Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Temporary Radio Stations

I dont mean the ones that go off air unexpectedly. Nothing lasts forever...

There is a lot of radio history to be read. Books, magazine articles, trade mags, newspapers... they heyday is loaded with periodicals. But there is one category of broadcasting stations has gone almost completely undocumented: temporary grants.

These were issued for special occasions, usually lasting a month or less, and were not reported in the FRC Radio Service Bulletin. Most temporary grants were long gone by the time the bulletin reached its subscribers, so it made sense to omit the temporary grants. There is little information about these grants recorded in the Commerce files, although at least seventy were issued in the period from January, 1922 to October, 1928. For temporary grants made through June, 1922, where wave length information is recorded, the wavelength assigned was always 360 meters.

The best existing source is a book with somme information on a number of those temporary stations operated by educational organizations. that book is S. E. Frost's "Educations's Own Stations" (published in 1937) which details:
Bancroft School, Haddonfield, NJ (WRAQ);
Gardenville High School, Gardenville, NY (WGHS);
Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA (WDBG);
Milton College, Milton, WI (WSAM);
Northern State Normal School, Marquette, MI (WBI).
[ISBN: 040503573X] still available through Ayers Publishing:

Many went on to become fully licensed staitons in some form. Others were tied to events and when they were gone, all that was left was the original card files at the FCC offices.

For additional information on temporary stations:
United States Temporary Broadcast Station Grants: 1922-1928.

And of course Barry has the dirt here: