Friday, March 11, 2016


This is a RPPC (Real Picture Post Card) of a man smoking a pipe beside a microphone bearing the call letters WROW. There is no text on the reverse side and no post mark so it bears no date of any kind. Like the character in The X Files I am tempted to call him "The Smoking Man."

It's easy to exclude contemporary staff, but until I found an image of their GM, Harry L Goldman from 1947 I couldn't exclude him either. DJ Pete Dreyer from the late 1950s on WROW was a heavy smoker, but not a pipe smoker. I also found an image of Keyes Perrin from 1952 or so posed with the same mic, and a different logo crown here. Because of that similarity, I suspect the Pipe Smoker was at WROW in it's first 5 years on air. If I'm lucky, that's under a hundred possibilities.

WROW signed on in 1947 in Albany, NY, and still operates on 590 kHz. So we have almost a 70-year time window to consider. initially the station was with the Mutual network, changing to ABC in 1950 then CBS in 1954. It's kept that affiliation and today it's shared with it's sister station on 100.9 FM. Smoking was probably banned inside the station at least a decade ago.

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