This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
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This item is dated 1948-09-15. However, the September-October 1966 Masterwork bulletin has the following item written by Station Director Seymour Siegel:
On 1948-02-11, the then Deputy Mayor John Bennett in the presence of Major Edwin Armstrong, the inventor of FM broadcasting, Frederick Lack, the Vice President of the Western Electric Company and other guests, pushed the red button which activated a new 10,000 watt transmitter. In conjunction with a Six Bay Cloverleaf antenna, 597 feet above the ground on top the Municipal Building, WNYC-FM launched an 18 kilowatt signal across the City. For the first time, your municipal station enjoyed as much power as any other FM station in the metropolitan area. Known as the 'high fidelity voice of New York City,' WNYC FM began 24-hour-a-day operations in 1957. An upsurge in FM listening brought an overwhelming response to the many live concerts and other musical programs presented by the Municipal Broadcasting System."
A New York Times article, "WNYC opens new FM transmitter, back on air after an absence since Jan. 11," 1948-02-12, says:
"Deputy Mayor John J. Bennett officially opened WNYC-FM's new ten-kilowatt transmitter yesterday at ceremonies in the station's Municipal Building headquarters. At 4:15 pm he flipped the switch which restored the city's FM outlet to the air after an absence since Jan. 11.
"Major Edwin H. Armstrong, inventor of frequency modulation, expressed gratification over the installation of new, higher powered FM equipment by the Municipal Broadcasting System, which he regarded as a forward step for the newer system of broadcasting.
"Seymour N. Siegel, director of the Municipal Broadcasting System, explained that the FM station's new transmitter, coupled with a 'cloverleaf' antenna atop the Municipal Building, develops a radiated power of twenty kilowatts. The outlet, he said, will be on the air daily from 7 am until midnight on 93.9 megacycles, channel 230."
Thomas Cowan reporting the events at the inauguration of the new 20 kW FM transmitter.
1st speaker: Seymour N. Siegel, Director of Communications of the City of New York.
2nd speaker: Major Edwin Armstrong, inventor of FM (frequency modulation).
3rd speaker: Frederick R. Lack, V.P. and Manager for Radio at Western Electric.
Important for the cultural advancement, including many broadcasts of fine music. Together with the cloverleaf antenna assures the citizens quality coverage for station's fine programming.
4th speaker: Deputy Mayor Col. John J. Bennett. This inauguration occurs on the 50th anniversary of the consolidation of New York City.
Photographers get ready and Deputy Mayor Bennett throws the switch.
Thomas Cowan: Radio has a responsibility to inform, instruct, and enlighten. City will be better able to serve the people in an emergency. Ends: "Now WNYC-FM is yours for service."
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 2974
Municipal archives id: LT940
This is a machine-generated transcript. Text is unformatted and may contain errors.
Now the occasion today is the inauguration of the new twenty K.W. F.M. transmitter of the or city station the men of the city station our own engineers have been working like a beaver shall we say since the beaver is in the coat of arms of the city of New York from the early debt settlement and in the last two weeks an amazing amount of progress in fact an engineering factor has been established here with the speed with which this F.M. transmitter has been installed through the able to reckon of the Western Electric engineers Mr pounds missed a lie on and then are only engineer Mr Pitt can and Mr Goldstein F.M. trad transmitter supervisor and the staff of the city station I'm just a single director radio communications for the city of New York has brought together a very interesting group and we're going to ask some of our speakers here today the important ones because there are so many We cannot take the time for all and what you suggest was to say that we bring over first Suppose I start things. Mr Deputy Mayor N.Y.C. Af-Am is about ready to go and operation this is an extremely proud moment for the staff of the municipal broadcasting system because our engineers have worked very closely with the engineers of the Western Electric Company in installing this transmitter in a record breaking short time. When you throw the switch Mr Deputy my new era in public service broadcasting for the people of the city will begin because for the first time in the history of the city's broadcasting W. N.Y.C. F.M. will be on a par with any other F.M. station in the metropolitan area. And Mr Deputy Mayor we have with us where I wanted to have with us they invent Af-Am frequency modulation may Jadwin Armstrong. There probably is no other individual in the United States which contributed more to radio. Casting as we know it today and may John strong and I would like to ask in the same way to to on this occasion when F.M. broadcasting is being inaugurated by the city of New York Major Armstrong would you say a word. Publication such as this it's really very hard to express. How an inventor fails. I can only say as a citizen of the New York and as a native born in New York how proud I am to be here on a Cajun like place and to tell you all. How much I know how I know what you must've been through here. To get the engineering and to get the program technique and to put in to Operation what you have here today. A top flight. Radio station. From a chap flight. Manufacturer now. Let me personally say to you. How much I appreciate the way that Mr Lacker and the Western Electric Company have done all of. Them he and I were over seeds in wild Wall one. And not until F.M. started. Did I come into contact with a mic in each screw behind it bam the full resources of Western Electric. And with that product which you have and with the technique which W. N.Y.C. has developed I want to tell you that next summer in the middle of the static in the lightning storms with Goldman band on the citizens of this city have a treat in spin off of them and I can tell you that I will be one of the five to listen to it thank you very much the privilege of being here today thank you Mick and Hamish to lack would you say a word. To lack of a by all means. To Deputy Mayor Mr Siegel major Armstrong friends the installation and today's dedication of your