1920s

Follow these links for blog entries about 1920s.

H. W. Arlin: Broadcasting Radio in the 1920s

KDKA announcer H. W. Arlin on the radio in 1921 Announcing radio programs might be called the world's most recent profession, because announcers for broadcasting stations were introduced first about four years ago when KDKA, the world's pioneer station of the Westinghouse Company at East Pittsburgh, Pa., was started. H. W. Arlin, the world's pioneer radio announcer, made his debut early in 1921 and has been continuously "on the air" since. Thus his long service entitles him to the honors ... (read more)

World's First Scheduled Radio Broadcast Came from Pittsburgh

Logo used by KDKA in the 1920s The National Broadcasting Company's Silver Jubilee celebration on November 15, 1951, brings to mind another, even earlier, November day when the world's first scheduled broadcast was heard over KDKA, Pittsburgh, pioneer radio station. Presentation of this inaugural broadcast on November 2, 1920, came about as the result of several strange and seemingly unrelated circumstances. It all began in 1915 with a Westinghouse engineer, Frank Conrad. Westinghouse had ... (read more)

WDAF Nighthawks and the Merry Old Chief

"Station WDAF, the Kansas City Star Nighthawks, just doing a little hawking" is a phrase familiar to radio listeners all over the United States and other parts of the world. For when the Merry Old Chief starts to dispense his happiness and good cheer at 11:45 p.m., fans invariably dial for Kansas City. The Merry Old Chief is the most popular feature of the Nighthawks program. His original style of announcing, his ready wit, his million-dollar laugh and his unusual singing voice have ... (read more)

Mexican Police Band Performs Concert to Entire U.S. on Radio

The WJAZ broadcast control room in 1922 The Zenith-Edgewater Beach Hotel broadcasting station in Chicago on the evening of Sunday September 30 gave to its listening audience throughout the United States a rare treat which was fully appreciated, as evidenced by the thousands of letters pouring into the station. The official Mexican police band of 87 pieces, sent to this country by President Álvaro Obregón, appeared in full uniform and rendered a concert of continuous playing, lasting ... (read more)

The Earliest Radio Shows of the 1920s

The Goldbergs creator Gertrude Berg during its radio years By the middle 1920s, it became obvious that radio manufacturers could no longer support free radio time. Fortunately, advertisers were discovering that radio was one of the most effective means of advertising available. So, it didn't take long after that for radio to become big business. Its popularity continued to grow -- until the biggest programs were heard by more than 40 million people. And advertisers were paying up to ... (read more)