Stuart Clark


00:00:02 Speaker 1 

When did you get into 1929? I started in Chatham CFCO. What was your background? 

00:00:12 Speaker 1 

Did you have an engineering degree or no? 

00:00:15 Speaker 1 

At that time, I was still going to high school and I got my. 

00:00:21 Speaker 1 

Amateur license in 1929, I was the youngest amateur in Canada at that time. Yes, I was fourteen when I got my license. What did you have to know or what did you have to do to get an amateur? 

00:00:33 Speaker 1 

Well, there was some technical knowledge required and. 

00:00:39 Speaker 1 

Morse code had to be sent and received 10 words a minute 1929 because you about nine years into what we call commercial broadcast. 

00:00:53 Speaker 1 

So what was an amateur supposed to do then? 

00:00:57 Speaker 1 

Well, it was, uh. 

00:01:01 Speaker 1 

Those who went into it just as a hobby, there was nothing technical involved with the. 

00:01:09 Speaker 1 

Or nothing professional involved with the amateur license. 

00:01:12 Speaker 1 

As a matter of fact, there was no license required for technicians until in the 40s. 

00:01:19 Speaker 1 

No, not at all. 

00:01:23 Speaker 1 

So I said, what were you supposed to do? 

00:01:25 Speaker 1 

Having gotten the license? 

00:01:27 Speaker 1 

What did it entitle? 

00:01:28 Speaker 1 

You to do. 

00:01:29 Speaker 1 

Well, I’d entitle me to build and operate the amateur equipment. 

00:01:34 Speaker 1 

The operation was confined to amateur bands and there was a tendency in those days for broadcasters to hire amateurs because it was a good source. 

00:01:47 Speaker 1 

Technical help. 

00:01:49 Speaker 1 

Yeah, chief. 

00:01:49 Speaker 1 

That’s right. 

00:01:52 Speaker 1 

I worked for Jack Beardall for two years. 

00:01:57 Speaker 1 

And built his the transferrer which he used until 1948. His power well in those days, nearly all transmitters were home built or you couldn’t go to RCA or Western country and buy one. Some of the wealthier American stations did have. 

00:02:15 Speaker 1 

Western Electric or RCA equipment? 

00:02:18 Speaker 1 

And I moved to CJC. That was the one that’s the Free Press station, yes, in 1930. 

00:02:29 Speaker 1 


00:02:35 Speaker 1 

Charlie Hunter and I built that transmitter. We patterned it after WJR’s transmitter, which was a 5 kilowatt station. And that Pontiac we would make frequent trips over there and. 

00:02:48 Speaker 1 

Draw pictures and copy their diagram and. 

00:02:53 Speaker 1 

Plagiarize the whole transmitter. 

00:02:56 Speaker 1 

What would? 

00:02:56 Speaker 1 

What were some of the problems you do you would have with home built transmitter like that? 

00:03:01 Speaker 1 

It would certainly wouldn’t function like that. 

00:03:02 Speaker 1 

A mass produced sophisticated people put on well. 

00:03:07 Speaker 1 

It depends upon the skill of the constructors, of course. 

00:03:12 Speaker 1 

We think we had one that operated pretty well. 

00:03:19 Speaker 1 

The manufacturer transmitter was very costly and most broadcasters would didn’t want to invest that kind of money and and especially the when you consider the cost of the high power transmitter, that five kilowatt transmitter I believe was around $200,000 in those days. 

00:03:38 Speaker 1 

Yeah, it’s a lot of. 

00:03:39 Speaker 1 

Money course. 

00:03:40 Speaker 1 

It was a a real Leviathan. 

00:03:43 Speaker 1 

In later years they got the five kilowatt transmitter down to two or three pounds and much simpler construction. 

00:03:50 Speaker 1 

Of course, you would have been using the old vacuum tubes. 

00:03:52 Speaker 1 

Oh, yeah. 

00:03:53 Speaker 1 

Oh, yes. 

00:03:53 Speaker 1 

We used vacuum tubes all the way through. 

00:03:55 Speaker 1 

Vacuum tubes are still used. 

00:03:58 Speaker 1 

In the high power stages and the transmitters. 

