Earle Connor


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Kicked that habit in 68. It was eight years. 

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Since I gave it up and I. 

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Smoked for 45 years I. 

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Never smoked a pipe, but smoked cigarettes. 

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I got up to about 38 cigarettes a day a while ago, there was gonna say in the late 60s, I said this is nonsense, absolute nonsense. 

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I don’t need this many, I didn’t tell myself I was going to quit. 

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I just said I don’t need this many and I started consciously to think about cutting down on them and within a week I got down to 18 a day. 

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And so I. 

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Thought well if I can get by and I can get by with a few less and within another week I’ve got down to three a day. 

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In two weeks from 36 a day to three a day. 

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I wasn’t hurting, so I said if you only need 3A day, you don’t need any and. 

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I haven’t had a cigarette since. 

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I’ve been down to down, I think the lowest I got well once for two or three months. 

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I was off. 

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But I’ve been down. 

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I do the same thing. 

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Yeah, cut myself back, never laugh. 

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Well, it’s a funny thing about talking about quitting. 

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I’ve seen none. 

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Right back to the beginning. 

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And when did you you get into broadcasting and how had you developed an? 

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Interest in it. 

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Well, I guess from that standpoint, again, we have to go back to the early days of of before broadcasting, don’t we? 

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If anybody believes it was. 

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Such a thing? 

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Well, yes, there. 

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Was in 1919. We were living on 2nd Ave. down in Kitsilano in Vancouver, and I was. 

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Nine years old at the time. 

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And one day I noticed a chap across the lane putting up a piece of wire. 

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From his house, out from the pole in the back. 

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And it wasn’t a clothesline, it was too high. 

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So I didn’t want to go to find out what he was doing. 

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He was putting up an antenna. 

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They call it an aerial in those days and I said, what’s this for ice. 

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It’s wireless. 

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What they used to call radio, of course. 

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As you know, this don’t fiddle with it all. 

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That it intends to make less. 

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So I said well. 

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That’s very interesting what you supposed. 

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To do with it. 

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So he said come. 

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On and I’ll show you. 

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And he’d collected a few little bits and pieces, like a Ford spark coil, you know, on an old windshield with tin foil over for a. 

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He made a little spark gap out of zinc rods from batteries and this type of thing, and so I got a little interested. 

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And this this essay was 1919, so I started to collect a few pieces myself. And as I was saying a little earlier, we made-up that night between us. 

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We made-up our own coils and so on, and only we didn’t use the Quaker Oats for them. 

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So we didn’t run. 

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Through the form. 

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And again from there on, if I say I got a vacuum tube in 1921. 

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Cost me $18.00 in Seattle. 

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A UX 199, the exact and. 

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I built various sets. 

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It was a fad, then for small ones, of course we didn’t have transistors. 

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We did have it. 

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We didn’t know enough. 

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To know we had them. 

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The the so-called crystal detector is of course the founder of the transistor. We built small ones and big ones and battery ones and all the rest of it. 

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Now, through the years I was following two parallel interests, shall we say. 

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I was also interested in water mechanics. 

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And the two came together in the garage that I was working on during the summer where the chap that owned the grass decided he was going to sell manufactured radios. 

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So he bought these Spartans wholesale and the sibling were on the various neighbors that one of them and I serviced them. 

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And finally, after about a year in a garage myself with a partner. 

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Which was. 

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Financial calamity I took a business course to fill in time and then through. 

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The mother of a good friend of mine, I was introduced to broadcasting and the person of ckmo and right at the station CKMB in Vancouver. 

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This was owned at the time by the Sprott Shaw schools, who, by the way, are still in business. 

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All the spots I think have long since departed the scene. 

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And I was hired, believe it or not, as an announcer. 

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Within three weeks I was chief engineer because the chap that had been engineered decided he could make more money in those days if he went back at the warehouse operator on the rum runners. 

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So I stayed with them for about a year and they weren’t the dominant station in Vancouver, believe me, even in the early 30s and the late 20s, they had stations that were more popular than others, the same as today. 

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And I felt that I didn’t have too much. 

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Of a future with me. 

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What kind of equipment did CT? 

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MOOC camo at that time when I started there had a a motor generator for a high voltage supply. 

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They had a set of Edison dry, not dry, wet cells. 

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Edison, wet cells, rechargeable for the filament supply and for the speech equipment. 

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And the transmitter was a converted ship transmitter built by Northern Electric. It was a northern electric 2A, if I remember correctly. 

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And he had 250 Watt tubes in it. One was the oscillator and the other was the modulator. 

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And the the modulator was driven by a small 5 Watt tube A205D. 

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My memory is correct. 

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The small tubes were used in repeater work, telephone repeater work across Canada for long distance was the so-called No No. 

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The peanut tube was the 216 a. That was the the first small tube and all that wasn’t used in the in any broadcast equipment to my knowledge. 

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To digress the 216 A was developed during the war. 

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First World War. 

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And it was built for a Navy receiver. 

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It was a western electric tube, and this Navy was one Navy receiver, was one of the first successful superheterodyne. 

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It had about eight of these peanut tubes in it, and it was a small set for shipboard work, and it was one of the first commercial, if you would like to call it that application of the superheterodyne receiver, which had been invented, of course, by arms. 

