The status of the City's communication facilities

Monday, August 21, 1950

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Second in series Report on Civil Defense.

Commissioner Arthur W. Wallander discusses issues of communication in the civil defense with Director of Civil Defense Communication and WNYC director Seymour N. Siegel and James O'Brien, General Service Manager of the New York Telephone Company.

Siegel speaks of the importance if communication and acting as a liaison with the community. He divides defense communication in New York City into two broad categories:
Planning, which includes:
-setting up the air raid warning system - which will include alarms and radio/television announcements.
-informing and educating the public
-assist in Civil Defense training programs (production facilities of member stations, including writers and actors will contribute)

Siegel describes the relay message system - based on a push button wire network system set up by the NY Telephone Company. James O'Brien provides some information about how the network is set up.

Wallander asks Siegel about the role of radio amateurs in the defense effort. Radio HAMS have offered their assistance in the past and are expected to be a great help in this effort.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 71599
Municipal archives id: LT1791


James O'Brien and Seymour N. Siegel

Hosted by:

Arthur W. Wallander


More in:

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.


About Report on Civil Defense

From public welfare to firefighting to water safety, this program updates the public about disaster preparedness.

From 1950 to 1952, Arthur J. Wallander, Civil Defense Director for New York City, interviewed the heads of city departments about the steps their departments had taken to meet the needs of the city's civil defense system.

These programs provide an interesting vantage point on beliefs and fears about what many assumed were imminent attacks.  While providing exhaustive details about the municipal systems, they also ask the implicit question, what is your plan in the case of nuclear attack? 


Supported by