new twenty kilowatt frequency modulation transmitter is an appropriate event in the sun operation of New York's City's Golden Anniversary representing the newest and best in radio trip broadcasting it is symbolic of New York City's advancement and typical of the station's continuing program and public service the Western Electric Company in the Bell Telephone laboratories have been privileged to be associated with the development of the municipal Broadcasting System since its very beginning during the years the art of radio progress in the city's requirements the radio services increased new facilities were added constantly maintaining the stations position of leadership. One of the important services rendered by our city station to the people of New York is their programs for cultural advancement including many broadcasts of fine music thus after major Armstrong invention of frequency modulation It was only natural that W N Y C should be one of the first to utilize this improved method of broadcast transmission in one hundred forty three the station installed one of the first Western Electric one kilowatt F.M. transmitters for its station W thirty nine N Y operating on a frequency of forty nine point three mega cycles but that time the new frequency is at the time the new frequency assignments were made by the Federal Communication Commission Western Electric made the necessary changes in the city's equipment a step today and increasing the transmitted power to an effective twenty kilowatts together with the installation of the cloverleaf antenna increases the power of your station to its maximum power approved by the F.C.C. and makes a station second to none not only in New York but in the United States this step assures the citizens of the metropolitan area quality coverage the all stations fine program the municipal Broadcasting Systems leadership in this field is well established by the receipt of every radio log for public service that Western Electric is manufacture much of this equipment could best participate in helping making this you make this station an object of civic pride has always been a source of satisfaction to us we congratulate you your associates on the personnel of W O N Y C N W N Y C F I am on your new facilities and extend to you our best wishes for continued success in your service to the citizens of New York thank you thank you very much Mr Lacker Now Mr Deputy Mayor Colonel ban it. Mr Siegel I'm strong as to lack. And fellow citizens I may look forward with a great deal of pleasure to being here at this opening new N.Y.C. F.M. but unfortunately the press of business wouldn't permit. You to ask me however and to you Mr Siegel and all those who are connected with do M Y C. Congratulations on another fine achievement by the city. We have very happy in the city administration at the fact that we do have W. N.Y.C. Not only is it an adjunct to the city government but we believe that it has been a source of great pleasure to the people of the city of New York and in line with the mayor's idea of carrying programs not only of entertainment but also cultural value we now have come to the another innovation that of ending F.M. to the title of W N Y C The mayor is happy that this event has occurred during the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the consolidation of the city of New York. He's asked me also to send his respects as well as his thanks to major Edwin Armstrong who has I'm sure you know. Really the father of frequency modulation in radio broadcasting major I'm sure that it's a great pleasure to all of the people of the city of New York to know that you are here with us in the stage where happy finally to have an F.M. station and we know that if it hadn't been for you for the life work which you have devoted to this particular form of radio broadcasting we would not be today starting out with this F.M. steak and you Mr Black Mayors and through the through you to Western Electric which Thanks for the speed up to you the citizens of New York Mary driers asked me to say to you that he knows that you will get great enjoyment as well as cultural value from the station that is now about to go into operation to stage a U.S.O. that he sure you and as time goes on and science provides other methods of bringing services to the people of the city of New York he will only be too happy to put them installation into installation here not only in that this station but in other parts of the city because what he's interested in in is a bigger and a better city a city of which all of us can be proud a city which is doing all of those things for its citizens which the mayor wants to have done thank you very much they must thank you very much Colonel and the circle stuff and throw the switch. We have to give the photographers a mammal now so they can get the camera set and Deputy Mayor Bennett is about to throw the switch that will put into service the F.M.. Twenty K.W. transmitter of the municipal Broadcasting System W. N.Y.C. as mayor Bennett said with the end of an important AFAIK F.M. already. May have been others just thrown the switch and the F.M. transmitter goes into service to the people of the city of the off those familiar with the technique of fame from an engineering standpoint know what a tremendous augmentation of a facility in communication this will be radio has a pleasant responsibility to entertain but it has a definite and positive response ability to inform instruct and enlighten and with this additional twenty K.W. F.M. transmitter the city of New York is better able to meet any emergency that may occur in the city and so the people of the city of New York through the great medium of radio communication in its F.M. translation in the presence of the deputy mayor of the city of New York mayor Bennett Seymour in Segal director of communications of the city of New York Mr Frederick I lacked vice president and a manager for radio of the Western Electric of its radio division and major Edwin H. Armstrong the inventor of F.M. and a distinguished company including our budget commissioner Mr Patterson because without the budget we don't get any money to spend and he has been most cooperative on instructions from the mayor to see that everything possible was achieved here in the way of purchasing power to make it possible to put this new service into you into your homes people of the city of New York and now W. N.Y.C. F.M. is yours for service.