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But that’s where the 216 a came and all these other tubes were about full 3 inches in diameter, I guess were around the globe with a tip on the end of like the early lamps. 

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That’s the lamps. 

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And they used to plug them into the panels and with holes in these steel panels and the telephone type racks, vertical racks. 

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And they were sealed by a screening. 

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So on you’ve seen. 

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Pictures of them probably. 

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I’ve forgotten where I was now can. 

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Yeah, well, you want. 

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I ask you about the you had gone. 

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To the equipment. 

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Yes, the equipment. 

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The speech equipment also had these 205’s. There was another fire tube called A102-D which would look the same, but it was a different type then. Even then they’re all trials they didn’t have. 

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Turning like that in those days, they hadn’t been invented yet. 

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The forest hadn’t got smart, I guess. 

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No, it wasn’t the forest. 

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I’ve forgotten who put the the screen grid and tubes RCA, I guess, or somebody. 

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But this was the type of equipment we were working with, the reproducers they had got past at that time, the stage of putting a carbon mic up in front of a gramophone. 

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They were building direct electrical transducers. 

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For the records. 

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Presto, I think was one of the early names in that business and was successful for many years. 

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I don’t know whether it’s still in business now and I don’t think they are, but for many, many years, pests will cook with this broadcast equipment. 

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The turntables were what you could get. 

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The early electric ones. 

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I remember names like Green Flyer and things like that, and they all had little governors on them, the same as the spring wild ones. 

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For the turntables. 

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For the home. 

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Gramophones that Hammond came out with a synchronous motor type this. 

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Was a little. 

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Later this was when I went to work for. 

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Ekwb X passing on from ckmo. 

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I stayed there about a year and as I said, I couldn’t see too much future there. 

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So I started to make acquaintances around CKW X and that’s when I got to know Ross McIntyre. 

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And eventually, by making myself a useful enough, I guess they they hired me. 

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So I started to work for them and I guess in 30. 

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One and went with Ckmo was chief announcer and then chief engineer. 

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What were you getting? 

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Paid $45.00 a month when I got it. 

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Occasionally the sprouts would go off on their yacht in the summertime and we’d work for three months before they’d come back and sign the checks. 

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We did deliver some. 

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There’s some fringe benefits, shall we say, even in those days, though, there was a lot of contract work being done, man. 

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And I remember getting a free suit of clothes, few things like that in lieu of some salary. 

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Where’s the commercial content? 

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Oh, it was very low in those days. 

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It was a rich man’s hobby. 

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There was the radio, actually. 

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Radio Broadcasting was a rich man’s hobby. 

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It wasn’t expected. 

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It wasn’t until after the war the 2nd. 

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World War that radio really came into. 

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Its own up until that time, certain stations had been making money in the middle to late 30s. 

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Yes, they started to pick up, but it wasn’t really until after the in the 464748 period that radio really came into its own start to make. 

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Money. Well, most stations. 

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Originally appeared to have been started for one of about 3 reasons. 

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One is to sell radios, one is to sell batteries and one was to keep control of it in the hands of. 

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The newspaper people. 

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Yes, those were the three main original reasons. 

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You’re right. 

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You’re exactly right. 

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The newspapers got into it early because they feared the competition. 

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And they thought, well, if we’re going to have some competition, let’s own it. And that accounts for stations like CFAC&CCJCA and Edmonton and so on. 

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And the Sifton group in in the in middle prairies and the Irving Group back in in New Brunswick and the Maritimes. 

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Now it’s that’s why the newspapers are in the business. 

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Out here in Vancouver, it didn’t stick. The World newspaper went broke. They were the first on the air, to my knowledge, with the radio station in Vancouver, and this was in 1920. They talk about CFCF being the 1st in Canada, and it’s debatable. It’s really a debatable point. 

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Because there was broadcasting going on in Vancouver in 1920 early 1920. 

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It wasn’t a commercial broadcasting, it was a service to lighthouses, and so on on the coast. 

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And it was run by the Department of Marine and Fisheries from a transmitter in Vancouver on. Believe it or not, 2000 meters. 

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Now, that’s a pretty damn long wavelength by today’s standards, but I remember we talked about this coil that we built. 

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We made it out of building paper on a wooden form, shellac and varnished and so on, and the coil must have been about 9 inches long and about 5 or 6 inches in diameter and wound solid. 

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So you can see without amount of wire it was a pretty low frequency we. 

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Were trying to pick up. 

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And I remember that this thing used to come on twice a day with all the weather reports and news items and so on, a little like the northern. 

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Messenger of the CBC in years later years. 

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But the news items for the lighthouse people. 

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The first commercial broadcasting station that I remember in Vancouver was the world, and it was in the Vancouver block, right next to. 

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The old Birch building. 

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And there’s a name well known in the radio industry, not so much from the broadcast standpoint as from the equipment standpoint, and that’s stark. 

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And the chap that set this station up to my knowledge was young Milton Stark. 

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Who subsequently went on to become quite an equipment manufacturer and distributor, and I believe the stark company is still in Business Today in Ajax just outside Toronto. 