00:04:03 Speaker 1 

I have never managed to transistor even that section would. 

00:04:06 Speaker 1 

Oh yeah, some transmitters now are all transistorized except for the final amplifier. 

00:04:13 Speaker 1 

Which is the main step forward. 

00:04:18 Speaker 1 

What kind of you? 

00:04:20 Speaker 1 

Just say you got an amateur license and you wouldn’t do pictures, and you built it. 

00:04:23 Speaker 1 

And then whether that’s simple to construct, to construct the transmitter. 

00:04:29 Speaker 1 

Oh yes. 

00:04:33 Speaker 1 

Depending upon the power they became more complicated as the power was. 

00:04:38 Speaker 1 

What power would you be in? 

00:04:40 Speaker 1 

Oh, I think probably 5 or 10 watts. 

00:04:45 Speaker 1 

You wouldn’t go much beyond the city of limit. 

00:04:48 Speaker 1 

Well, it depends then on the frequency. 

00:04:52 Speaker 1 

I started on 75 meters. That was good to cover most most of Ontario. 

00:04:58 Speaker 1 

With that small, with that smaller but. 

00:05:07 Speaker 1 

Skip distance helped us a great deal, of course. 

00:05:11 Speaker 1 

So what kind of antenna would you have with that? 

00:05:16 Speaker 1 

It was called a Zeppelin antenna. 

00:05:19 Speaker 1 

I think probably it was a German development for transmitting from Zeppelins, at least that. 

00:05:26 Speaker 1 

Is where I always imagined the name came from and. 

00:05:30 Speaker 1 

It was named because of the feed system. 

00:05:34 Speaker 1 

The antenna itself was 1/2 wavelength long and it was fed at the end by means of two wires. 

00:05:43 Speaker 1 

Separated by insulators, it’s since become obsolete. 

00:05:49 Speaker 1 

Coaxial cable changed the. 

00:05:54 Speaker 1 

Construction or construction of antennas. 

00:05:58 Speaker 1 

And that is the coaxial cable. 

00:05:59 Speaker 1 

The reason that today most of you most antenna was transmitters are located away from the station that now makes that possible. 

00:06:07 Speaker 1 

Yes, yes, that’s right. 

00:06:09 Speaker 1 

The cable was first developed. 

00:06:14 Speaker 1 

For broadcasting about 1933 or 4. 

00:06:19 Speaker 1 

The first time I heard of its use was for the. 

00:06:23 Speaker 1 

500,000 Watt transmitter at WLW. Have you got some action? 

00:06:30 Speaker 1 

Which seem to be doing fine. 


Do you? 

00:06:37 Speaker 1 

Know what did? 

00:06:38 Speaker 1 

Did that permitted the separation at the time you started and the antenna put it will have to be. 

00:06:43 Speaker 1 

Where the. 

00:06:44 Speaker 1 

Yes or right under the antenna. 

00:06:48 Speaker 1 

You couldn’t get the subway, and therefore the better relative transmission. 

00:06:54 Speaker 1 

Where were you located in Chatham? 

00:06:57 Speaker 1 

Where was the station located? 

00:07:00 Speaker 1 

It was in the. 

00:07:04 Speaker 1 

Community Trust building it doesn’t exist now. 

00:07:09 Speaker 1 

That was at the corner of. 

00:07:12 Speaker 1 

6th St. and King. 

00:07:16 Speaker 1 

And when the. 

00:07:20 Speaker 1 

William Pitt Hotel was open. 

00:07:22 Speaker 1 

The station was moved into the hotel. 

00:07:25 Speaker 1 

Was that a taller? 

00:07:26 Speaker 1 

Building, yes, yes, provided a better antenna system. 

00:07:32 Speaker 1 

What you said earlier when we were talking that in the early days, the engineers did some announcing what announcing their what on air work did you do well? 

00:07:43 Speaker 1 

At Chatham, we had one man on duty at a time that consisted of the owner and and myself we we share the. 

00:07:53 Speaker 1 

Operation and announcing functions. 

00:07:56 Speaker 1 

Our Switcher then consisted of. 

