NYPR Archives & Preservation
April 3, 2015 - Volume 14  Issue 14
Edition # 652


1926: F. M. Ehrenberg performs on the musical saw.

1960: Colonel Paul Akst, USAF, New York City Director of Selective Service System, discusses "New York youth and the draft" on Campus Press Conference.

1973: Sculptor William King talks with host Ruth Bowman for this edition of Views on Art.

2003: The Pulitzer-winning Philip Levine begins a stint as WNYC's Poet-in-Residence.
A small illustration found on the back of a staff tribute to WNYC's first Music Director, Herman Neuman upon his retirement in 1967. (WQXR Archive Collections)

WNYC at the Nexus of 19th & 20th Century Communications

“An interesting event in the history of communication recently took place in the ether over Manhattan Island. At the annual dinner of the Old-Time Telegraphers and Historical Association, held on board the liner Olympic,* a phonograph record of a telegraph message sent by Thomas A. Edison was  "played" as a feature of the evening. The disc was made several years ago as a matter of historical record. The microphone of the municipal station, WNYC, was placed in the banquet salon, and it picked up the dots and dashes of the Morse code as formed by the hand of Edison, the most famous of old-time telegraphers.

“As far as most radio auditors were concerned, these metallic clicks of the telegraph instrument might have been mistaken for static. But to the eight hundred old-time knights of the telegraph key present at the banquet, the dots and dashes had a distinct meaning. It was radio that released the message from the limitations of the wire lines and the confines of a phonograph record by broadcasting the clicks in every direction at the speed of sunlight, 186,000 miles a second."

Source:  “Radio Looks Back and Forward,” The Outlook, October 7, 1925, pg. 176.

*Editor’s Note: The event took place on September 17, 1925 at the Olympic Theater at the foot of West 18th Street.  At this gathering Edison also broke a longstanding rule against speaking in public and whispered “hello” into WNYC’s microphone. The record played was of a message sent by Edison and received by David Homer Bates, President Lincoln's private telegrapher during the Civil War. 
WNYC first day of broadcast, July 8th, 1924 (Municipal Archives Collection)

WQXR Ventures into Forbidden Territory

In 1969 the times they were a changin' and at WQXR efforts to get a more youthful audience meant a programming shift of nearly seismic proportions. See: WQXR Rocks.
WNYC celebrated its 90th anniversary last year. We're now officially a nonagenarian radio station. In this space we'll be linking to various historical WNYC champions and milestones. This week: Opera Soprano Frieda Hempel Sings on WNYC Because She Loves New York!

It's National Poetry Month. New material has been added to our compilation, so get a jump on the past with some choice items from the collection at: Poetry Month.

The WNYC Facebook page has a station timeline (1922-present) with more than 600 milestones, photos, and links to audio. (Right hand column)
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 Check out the @mayorlaguardia Twitter feed straight from the WNYC broadcasts! His Honor now has 561 followers.

The WNYC Archives is on Twitter with 2,501 followers @wnycarchives. We tweet daily reminders of, and links to, WNYC broadcasts from that day in the past.
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