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Now, Milton Stark was one of two or three brothers, and he was the only one that I knew in the early days, and I can’t say I knew him. 

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He was just an acquaintance, but he set this thing up. 

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I remember seeing this particular transmitter later on after the station had gone off. 

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The air. 

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I can’t remember its call letters. 

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I don’t know whether somebody took it over or not. 

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My memory isn’t that good if I remember. 

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I’ve probably had amateur call letters. 

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It may have, it may have may have been one that liked the trail station one or two of the. 

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Others trail was 10/18. 

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Somebody mentioned that somebody who owned you X2B. 

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I don’t remember, but I can’t tell you but this well, you see, CFCF started out the same way too. 

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Somebody did mention that. 

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They were xwe. 

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As I say, CFCF is supposed to be. 

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It’s two to. 

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The be the first station on the air in the North American continent. 

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Well, as I said, as far as I’m concerned, it’s debate. 

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There are a lot of things went on out here in the West, which the easterners, God bless them, they never paid any attention to it at all. 

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They ignore. 

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And again, as I said, I can’t. 

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I can’t prove it one way or the other. 

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I guess if you went back to the newspaper files and had enough patience, you’d find it. 

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But what became of that world station? 

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I don’t know whether it was taken over, became ckmo, or one of the others, I don’t know. 

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But eventually going on from my previous experience at Ckmo, I did get to work for CWX and I worked for them. 

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And how much? 

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How much did they pay for? 

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Well, they paid well. Let me see. What did I start with there I was. I think I was getting $80.00 a month 75. 

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Or $80.00 a month. 

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Then anyway, I remember when I got married in 1934. 

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Voice on what you’re getting your CQ. 

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Sorry, it was increased 8250 a month. 

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But they were up for a glass of station and to start with. 

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When I first started there, it was an odd situation. 

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I think there were only two stations in the North American continent. 

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Whoever built this way? 

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And one of them belonged to the Willard Battery company back in Cleveland. 

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OH, or someplace back there. 

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The other one was KWX and they were peculiar in the fact that both plate voltage supplies were from storage matters. 

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The storage battery supply for C KWX would allow it to stay on the air for most about 7 hours before they had to shut. 

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Down to recharge the batteries. 

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You can imagine we didn’t have too much worry with ham and other things in those days. 

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The battery system was made-up of a group of single cells. 

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In racks in the basement below the transmitter and in those days there was a popular automobile in the mid 20s called the Dodge. 

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It’s still around, but it wasn’t made by Chrysler then. 

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And it was the only car that had a 12 Volt electrical system, and these 12 Volt batteries had six little hard rubber cases in a wooden box. 

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And they were only about an inch and 1/2 wide, about 6 inches across, and about 8:00 or 10 inches deep. 

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And the owner of this station, Arthur Halstead, and they call Sparks. 

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He’d collected a whole flock of these things, and he’d put them in rows with one negative and one positive plate and one separator in each one of these cells, and he connected them all in series in banks of 80 volts. 

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And why 80 volts? 

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Well, it just so happened that he had an 80 Volt generator. 

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So all these batteries came up in banks of 80 Volt to obtain on up by the transmitter with two pole, two throw switches and you threw all the switches up and you put all the 80 Volt batteries in series and you have 1000 volts for this transmitter. 

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You threw them all down. 

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You had all the banks in parallel for 80 volts and then you run. 

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The generator 80 volts to charge. 

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He also had stories of applies for the felonies that show on, but CBWFQ was a unique station in a lot of respects. 

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To my knowledge, it’s the only one in Canada that has ever been ordered off the air twice and refused to go off either time, and he’s still on the air today. 

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The first time it happened was very shortly after its inception. 

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It was licensed for Nanaimo. 

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In 1921, as CFDC and the DC of course is direct current, which was I guess one of the first aphorisms. 

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What do they call that I don’t. 

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Know what they call it that. 

00:16:18 Speaker 1 

Yeah, something like that. 

00:16:18 Speaker 2 

What you mean? 

00:16:22 Speaker 1 

Spark Spot would acronym that direct current Sparks got the name to start with the Sparks because he was always making sparks with. 

00:16:22 Speaker 2 

Equine acronym. 

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His stories batteries, I guess. 

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And he distributed storage back. 

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Is it Bruce for DC? 

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So he called, he got the caller CDC. 

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And just just doing a few digress for a moment there. There’s another one that funny little call letter CK TV and if we gotten at the moment where, yeah. 

00:16:46 Speaker 1 


00:16:47 Speaker 1 

Well, that was in. 

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Saint Catherine. 

00:16:49 Speaker 2 

OK, then the the call. 

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Letters are supposed to stand for Canadians, know their. 

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Mirror. Ohh, I see. 

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That’s a good point back. 

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Well, it’s amazing how the human brain was thinking even in those days. 

00:17:01 Speaker 1 

There are a lot of cases recently where people have got call letters that specify something, although they never were intended to. 

00:17:10 Speaker 1 

And to digress a little further, even in the airplane registration, you will find that I happen to belong to and I’m a flying club right now. 

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One of our Members has just bought an airplane and his name is Mel Barber and he has MCB as. 