00:08:01 Speaker 1 

A toggle switch to switch the. 

00:08:04 Speaker 1 

Microphone on in the studio we had one studio and a control room and as I say, usually one man was on duty and he had to do the operating, so he had to announce from the control room. 

00:08:18 Speaker 1 

But on some occasions. 

00:08:22 Speaker 1 

Jack Beardall would want to announce from the studio so it would be my duty then to throw this toggle switch to put the studio microphone on. 

00:08:33 Speaker 1 

Since I was. 

00:08:36 Speaker 1 

So familiar with throwing the microphone switch to the controller one time when he was up there, I I threw it onto the control room and it was just on a station break for the CNR network. 

00:08:51 Speaker 1 

I think he had 20 seconds which to make the announcement, I turned the microphone. 

00:08:55 Speaker 1 

Of course I heard nothing. 

00:08:58 Speaker 1 

15 seconds and I said, hurry up you so and so you have 5 seconds to make your announcement. 

00:09:08 Speaker 1 

So what did? 

00:09:08 Speaker 1 

What happened then? 

00:09:09 Speaker 1 

I hope you didn’t say that it was loud with your microphone. 

00:09:12 Speaker 1 

Yes, I did. 

00:09:12 Speaker 1 

I opened my microphone and I’d hollered it so that he could hear me through the wall. 

00:09:16 Speaker 1 

Of the studio. 

00:09:19 Speaker 1 

Did you get any reaction? 

00:09:25 Speaker 1 

I don’t think that Beardall got any reaction, but I did. 

00:09:30 Speaker 1 

I was hoping that he hadn’t heard about it. 

00:09:33 Speaker 1 

That was my only source of income in those days, little as it. 

00:09:36 Speaker 1 

Was how much were you getting paid? 

00:09:38 Speaker 1 

$5 a week? Well, it’s $20.00 a month that’s $5 a month better than. 

00:09:43 Speaker 1 

Last year, but. 

00:09:46 Speaker 1 

My new few years earlier too, he was a little under depression. 


Yeah. Yes. 

00:09:50 Speaker 1 

I did. 

00:09:51 Speaker 1 

Did you say actually you so and so? 

00:09:52 Speaker 1 

Or did you use a? 

00:09:54 Speaker 1 

Always much stronger, in other words than that I. 

00:09:57 Speaker 1 

I don’t think I’d even repeated at this age. 

00:10:00 Speaker 1 

Well, today it’s perfectly acceptable. 

00:10:02 Speaker 1 

I mean, which it wouldn’t have been at the time. 

00:10:05 Speaker 1 

Another incident that happened there that that seems interesting to engineers anyway, was the evening before the. 

00:10:15 Speaker 1 

Though the evening of a federal election, there is no station in Windsor. 

00:10:20 Speaker 1 

And I was alone on duty at CFO and the Windsor Radio inspector. 

00:10:29 Speaker 1 

Whose name was Bill Carter. 

00:10:33 Speaker 1 

He was later chief engineer and manager at CKLW. 

00:10:39 Speaker 1 

This was long, long before the Windsor station was built. 

00:10:45 Speaker 1 

He called me on the phone. 

00:10:47 Speaker 1 

And asked me to. 

00:10:50 Speaker 1 

Change frequencies since the CFO was on 1200, kilocycles was too close to WXYZ, which was. 

00:11:01 Speaker 1 

Or maybe 12:20 or 12:30, he said. Move your frequency halfway between W. 

00:11:08 Speaker 1 

GHP and wattam. 

00:11:10 Speaker 1 

And you, you keep changing your frequency until until I tell you to stop. 

00:11:17 Speaker 1 

So it twisted the knob, and sure enough, wound up somewhere between the two states, he said. 

00:11:22 Speaker 1 

That’s fine. 

00:11:22 Speaker 1 

Just leave it there. 

00:11:24 Speaker 1 

Now that’s an unheard of thing in this day and age, that’s the broadcast transmitters have to be maintained within 7 cycles of the assigned frequency. 

00:11:32 Speaker 1 

I change it 60 or 70 kilocycles. 

00:11:37 Speaker 1 

So those things sound weird today. 

