Saturday, April 04, 2009

Early Broadcasting in the Bay Area, Pt. 7

Originally published in the March, 2009, Old Radio Times.(

Early Broadcasting in the San Francisco Bay Area: Stations that Didn’t Survive, 1920-25
John F. Schneider
Seattle, Washington Copyright 1997

Perhaps the most popular early Bay Area station was 6XG, later KDN, operated by the Leo J. Meyberg Company, a wholesale electrical firm. KDN was one of a long series of stations to broadcast from the Fairmont Hotel, atop San Francisco's Nob Hill, which had always been considered a prime radio site due to its height. The first Nob Hill station had been an experimental telephone transmitter operated by the Dewire Wireless Telegraph Company about 1910. This station, and another in the Fruitvale District of Oakland, were the two experimental radiotelephone stations of the short-lived company.

Another Fairmont station was operated by the National Wireless Telephone and Telegraph Company, and operated by San Jose experimenter Doc Herrold. It coincidentally had the same call letters as the later Meyberg station, 6XG.

The Meyberg operation was established by Sheldon Peterson, Manager of the company, and Gerald M. Best, a phone company engineer. It was situated in a small wooden shack on the roof of the Hotel, right next to the time ball that was used to signal ships. Equipment consisted of a home-brew five- watt transmitter, a Victor phonograph for music programs, and a player piano. A flat-top antenna was strung between two fifty-foot poles on the roof.


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