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His call. 

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He just found that, you know, happened to find it was available Mel C Barber, but carrying on getting back to the storage battery situation. 

00:17:31 Speaker 1 

And the fact that CQWP is a little. 

00:17:33 Speaker 1 

Week starting in the name or it was licensed by the Department of Marine and Fisheries, who looked after broadcasting in those days was it was considered. 

00:17:40 Speaker 2 

Started with those nations didn’t. 

00:17:42 Speaker 1 

Well, no, no, as far as I know, it was licensed from initially that Sparks wrote and got this license for and this is my knowledge of it. 

00:17:49 Speaker 1 

Now I could be wrong because it goes back so far and there’s so many stories and you know what happens to a story. 

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After the fifth hand, while it’s come back, it’s completely the opposite. 

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Of what it started. 

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But I understand that sparks did get the. 

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License for this thing. 

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And he bought this transmitter again. 

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I don’t know. 

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You mentioned that some of his friends said that they’ve got. 

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It in the states. 

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He could probably have because everything was coming from the states in those days, but he set it up and started in Nanaimo and it was there for a while. 

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And Vancouver looked pretty lucrative as a much bigger standard. 

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There were more radio sets over there, so he decided he move it. 

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He wrote to ask for permission and was turned down and said to hell with you and took it over anyway. 

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And he set it up on the top floor of the Belmont Hotel, ran a wire at. 

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The window to. 

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An antenna up on the roof and by the time authorities caught up with the fact that he moved it, he was pretty well established in Vancouver and he had a very loyal quarterwave listeners, and there was so much of a stink raised when it was publicized that he had been ordered to shut down, but he was allowed to continue. 

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Now it developed from there and when I started. 

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To work for C. 

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KWX in 31 April 31, I think it was, they had 100 Watt Northern Electric transmitter. 

00:19:00 Speaker 1 

This had four or 550 waters in it. It was quite a few more than the one at Ckmo. It had two in the oscillator, 2 in the oscillators. 

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And one to drive the modular. 

00:19:12 Speaker 1 

Again, it was run on this DC power supply and the first thing we did I guess after I got there very shortly after was to convert to AC power supply because the storage battery wasn’t dependable enough. 

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And it was too short lived. 

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And actually one of the reasons that forced us into a see was this. 

00:19:32 Speaker 1 

I presume, Ken, that you’ve been told this story by other people, but in the earlier days, particularly out in the coast, there were several transmitters on the air, all sharing the same frequency and the day was split up and one station would come on for a couple of hours. 

00:19:46 Speaker 1 

Then they’d sign off, followed by another station. 

00:19:48 Speaker 1 

Come on for a couple of. 

00:19:49 Speaker 1 

Hours and sign off and so on, all through the day. 

00:19:51 Speaker 1 

And it so happened that the period from 1:00 o’clock in the afternoon till 4:30 in the afternoon was not occupied by anybody. 

00:19:58 Speaker 1 

And we at CKX heard by rumor that Ckmo was going to. 

00:20:03 Speaker 1 

Start to occupy. 

00:20:04 Speaker 1 

That now the time belonged to the person that first programmed it, so we decided we’re not going to sign off at 1:00 o’clock when they would just carry on. 

00:20:12 Speaker 1 

And The thing is that by the time we struggle through the 7:30 on the storage about it from 10:30 in the morning, there wasn’t anything left. 

00:20:17 Speaker 1 

So we converted to AC plate supply. 

00:20:19 Speaker 1 

We still stayed with the DC element supply. 

00:20:22 Speaker 2 

That was CTW assuring. 

00:20:24 Speaker 2 

It’s we Quincy with. 

00:20:25 Speaker 1 

Ckmo and the station licensed by the province. 

00:20:30 Speaker 1 

Now this is the newspaper connection again, which was dropped subsequently. 

00:20:34 Speaker 1 

They had ckcu D and the Chalmers Church, which was on the air on Sunday. 

00:20:40 Speaker 1 

And I’ve forgotten the Chalmers church call letters. 

00:20:43 Speaker 1 

But CCD was owned by the province newspaper the license, and it was leased to a chap named Billy Hassell. 

00:20:54 Speaker 1 

And that name you’ve heard? 

00:20:58 Speaker 1 

He leased time from them and he had what was called a Phantom call. 

00:21:02 Speaker 1 

Now in the early 20s, they did that, they would have the same transmitter, but it might have two or three sets of call letters depending on who was running it. 

00:21:11 Speaker 1 

And I remember to this day, again, getting back to the acronyms. 

00:21:15 Speaker 1 

This was CHLS and HLS was a contraction of hassle. 

00:21:20 Speaker 1 

His wife, Sheila Hassell, was involved in CHUB and animal for many, many years, along with Chuck Rudd while he was still alive before it was sold. 

00:21:30 Speaker 1 

I think even after it was sold to the Cromey brothers, in fact, the Chromie brothers that ran The Sun newspaper in Vancouver might have started CHB again. 

00:21:37 Speaker 1 

This is something and I went to all that familiar being in the technical end of it, a lot of the. 

00:21:41 Speaker 1 

Political end and why you get by hearsay. 