00:11:40 Speaker 1 

Why did they? 

00:11:40 Speaker 1 

Want you to do that? 

00:11:41 Speaker 1 

Oh, so they could get clear reception in Windsor of the election returns. 

00:11:47 Speaker 1 

Because they had no other. 

00:11:48 Speaker 1 

No other source of that information. 

00:11:50 Speaker 1 

Stations wouldn’t be carrying, yes. 

00:11:52 Speaker 1 

That’s right. 

00:11:54 Speaker 1 

Where? How did you? 

00:11:57 Speaker 1 

Or did you bother gauging your listening audience there? 

00:12:00 Speaker 1 

How far away they were? 

00:12:06 Speaker 1 

The only thing that I recall was DX programming. 

00:12:12 Speaker 1 

Maybe once a month we would operate the station all night long, play phonograph records and. 

00:12:18 Speaker 1 

Ask people to rate in from distant points to see where the station is. 

00:12:22 Speaker 1 

Being heard. 

00:12:23 Speaker 1 

Do we call? 

00:12:23 Speaker 1 

How far are we? 

00:12:26 Speaker 1 

Yes, that’s CFC O. 

00:12:28 Speaker 1 

We were able to. 

00:12:30 Speaker 1 

Reached the. 

00:12:33 Speaker 1 

West Coast quite easily, I think we. 

00:12:35 Speaker 1 

Had one report. 

00:12:36 Speaker 1 

From from Great Britain, but I’m not sure of that. 

00:12:40 Speaker 1 

I’m kind of confusing that with with tests we made at CJC, which was a much higher power and transmitter. 

00:12:47 Speaker 1 

We got many reports from overseas from that station. 

00:12:50 Speaker 1 

Of course, the band it was, was was quite as cluttered. 

00:12:54 Speaker 1 

Oh, no, no, no. 

00:12:55 Speaker 1 

That’s dude. 

00:12:56 Speaker 1 

No, there wouldn’t be. 

00:12:58 Speaker 1 

110th of the number of states that are out today and that would be it’s essentially due to the skip, skip. Yes, that would be all skip reception late at night. 

00:13:10 Speaker 1 

That’s new. 

00:13:12 Speaker 1 

Oh, in the early 30s, the FCC. 

00:13:17 Speaker 1 

Came up with ground wave curves by which you can. 

00:13:23 Speaker 1 

Quite accurately determine the range of the station when you consider the ground conductivity and the type of antenna. 

00:13:30 Speaker 1 

Use that it’s it’s an accurate science now. 

00:13:35 Speaker 1 

What was GCGC? 

00:13:38 Speaker 1 

The Linden station. 

00:13:39 Speaker 1 

Was that a going operation when you went there, or did you sort of build that? 

00:13:42 Speaker 1 

That that was probably. 

00:13:46 Speaker 1 

I first in the first three on the air in Canada. It went on the air in 1921. I thought it is. Yes, it is, CFC a the Toronto star, was the first station. 

00:13:57 Speaker 1 

And this station without us. 

00:13:59 Speaker 1 

Will give you an. 

00:14:00 Speaker 1 

Argument about that all? 

00:14:01 Speaker 1 

I guess so yeah. 

00:14:03 Speaker 1 

I don’t know anything about CCF. 

00:14:05 Speaker 1 

They were on as XW in 1919 and then CFCF in 1920. 

00:14:10 Speaker 1 

Well, that could be solved, yes. 

00:14:15 Speaker 1 

But certainly CJCC was on quite early. 

00:14:19 Speaker 1 

Yes, I believe 1922 this see. 

00:14:34 Speaker 1 

I can’t or somebody put out a chart. 

00:14:38 Speaker 1 

About 20 years ago, showing the time of. 

00:14:43 Speaker 1 

These stations going on the air and those that. 

00:14:46 Speaker 1 

Have disappeared from being interesting. I think I have one somewhere. If you would. I’d appreciate it because it’d be 1929 or 30. 

00:15:03 Speaker 1 

Yeah, it was a losing proposition, you know, and then CJ, DC, of course, changed his call letters. 

00:15:08 Speaker 1 

Well, CJ GC was. 

