High-power Set

The results of the fourth world championship hockey game between the Vancouver Millionaires and Toronto St. Patricks, which, is played in Toronto tonight, will be broadcasted by The Province radiophone set, commencing at 6 o'clock tonight. The regular news bulletin and concert service will start at 8:30 o'clock as usual.
There will be no broadcast by The Province set on Sunday night. Hereafter Sunday night broadcastings will only take place on special occasions, of which due notice will be given in these columns and over the radiophone.
An interesting ten-minute address on the aims of health week was given over The Province set by Dr. A. S. Monro, president of the British Columbia Medical Association. Dr. Monro told his hearers or what has been done in the mastering of some of the deadly diseases. How smallpox has been practically eliminated, how diphtheria has been made a comparatively innocent disease and the conquering of typhoid were all explained to hundreds of people listening to the Province set.
Preventative medicine is now the aim of the medical profession, the Doctor declared. Doctors have come to a realization that the old adage an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure should govern their practice and are out to keep people in good health as well as to cure them when they fall ill.
Enquiries from out-of-town points as to what equipment to use and where it may be obtained still continue to come into The Province office. Recent letters have been received from Trout Lake, Midway and Cumberland. The high-power set installed by this newspaper, which gives even better results at points from 100 to 700 miles distant than it does in Vancouver, is going to prove a boon to those who live in the more isolated parts of the province from all indications. While the city man can buy late editions or can go to a theatre for entertainment, those in out-of-the-way spots would be almost entirely out off were it not for the radiophone service broadcasted by The Province.
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Re: Radio FE, Vancouver's First Station

Postby cart_machine » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:33 am

Two weeks on the air, and the Vancouver Province station seems to have become old hat. The paper’s writers had to find something other than repeating that the station would air news and music from 8:30 to 9:30. There are a couple of different angles in the story below. The city of New York eventually did own a radio station, WNYC, which signed on in 1924.


Monday, March 27, 1922
Vancouver Contractors Now Provide for Wireless Apparatus Connections.
Final Hockey Returns Will Be Broadcasted on Tuesday Night.

The hold which the radiophone has taken on the general public is demonstrated by the fact that contractors nowadays are asked to put radiophone wires into houses they are building as well as the ordinary electric wiring. There is one house in Vancouver already which has three radiophones in it set in the wall. They are to all appearances simply electric light sockets but on connection with an aerial outside they receive music and news. Possibly in the future house advertisements will add among other conveniences, "Radiophones laid on.”
On Tuesday The Province will broadcast the final hockey game at 5:45 p.m. The regular service will commence at 8:30 p.m.
So great is the interest in radio-telephony in New York that efforts are being made to have the city authorities erect a high-power sending station, according to the New York Times. It is felt in Gotham that if the city were to take over radio broadcasting, the services of every distinguished foreigner who lands in New York could be enlisted to make, the venture a success.
Great singers arriving for an American engagement would be asked to sing into the civic apparatus and would thus get an immediate introduction to a vast audience. American reputations could be instantly established by this means before a singer ever filled an engagement in an opera house, it is pointed out. In the same way famous statesmen could be brought into touch with a large and cosmopolitan population in all parts of the United States and could secure that personal touch which adds such force to the message which they may bring to the American people, advocates of the scheme point out. European authors, painters, actors and business men would also be asked to speak into the civic radiophone under the scheme which is contemplated.
No really up-to-date apartment house now building In New York is considered strictly high-class unless a radiophone apparatus is included in the building specifications, the Times states. In one such building, having accommodation for about 600 people, a wireless receiving set is being erected on the roof with amplifying telephones in each room. The cost of this installation will run to about $150,000, the paper declares.
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Re: Radio FE, Vancouver's First Station

Postby cart_machine » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:42 am

The Province seems to have started setting aside less and less space to push its new radio station as time wore on. This story is the briefest yet.

Final score: Toronto 5, Vancouver 1. Babe Dye scored four goals. No more Stanley Cup finals for Vancouver for 60 years.

Bill Dunn, a few years after this story was written, was approached by a chap named Jim Browne to go in with him on opening a radio station in Kelowna. Dunn wasn’t interested. Browne went it alone and his family owned CKOV for many years; his grandson had the front corner office when the new studios were built in 1982 (when Vancouver lost another Cup).


Tuesday, March 28, 1922
Okanagan City to Take Advantage of The Province Service.
Final Hockey Broadcast Will Be Flashed This Evening.