00:21:45 Speaker 1 

But going back again to CCWP, we converted first to this AC power supply. 

00:21:51 Speaker 1 

The other stations were still running motor generators for their power supplies. 

00:21:55 Speaker 1 

Subsequently they converted to rectified AC as well. 

00:21:59 Speaker 1 

Now about this time in 32. 

00:22:04 Speaker 1 

It was the depression, the depth of depression. 

00:22:07 Speaker 1 

And you mentioned a little while ago while we were. 

00:22:10 Speaker 1 

At lunch about. 

00:22:12 Speaker 1 

The station, having lost its license because of the religious connotations or something. 

00:22:16 Speaker 1 

But this is not the case. 

00:22:19 Speaker 1 

In 32, if you remember, the CCF reared its head pretty strongly and they had the March in Regina. 

00:22:27 Speaker 1 

They had the hunger marches and they had the Regina Manifesto when they had a lot of other things. 

00:22:32 Speaker 1 

And there was a chap out in Vancouver named Doctor Lyle Telford, who was a very, very strong, rabid CC effort. 

00:22:41 Speaker 1 

I think he was probably a far more rabbit than MJ Coldwell, who started the whole thing. 

00:22:48 Speaker 1 

Ever thought of being. 

00:22:52 Speaker 1 

He used to conduct rallies in various areas and he was on the border of making a lot of seditious remarks. 

00:23:01 Speaker 1 

They could have been considered that. 

00:23:04 Speaker 1 

To begin with, he was content to address a crowd in an auditorium or something like that, but he got the idea that he could reach more people as he could broadcast it. 

00:23:13 Speaker 1 

So he approached. 

00:23:16 Speaker 1 

CWX Sparks Halstead for time and if there was anything that sparks was against it as the CCF. 

00:23:24 Speaker 1 

And he gave them short shrift and showed him the door. 

00:23:27 Speaker 1 

So he trotted over to Sprott, Shaw, Ckmo and Billy Brown senior. 

00:23:36 Speaker 1 

I mentioned senior because Billy Brown junior is now operating group of stations in Vancouver Island in Powell River. 

00:23:42 Speaker 1 

Billy Brown senior couldn’t see anything wrong with his money, so he put him on the air. 

00:23:48 Speaker 1 

Now, a few minutes ago I was talking about these station sharing frequencies. 

00:23:52 Speaker 1 

And the frequency at issue was 730 kilohertz. We call it kilocycles in those days. 

00:23:57 Speaker 2 

And that was a change. 

00:23:58 Speaker 2 

And it was not with every takeover, but. 

00:24:00 Speaker 1 

It did. 

00:24:00 Speaker 1 

It did. 

00:24:01 Speaker 1 

Oh, yeah, sure it did well it. 

00:24:02 Speaker 1 

Makes sense to see hurts. 

00:24:03 Speaker 2 

Yeah, well, I understand. 

00:24:04 Speaker 1 

Instead of cycles per second, yeah. 

00:24:05 Speaker 2 

But I I yeah, I just, I just, I just never thought it would. 

00:24:08 Speaker 2 

It would. 

00:24:08 Speaker 1 

Well, it it all? It took all. There’s a lot of things have taken that I didn’t think we’re going to take, but anyway, 7:30 kilohertz was the frequency at issue. 

00:24:18 Speaker 1 

And we were sharing, as I said, with the other stations and it so happened that at 7:30 at night, C KWX signed off and right away Quick C came all came on and there was a bit of rivalry between the engineering groups. 

00:24:32 Speaker 1 

Even in those days, and the idea was to get on so quickly that there was no dead air. 

00:24:38 Speaker 1 

And a lot of them would come on so quickly that there would be a little of a Heterodyne 2 carries are be on for a few seconds together before one could shut down, and in those days nobody had crystal control. 

00:24:49 Speaker 1 

So of course, you know, it was a squeal, but this particular situation arose from the fact that Billy Brown scheduled Doctor Telford. 

00:24:58 Speaker 1 

And his what could be considered seditious remarks in behalf of the CCF? 

00:25:03 Speaker 1 

At 7:30, immediately following the sign off of C KWX. 

00:25:09 Speaker 1 

Now at that time, people were beginning to take Telford a little bit seriously, and the people in garment circles and they got a little concerned. 

00:25:18 Speaker 1 

And some of the people in Victoria took the listening film to see if they could catch something. 

00:25:23 Speaker 1 

This one particular night. Apparently he did say something that went against the grain with some people in Victoria and they got a hold of the radio inspector, the regional man who was domiciled in Victoria since Victoria was the capital and his name was hotton Doug Hotton, if I remember HOUGHTONI think. 

00:25:42 Speaker 1 

That was his the way. 

00:25:43 Speaker 1 

You spelled it. 

00:25:46 Speaker 1 

And they got ahold of him and told him what had gone on and her heart and got ahold of Ottawa. 

00:25:53 Speaker 1 

On this thing. 

00:25:54 Speaker 1 

Now mind you, we found this out months and months afterwards. 

00:25:57 Speaker 1 

This is one of the anomalies of this business. 

00:26:00 Speaker 1 

This whole license licensing situation and I guess today there is still quite a bit of secret of this in it. 