00:15:13 Speaker 1 

Absorbed by CKLW, which acquired their assets. 

00:15:19 Speaker 1 

And with that sale of Free Press agreed to stay off the air for certain, like the time, but two or three years later, CFPL popped up. 

00:15:32 Speaker 1 

Owned by, not by the request by the Free Press Holding Company. 

00:15:36 Speaker 1 

Oh, I don’t know. 

00:15:38 Speaker 1 

Where you still there? 

00:15:39 Speaker 1 

Oh, no, no, no. 

00:15:40 Speaker 1 

Why CJCC? 

00:15:45 Speaker 1 

Closed in 19. 

00:15:50 Speaker 1 

31 or two, but I had left them then to go to work for less hard, and Hamilton and night and. 

00:16:00 Speaker 1 

1930 or. 

00:16:03 Speaker 1 

September 1932. Six months later, the CJC closed closed. How long were you in Hamilton? Five years. 

00:16:06 Speaker 1 

You see. 

00:16:15 Speaker 1 

And then he came down and. 

00:16:16 Speaker 1 

She feels that that’s right. 

00:16:18 Speaker 1 

You’ve been an engineering only all the time, yes. 


What are you? 

00:16:22 Speaker 1 

What do you think is the biggest change outside of the business with transistorized in your YOUR operations? 

00:16:31 Speaker 1 

What’s the biggest change in? 

00:16:33 Speaker 1 

In the electronics, if you like of the business. 

00:16:43 Speaker 1 

Oh, there have been so many vast changes, it’s hard to point a finger at any one thing. 

00:16:49 Speaker 1 

It wouldn’t be possible, for instance, for you today, when is a high school lad with an amateur license and get a job as an engineer. 

00:16:57 Speaker 1 

I beg your pardon? 

00:16:58 Speaker 1 

It wouldn’t be possible for you today to go in as allowed with a high school education and amateur license. 

00:17:09 Speaker 1 

So what sort of training would are you looking for now when you hire someone in that a technical school? 

00:17:16 Speaker 1 

Graduation at least? 

00:17:24 Speaker 1 

At CKLW we we hire in the early days hired amateurs. 

00:17:28 Speaker 1 

We look for amateurs because they had the most skill and later on we insisted upon technical school graduation or the equivalent. 

00:17:40 Speaker 1 

What’s what’s what sort of you call you? 

00:17:42 Speaker 1 

You say you’re an engineer, and I think this is the general terminology. 

00:17:47 Speaker 1 

But he’s taking people from technical school. 

00:17:49 Speaker 1 

It’s not engineering. 

00:17:51 Speaker 1 

If you like, in the universe we we’ve referred to technicians as engineers from early days of radios, probably missed nowhere because now an engineer must be a university graduate and. 

00:18:08 Speaker 1 

Be a member of the professional. 

00:18:09 Speaker 1 

The point is, you’re you’re the people who know the equipment, who take it apart and put them back together again. 

00:18:14 Speaker 1 

Make sure you stay under here. 

00:18:17 Speaker 1 

Occasionally we were. 

00:18:19 Speaker 1 

Fortunate enough to. 

00:18:22 Speaker 1 

Get a hold of a Bachelor of Science, but. 

00:18:26 Speaker 1 

I would say probably 99% of the technicians there now, still technicians, strictly speaking and still mostly from the school. 

00:18:37 Speaker 1 

Yes, there’s no place else to get people. There were no schools when they so-called. Universities didn’t know what radio was like. 

00:18:47 Speaker 1 

Have you had any any problems where you were off the air and you had to get back on and you had problems getting back on or any technical problems like that that stand out in your mind? 

00:19:03 Speaker 1 

Nor maintenance was my. 

00:19:06 Speaker 1 

Selected field and I rather enjoy the challenge of getting transmitters back on the air. 

00:19:11 Speaker 1 

I’ve often been called from far distant points to get home and get it back on in a hurry, but. 

00:19:19 Speaker 1 

We never encountered any very serious problems. 

00:19:23 Speaker 1 

Except uh. 

