On July 21st, 1922, the Department of Commerce issued a limited commercial license to “Mrs. Robert E. Zimmerman." It's a little condescending, but that's a Mrs, not a Mr. So 95 years ago she became the first woman to own a radio station. On the utterly flat terrain of Vinton, Iowa their new 40-watt station operating on 360 meters covered quite an area. Halper summarized their broadcast schedule as follows:
"It broadcast on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, usually from 9 PM to 10 PM, featuring music and news. On Wednesdays at 8 PM, there was a band concert; and on occasional Sundays at 2:30 PM, there was another live concert."On July 30th 1922, the Cedar Rapids Gazzette station WJAM signed on adding a second radio station to the local dial. That bit of well-funded competition cooled the Zimmerman's ardor for radio. In that era a radio license had to be renewed every 90 days. In April of 1923 Marie chose not renew WIAE's license. The Department of Commerce officially deleted the station in late June; it had lasted almost a year. Neither she nor her husband or even her gearhead brother-in-law returned to radio. Marie Zimmerman died on 23 January 1973, at age 77.