00:26:07 Speaker 1 

But we didn’t know anything about this at all. 

00:26:10 Speaker 1 

The first inkling we had of any trouble was when Halstead came down to the transmitter one afternoon with a wire in his hand. 

00:26:19 Speaker 1 

Not electrical wire. A telegram. 

00:26:21 Speaker 1 

And it said. 

00:26:24 Speaker 1 

So and so and so and so cease. 

00:26:25 Speaker 1 

And desist forthwith. 

00:26:28 Speaker 1 

No reason. 

00:26:29 Speaker 1 

And Sparks said to Ross McIntyre, who was the then chief engineer. 

00:26:33 Speaker 1 

I was too IC as well as an announcer. 

00:26:36 Speaker 1 

What are we going to do? 

00:26:38 Speaker 1 

And Ross said, well, what do you think we should do? 

00:26:41 Speaker 1 

Just carry it right on. 

00:26:42 Speaker 1 

Ignore it. 

00:26:45 Speaker 1 

And Sparks says, well, what do they do? 

00:26:47 Speaker 1 

Well, Ross says they have to come down here and put us off the air physically. 

00:26:50 Speaker 1 

He said, I’m not going to turn off. 

00:26:51 Speaker 1 

No way. 

00:26:53 Speaker 1 

So, sparks said. 

00:26:55 Speaker 1 

Well, OK, well, do you think I should do get ahold of your lawyer and get ahold of your friends in Ottawa? 

00:27:00 Speaker 1 

Find out what’s going on. 

00:27:01 Speaker 1 

They haven’t told you why they want you off here. 

00:27:02 Speaker 1 

Find out what’s going on. 

00:27:05 Speaker 1 

And this thing went on for some weeks and we got several more wires and it came down to the point where one time sparks came down and said I don’t know how. 

00:27:14 Speaker 1 

Much longer I can hold out. 

00:27:16 Speaker 1 

And Ross says, OK, if they send the Mounties in to shut this thing down, I’ll tell you. 

00:27:21 Speaker 1 

So I’ll tell them to do it. 

00:27:24 Speaker 1 

And Spark says what are you going to do? 

00:27:26 Speaker 1 

And Ross says, well, you know, the power supply in the back room. 

00:27:31 Speaker 1 

As Spark says, yes, he said. 

00:27:32 Speaker 1 

I’m going to go and tell them that if they want to grab the tops of those two little blue tubes in there, they’ll stop it. 

00:27:39 Speaker 1 

And so help me knowing right there, I wouldn’t have doubted that he would have. 

00:27:43 Speaker 2 

Done it, we would have lost a few. 

00:27:44 Speaker 1 

Bones right in the process, but I would have stopped the transmitter. 

00:27:49 Speaker 1 

He’d be quite true. 

00:27:51 Speaker 1 

But in any case, subsequently the wires stopped coming. 

00:27:56 Speaker 1 

Now, as I said, it was six months before we found out what had happened with this chap. 

00:28:00 Speaker 1 

As I say, this chap, this inspector had been contacted by some politician in Victoria and as you know, in those days the BC politics were pretty helter skelter. 

00:28:10 Speaker 1 

The coalition governments and some graft and various other things we don’t know yet to this day who it was. 

00:28:17 Speaker 1 

There was a federal politician or not. 

00:28:20 Speaker 1 

I never found out, and I don’t think sparks ever pursued it. 

00:28:23 Speaker 1 

But anyway, that’s what happened. He went to Ottawa and Ottawa figured that we had been broadcasting Telford because he had come on right after the time we were supposed to be off the air, and this was never explained to us, never explained at all what had been happened. What happened is this chap of Victoria have been listening to CKWX. 

00:28:43 Speaker 1 

And he hadn’t caught the changeover to ckmo. 

00:28:46 Speaker 1 

And he figured that it was still CWX broadcasting, Telford. 

00:28:53 Speaker 1 

We were. 

00:28:54 Speaker 1 

We went into cahoots with. 

00:28:55 Speaker 1 

The government on it. 

00:28:57 Speaker 1 

In 33, we build our own recording equipment and this is another first for Vancouver and for CQWW X. Nobody at that time was doing any recording and we’re doing some in the states instantaneous recording. 

00:29:10 Speaker 1 

We built. 

00:29:10 Speaker 2 

It will be on the old transcription as it teaches. 

00:29:12 Speaker 1 

That’s well, yes. 

00:29:13 Speaker 1 

Yes, it was. 

00:29:14 Speaker 1 

It was the the first acetate discs. 

00:29:17 Speaker 1 

They weren’t acetate in those days, they were cellulose, they were ducal paint. 

00:29:20 Speaker 1 

As a matter of fact, very similar to ducal paint. 

00:29:23 Speaker 1 

And we brought the disks in from California because we can get them, but we had a very good friend who was a machinist in Vancouver, and he built this turntable lathe for us and the basis was a discarded turntable from the Capitol Theatre. 

00:29:41 Speaker 1 

And then 29 and 30, when the sound system first came in for the movies, they were on disc. 