00:19:25 Speaker 1 

Maybe from acts of vandalism we had our guy wires cut at the television station you probably heard. 

00:19:34 Speaker 1 

About 10 years ago. 

00:19:39 Speaker 1 

A viewer called the station saying that if we didn’t. 

00:19:46 Speaker 1 

Put on a. 

00:19:51 Speaker 1 

Hockey game that originated at Detroit Olympia is going to cut our tower down and we as you know, we were prevented from carrying home games and nothing that there’s nothing we could do about it. 

00:20:03 Speaker 1 

But this man carried through his threat and cut to her three guy wires and. 

00:20:09 Speaker 1 

Cause the tower to lean into. 

00:20:12 Speaker 1 

Dangerous angle. 

00:20:16 Speaker 1 

Well, the my understanding of the technical side is pretty limited, but I understand there is or was at least one time a crystal in in them and that’s still that still is the functioning. 

00:20:25 Speaker 1 

Yes, prior to that, this transmitter I spoke of at CFO was. 

00:20:35 Speaker 1 

A master oscillator transmitter that is not crystal control and it can be changed in frequency. 

00:20:40 Speaker 1 

But the purpose of the crystal is to maintain the frequency precisely and as I say now the legal limit is 20 cycles. 

00:20:50 Speaker 1 

The station varies more than 20 cycles. 

00:20:52 Speaker 1 

It has to leave the air until. 

00:20:55 Speaker 1 

The control is corrected, so matter of fact. 

00:20:59 Speaker 1 

When a station, the frequencies are monitored daily by the government and if station varies more than 7 cycles, they get a telegram telling you to get back on the purpose of that is that the beat produced by two stations on the same frequency is low enough that it won’t pass through the average receiver, and if it did, it wouldn’t be audible anyway. 

00:21:20 Speaker 1 

40 cycles would be the maximum. 

00:21:23 Speaker 1 

Legal heterodyne that you would here, but today that they don’t even allow them to go that far. But in the early days the band was full of howls and squeals because stations varied as much as 1000 cycles or more off frequency, but the crystal corrected all of that and and sometimes of course they did it deliberately, and that’s right. 

00:21:43 Speaker 1 

A drink 1 evening. 

00:21:45 Speaker 1 

As a matter of fact, stations I know. 

00:21:50 Speaker 1 

Of stations that I worked at where we would get a receiver. 

00:21:55 Speaker 1 

30 or 40 miles away and feed it back to the transmitter and adjust the oscillator so that we could minimize this squeal which sometimes meant going halfway between 2:10 kilohertz channels. 

00:22:09 Speaker 1 

But that practice was stopped many years ago. 

00:22:11 Speaker 1 

Well, of course, as the as the transmitters improved, the necessity for doing it has disappeared as well. 

00:22:19 Speaker 1 

In those days, as a rule, each station had their own channel, so they weren’t bothered with and in the 20s they weren’t bothered with this heterodyning problem. 

00:22:27 Speaker 1 

But when more and more stations got on and. 

00:22:30 Speaker 1 

Two or more assigned to the same frequency. 

00:22:32 Speaker 1 

They had this heterodyning problem. 

00:22:36 Speaker 1 

I know the. 

00:22:41 Speaker 1 

It seems to be the non-technical. 

00:22:45 Speaker 1 

Stories would be more interesting to the general public, and we would the technical side was so important to the fact that we got on the air at all do to you people. 

00:22:55 Speaker 1 

You can have all the non-technical boffins around you want, but if the transmitter is not well, those those early transmitters. 

00:23:05 Speaker 1 

Strictly speaking or. 

00:23:09 Speaker 1 

We’re hand transmitters and maybe glorified slightly of it. 

00:23:15 Speaker 1 

Well, why would something like? 

00:23:16 Speaker 1 

Transmitter was an amateur. 

00:23:18 Speaker 1 

Why would someone in Gurdal Quences put together transmitted and go on the air? 

00:23:23 Speaker 1 

You weren’t. 

00:23:24 Speaker 1 

It was a considerable limitation at that stage on advertising. 

00:23:28 Speaker 1 

There are many receivers out there, so you know, why would you put one together at? 


Oh yes. 