Starting at 8:45 p.m. today, The Province will broadcast a running radio account of the hockey final at Toronto, just as it comes in off the wire.
The progressive city of Kelowna is the latest to take advantage of The Province radiophone broadcast. City Clerk Dunn expects to have his apparatus ready to receive in a few days, and two enterprising Boy Scouts have sent forward their application for permission to erect the necessary equipment. Many other Interior points are preparing to avail themselves of the opportunity of keeping in touch with the events of the hour by means of The Province high-power set.
The Celestial Empire, one-time famous halibut ship, now operating as a tug, is being equipped by her owner, Commander B. L. Johnson, D. S. O. Owners of summer homes and pleasure launches are also equipping their property with radios, while the number of local fans is increasing every day.
Last night The Province broadcasted its usual service of news bulletins, market reports and concert numbers, which, according to reports telephoned in, were much enjoyed. In addition, Mr. J. E. Hall, chairman of the grain section of the Vancouver Merchants' Exchange, spoke for a few minutes over the radiophone, dwelling on the advantages of Vancouver as a grain port.
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Re: Radio FE, Vancouver's First Station

Postby cart_machine » Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:49 am

Wednesday, March 29, 1922
Radio is supposed to be a social asset, according to the Province story below, but that doesn’t sound to be the end of the case by the end of the article.

As for the hockey game, the modulation was excellent but the score was not.


Kitsilano Residents Listen In on Province Service on Tuesday Night.
Hockey fans who listened in on The Province radio bulletins got the results very clearly last evening, according to reports from various districts. The special hockey news service commenced shortly before 6 o'clock, when the first flash saying that Dye had scored for Toronto was received. A running account of the game was sent out just as it came in and in the pauses between periods musical selections were sent out.
"I got the account of the hockey game very clearly," said one fan, "the modulation was excellent.”
The regular news service and concert was put on at 8:30, and continued until nearly 9:30 o'clock. The usual service will be broadcasted again this evening, starting at the regular hour.
On Monday evening the patrons of Kitsilano Theatre "listened in" on The Daily Province news and concert broadcast, the service being received on the set of Mr. Stanley Clarke. An amplifier attachment made the service loud enough to be heard in all parts of the house.
"The results of Monday's experiment was very satisfactory," declared R. J. Dawson, proprietor of the theatre. "We got The Province service very distinctly and were very pleased."
The management of the theatre has arranged to receive the service again on Thursday evening, starting at 9 o'clock.
The radio phone as a social asset to the family has now become an assured fact, according to the fortunate possessors of receiving sets who have been getting The Province night service.
"As soon as it was installed and in working order," one fan explained, "friends became more friendly, and neighbors found time to visit more often. For the first few evenings this was delightful, but as more and more friends looked in each evening the family began to look out. Visitors became an encumbrance. Mother fumed, father fretted, and sister said it was home no longer, and even the owner of the set couldn't find time to go to the parties and dances which he wanted to attend."
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Re: Radio FE, Vancouver's First Station

Postby cart_machine » Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:06 am

This will be our final transcription of stories from March 1922 about the Vancouver Province’s new station.

The story below is not correct; there was more than one station in Seattle at the time: KJR, KFC and KHQ. I suspect it’s referring to KFC, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer station. Radio News magazine of March 1922 reported the station was about to install two 50-watt tubes.


Thursday, March 30, 1922
Province Radio Set Has No Equal, Seattle Radio Expert Declares.
State of Washington Sold Out of Receiving Apparatus, Is Report.

In the State of Washington radio telephony has made enormous strides during the past six months. There are today more than 15,000 receiving sets in that state, according to official figures. The number would be far larger if were possible to secure equipment. Seattle is sold out and so is every other city in Washington. It is practically impossible to secure even the most simple radio devices, so great has been the rush on electrical stores.
Only one station broadcasts in the Sound city. It works on a 360 metre wave length and uses two 50 watt tubes. Seattle is thus very far behind Vancouver in the matter of equipment. There is said to be no radiophone broadcasting set on the Pacific Coast to equal that installed by The Province with its 2000 metre wave length and 500 watt power. Certainly no other set is equipped with an aerial which extends for a block and a half like that which sends forth the news bulletin and concert provided by this paper.
The navy radio at Bremerton, near Seattle, is giving aerial priority. The first fifteen minutes in each hour is given over exclusively to this station. The right is also reserved to stop the broadcast at any time in case of emergency, No license is required for a receiving set in the State of Washington, but very stringent regulations discourage amateurs from erecting sending apparatus. On radio expert expressed surprise at the records attained by the Province set in reaching to Trenton, New Jersey and Windsor, Connecticut, both well over 2000 miles across land. When told of the power of The Province set the expert declared that it "ought to be possible to reach the planet Mars with a layout like that."
Exactly the same sort of musical programme is broadcasted each night by the Seattle set as that sent out by the Province. The radio experts in that city argue that as the gramophone companies have spent millions of dollars perfecting recording and reproducing methods, that to secure like results from vocalists singing or instrumentalists playing directly into the telephone transmitter is only possible by the merest fluke. The radiophone is excellent for the speaking voice and for gramophone music, they state, but except under very exceptional conditions vocalists who have not had previous experience in making gramophone records do not secure the best results.
Evidence continues to pile up as to the pleasure which The Province set gives to people near and far. Numerous letters have been received from distant points all over British Columbia expressing gratitude for the fine broadcast sent out between 8:30 and 9:30 each night.
A number of people in the city called up while the concert was in progress on Wednesday night. They all expressed delight at the clearness of the music and the quality of the records. The Province broadcast, they said, was giving splendid service.
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