00:29:46 Speaker 1 

And then, of course, they very shortly converged sound on film. And these turntables were surplused. So we got a hold of one of these turntables and I guess it was late 33 somewhere in that vicinity. 

00:29:56 Speaker 1 

We had to have a motor for it and it had to be a synchronous motor and had to operate at 1200 RPM. 

00:30:02 Speaker 1 

And those things were a little bit scarce. 

00:30:04 Speaker 1 

So we found an old GE fan motor, had six holes in the armature and we saw it slots in it and long coils in it and put little flip rings on it. 

00:30:15 Speaker 1 

So it was a 6 pole motor. 

00:30:17 Speaker 1 

Then we synchronized it by putting storage battery current 12 volts to this thing. 

00:30:22 Speaker 1 

We ran this lead off this little fan motor, but we did a lot of recording. 

00:30:28 Speaker 1 

And how the CCF business comes in with is this. 

00:30:32 Speaker 1 

We made good friends with the chap that was running the PA system in the forum in those days. 

00:30:37 Speaker 1 

And this was before it burnt down. 

00:30:38 Speaker 1 

It was done on Demon Street then and Georgia. 

00:30:44 Speaker 1 

He and Cree was his name. 

00:30:47 Speaker 1 

English check good head. 

00:30:49 Speaker 1 

He’s dead now. 

00:30:51 Speaker 1 

But he was running the PA system in those days. 

00:30:54 Speaker 1 

The PA system consisted of, along with trumpets and the the the small driver systems, Northern Electric and Western Electric made the equipment. 

00:31:04 Speaker 1 

And they had 50 water amplifiers with these big trial tubes, and these same 50 waters. 

00:31:09 Speaker 1 

Their broadcast stations were using. 

00:31:11 Speaker 1 

But anyway, we made good friends with him and we got a telephone line. 

Part 2


00:00:02 Speaker 1 

And we arranged a bridge off the PA system and we recorded hours and hours and hours. 

00:00:09 Speaker 1 

And doctor Telford and his cohorts. 

00:00:11 Speaker 1 

We fairly expensive too. 

00:00:12 Speaker 1 

Well, yes, I guess so. 

00:00:14 Speaker 1 

I don’t know who made the money out of it as far as us, the transfer, they were concerned. 

00:00:17 Speaker 1 

We just were doing the recording. 

00:00:19 Speaker 1 

And this. 

00:00:27 Speaker 1 

You think it’s going to stay put? 

00:00:29 Speaker 1 

OK, I’ll kick it with. 

00:00:30 Speaker 1 

That, as I said, we used to use steel cutting needles because they were the only ones that stand up to these flaws. 

00:00:35 Speaker 1 

And these recordings one time we thought we would spring for a sapphire because it was supposed to be quire when we bought a sapphire, and about the whole 5 minutes into the recording and hit one of these flaws. 

00:00:45 Speaker 1 

And so that was the end of the sapphire. 

00:00:49 Speaker 1 

But we found that. 

00:00:52 Speaker 1 

The problem with a lot of these instantaneous discs was that they dried out too much. 

00:00:57 Speaker 1 

They didn’t have the chemical control of the coating those days that they developed subsequently. 

00:01:02 Speaker 1 

And I got a brilliant brainstorm. 

00:01:05 Speaker 1 

If we could figure some way to soften those things now, why we’d be in business. 

00:01:09 Speaker 1 

Well, how do you soften it? 

00:01:10 Speaker 1 

It’s a it’s a cellulose acetate type of thing. 

00:01:14 Speaker 1 

So it’s a ducal paint. 

00:01:16 Speaker 1 

So what? 

00:01:16 Speaker 1 

What about some ducal thinner? 

00:01:18 Speaker 1 

Well, it’s obvious that you couldn’t paint the thing with dukal thinner, because it would just destroy the surface completely, so they used to ship them in big tin boxes. 

00:01:28 Speaker 1 

Sticking his records in big tin boxes. 

00:01:30 Speaker 1 

And I set up a little island in the center. One of these boxes put about 1/4 of an inch of ducla thinner in the bottom of the box. 

00:01:39 Speaker 1 

Set the record on this little island. 

00:01:41 Speaker 1 

And put the lid on. 

00:01:43 Speaker 1 

And by trial and error we found out that we left it sitting in there for about 20 minutes. 

00:01:47 Speaker 1 

It softened at just about. 

00:01:48 Speaker 1 

The right consistency to cut quietly. 

00:01:52 Speaker 1 

There were a lot of firsts with CKW X. 

00:01:56 Speaker 1 

And I say this advisor, in spite of what some of the easterners may say. 

00:02:01 Speaker 1 

To my knowledge, CWX was the very first and possibly one of the only stations in Canada to be. 

00:02:08 Speaker 1 

Granted permission, they didn’t give you licenses in those days. 

00:02:11 Speaker 1 

They just. 

00:02:12 Speaker 1 

Gave you a letter. 

00:02:13 Speaker 1 

Granted permission to rebroadcast and off the air pickup of an American state. 

00:02:19 Speaker 1 

How did that come? 

00:02:20 Speaker 1 

That came about through the fact that there was a very popular program on a Seattle station. 