00:23:33 Speaker 1 

All ohh just. 

00:23:38 Speaker 1 

Just for the interest in the technical aspects of radio, that’s. 

00:23:45 Speaker 1 

Oh, it was a marvelous thing to. 

00:23:48 Speaker 1 

To us old timers I my first contact with Beardall was when I delivered papers to the. 

00:24:00 Speaker 1 

Tenants and the. 

00:24:03 Speaker 1 

And the guarantee trust building or the Community Trust building where the trust? 

00:24:05 Speaker 1 

In Chatham. 

00:24:07 Speaker 1 

Yes, I was and. 

00:24:10 Speaker 1 

It’s a marvelous thing I would look at beardall through the window and I stand there. 

00:24:15 Speaker 1 

With my papers for half an hour thinking ohh I’d I love to get in there and work on that transmitter for a little while and. 

00:24:24 Speaker 1 

I built my amateur transmitter before I had a license and got on the air and. 

00:24:31 Speaker 1 

Beardall was the radio inspector in Chatham and I was summoned to his office. 

00:24:38 Speaker 1 

With my transmitter and threatened with dire penalties. 

00:24:44 Speaker 1 

So on the day I was supposed to appear, I put the. 

00:24:48 Speaker 1 

Transmitter in a bushel basket and carried it down there and. 

00:24:58 Speaker 1 

We talked at length about the technical aspects of radio and before I left he had offered me a job. 

00:25:04 Speaker 1 

That’s how. 

00:25:05 Speaker 1 

I started to work for him. 

00:25:07 Speaker 1 

He didn’t want the competition. 

00:25:10 Speaker 1 

Well, no, his he had the commercial license at that time and I was just an amateur. 

00:25:14 Speaker 1 

And but was he in the in the business of selling radio receivers or did they have any other? 

00:25:20 Speaker 1 

Was a butcher and. 

00:25:26 Speaker 1 

As I say, he entered it in the early 20s as a as a hobby. 

00:25:31 Speaker 1 

And broadcast regularly with no. 

00:25:36 Speaker 1 

With no return, there were no commercials, as is the original call there was. 

00:25:41 Speaker 1 

Where A10BT and that was a non commercial broadcast station. It was not permitted to accept any advertising and. 

00:25:54 Speaker 1 

In the late 20s. 

00:25:57 Speaker 1 

He saw the possibility of deriving return from advertisers and applied for the commercial license which you got I believe about. 

00:26:11 Speaker 1 


00:26:13 Speaker 1 

So he’d be one of the early stations girls. 

00:26:14 Speaker 1 

Yes, and. 

00:26:19 Speaker 1 

The colors were changed from 10 BT to CF Co which is a commercial license. 

00:26:28 Speaker 1 

From there on, he derived his income from advertising. 

00:26:32 Speaker 1 

Would they be? 

00:26:32 Speaker 1 

Would they be? 

00:26:33 Speaker 1 

Of course, his expenses wouldn’t be high, he’d be. 

00:26:35 Speaker 1 

No. Yes, yes. So there would be, would there be as much money in that as it would be in selling, selling meat products as a butcher? Oh no, there is no well with the 10BT. There’s no return. 

00:26:48 Speaker 1 

Took us. 

00:26:48 Speaker 1 

We took the return from Butcher shop to keep. 

00:26:50 Speaker 1 

No, but once he got his commercial license, then I guess he must. 

00:26:54 Speaker 1 

Ohh yes. 

00:26:55 Speaker 1 

Ohh yes he did yes. 

00:26:57 Speaker 1 

Yes, it was a very profitable station center, you know. 

00:27:02 Speaker 1 

Because you wouldn’t think there would be that much advertising revenue in that community in the surrounding area. 

00:27:10 Speaker 1 

But you see, there must have been enough. 

00:27:12 Speaker 1 

Still on? 

00:27:13 Speaker 1 

Well, if the station. 

00:27:17 Speaker 1 

Sold for well over $100,000 so. 

00:27:23 Speaker 1 

As a matter of fact, it was 400 and some $1000, and he sold it, so it must have been profitable, you know, certainly was a desirable license for you. 