00:02:26 Speaker 1 

Called the Shell ship of joy. 

00:02:30 Speaker 1 

And he was run by a character who called himself Captain Dobbs. And it was Dobson’s Shell ship of joy. 

00:02:39 Speaker 1 

Fancy that? Great. 

00:02:40 Speaker 1 

Yeah, the shell people wanted that broadcast in Vancouver. 

00:02:46 Speaker 1 

And in those days as. 

00:02:47 Speaker 1 

I said C. 

00:02:48 Speaker 1 

KWX was the dominant station in the area, so they came to us to see and it was just not possible economically or politically to arrange a network, a Direct Line feed from Seattle to Vancouver. 

00:03:01 Speaker 1 

Now sparks Halsted has a very nice home out, and curiously, on the South Slope. 

00:03:06 Speaker 1 

And he could bring in this Seattle station. I forgot which one it was. No, there was KO MO. There was KJR, and there was KIROK. 

00:03:15 Speaker 1 

Yeah, KIROI guess was. 

00:03:16 Speaker 1 

Called in. 

00:03:17 Speaker 1 

I don’t remember. 

00:03:18 Speaker 1 

There was three or four and they were quite popular stations in in Seattle. 

00:03:22 Speaker 1 

KO the Fishers Blend Station KJR where the two. 

00:03:26 Speaker 1 

Outstanding ones. 

00:03:28 Speaker 1 

But he was probably on one of those. 

00:03:30 Speaker 1 

And he could pick it up very well. 

00:03:32 Speaker 1 

He had, I remember a greevy synchrophasor receiver. 

00:03:38 Speaker 1 

And oddly enough, I was in the Dearborn Museum in Detroit, just not six weeks ago. 

00:03:43 Speaker 1 

And here is a case with two or three of these greevy sacred phase three, three years sitting in it. 

00:03:48 Speaker 1 

Anyway, he picked this thing up and fed it by landline to transmitter down in Seymour St. 

00:03:53 Speaker 1 

in Vancouver. 

00:03:55 Speaker 1 

And we did that for weeks, literally weeks. 

00:04:00 Speaker 1 

Another first for CKX was the first origination to an American network. 

00:04:06 Speaker 1 

And this was this same program. 

00:04:09 Speaker 1 

They decided to bring the cast and the show up to Vancouver. 

00:04:13 Speaker 1 

Now, of course, the American network arranged for the lines back. 

00:04:16 Speaker 1 

They weren’t broadcasting it in in Vancouver themselves, so they could do this. 

00:04:23 Speaker 1 

We only had condenser or carbon microphones and those are still the old carbon microphone 387. 

00:04:30 Speaker 1 

W for 600 days. 

00:04:32 Speaker 1 

And they weren’t very popular with the American networks because they had already started to use the condenser mics, which had developed for the already sound movies. 

00:04:40 Speaker 1 

So this it was? No, KIRO is not the right number now. 

00:04:45 Speaker 1 

It was K. 

00:04:46 Speaker 1 

Oli, remember now? I’m pretty sure that was the call letters of it it subsequently. 

00:04:50 Speaker 1 

Became KIRO. 

00:04:53 Speaker 1 

But the engineer for this station, it was a Columbia station. 

00:04:57 Speaker 1 

He came up from Seattle and brought some equipment, including a condenser microphone with him. 

00:05:06 Speaker 1 

Kyol sure his name was Red Gunston. 

00:05:10 Speaker 1 

I don’t know what his first name was, but his name was red because he was red haired naturally. 

00:05:14 Speaker 1 

He brought this microphone up and we used this and we picked up this show. 

00:05:17 Speaker 1 

I think it was in the Strand Theater. 

00:05:19 Speaker 1 

I’m not just sure, but on one of the big theater stages we we picked up this show, fed it to the network. 

00:05:25 Speaker 1 

So this was quite a success. 

00:05:27 Speaker 1 

A little later on. 

00:05:30 Speaker 1 

There was another program that we picked up. 

00:05:32 Speaker 1 

We didn’t broadcast this one. 

00:05:34 Speaker 1 

Normally we did when it was in Vancouver, but there was a very popular program on NBC or was it ABC the first time around for ABC? 

00:05:44 Speaker 1 

American broadcast. 


Everything should be. 

00:05:47 Speaker 1 

Something that was said and all of us earlier than that, it was before 4:35 because I went to trail in 35, this was 3430. 


Y’all leave. 

00:05:54 Speaker 1 

Three or four? Yeah. OK. 


No. Yeah. Yeah, that’s. 

00:05:56 Speaker 1 

Al Pearson his. 

00:05:57 Speaker 1 

Guilt was that that was one of the two NBC networks that they were forced to. 

00:06:01 Speaker 1 

Sell when the yeah as well. 


And we’ll. 

00:06:02 Speaker 1 

It was ABC, as I recall, the first time around. 

00:06:06 Speaker 1 

Yeah, they had the NBC red and. 

00:06:08 Speaker 1 

But anyway this this was Al Pierce. 

00:06:10 Speaker 1 

This gang and I think it was NBC or I’m not sure again my memory, that’s a long time. 

00:06:16 Speaker 1 

We’re talking 45 years.