00:27:35 Speaker 1 

But you mentioned the one time when you went on the air and advertently, when did you? 

00:27:39 Speaker 1 

When was the last time you said anything on the air? 

00:27:42 Speaker 1 

When was that? 

00:27:42 Speaker 1 

When you transferred to? 

00:27:44 Speaker 1 

DC oh, I did the same. 

00:27:48 Speaker 1 

Work at CJC announced during. 

00:27:52 Speaker 1 

The station breaks during the network programs. 

00:27:55 Speaker 1 

Just to station breaks when commercials or intros to music. 

00:27:59 Speaker 1 

Just the station brakes and. 

00:28:03 Speaker 1 

I wasn’t. 

00:28:05 Speaker 1 

Trained in speech, I remember. 

00:28:10 Speaker 1 

Sunday evening from about 6:00 PM to sign off all of their station breaks were made at the transmitter. 

00:28:21 Speaker 1 

And one Monday morning I got a call from Harry Langley, station manager. 

00:28:26 Speaker 1 

Gosh was all hairiest these major one time. 

00:28:29 Speaker 1 

Yes, yes, he managed CJGC. Is he still living? 

00:28:33 Speaker 1 

No, he’s dead. 

00:28:34 Speaker 1 

But I didn’t realize he’d been involved in the review, but. 

00:28:39 Speaker 1 

He was. 

00:28:41 Speaker 1 

He was very concerned about our addiction, he said. 

00:28:43 Speaker 1 

No, Stewart, you are to say London, not London anymore. 

00:28:50 Speaker 1 

He would too. 

00:28:56 Speaker 1 

Some wild what people do you remember the on the non-technical side? That must have been some wild and woolly people got into the broadcasting side of it. 

00:29:06 Speaker 1 

In those years, because, again, no place to come from when just whoever happened to be interested wound up on here. 

00:29:20 Speaker 1 

Oh, I didn’t encounter very many famous non-technical people. Well, I don’t have to be fair was just interesting characters as it was to be the batch of them because again, they were coming in sort of cold on the ground floor or something you. 

00:29:34 Speaker 1 

I remember. 

00:29:37 Speaker 1 

When CFCA closed I. 

00:29:41 Speaker 1 

Drove from London to Toronto and went into their all facilities and there was a man there. 

00:29:50 Speaker 1 

You know, it’s it’s a crime to see this station closed down. If someone would just come up with $1500, he could buy this station. 

00:30:03 Speaker 1 

I don’t know who that person was, but it was a CFC employee anyway, yeah. 

00:30:10 Speaker 1 

I understand in the next few months that. 

00:30:17 Speaker 1 

Thompson bought the station for $1500 and moved it to North Bay. That was his for Roy Thompson first station. 

00:30:26 Speaker 1 

15 and it didn’t seem like much noise, but it seemed like the earth at that time. 

00:30:35 Speaker 1 

During the time I was working at Hamilton. 

00:30:38 Speaker 1 

CHML came up for sale. It was built by George Lee’s jewelry manufacturer. He’s on my list. There’s a Lees on my list that’s probably Ramsey’s son. 

00:30:56 Speaker 1 

We’ll see. 

00:30:58 Speaker 1 

Oh yes. 

00:31:02 Speaker 1 

Lee’s was then in his 80s and anxious to get out of the business. 

00:31:08 Speaker 1 

And he offered the station for sale. 

00:31:12 Speaker 1 

Uh for $7500 or $4500 cash. 

00:31:19 Speaker 1 

The $7500 price involved the down payment of $1500. I remember scouting all over Ontario trying to raise that, but didn’t make it, but. 

00:31:35 Speaker 1 

Uh Senator Hardy bought it for $4500. 

00:31:44 Speaker 1 

Later sold it to Ken Sobel for. 

00:31:49 Speaker 1 

Many more thousands of dollars I became. 

00:31:51 Speaker 1 

Million is something that you couldn’t. 

00:31:57 Speaker 1 

You couldn’t find anyone. 

00:32:00 Speaker 1 

No, that’s fine. 

00:32:04 Speaker 1 

That would be. 

00:32:10 Speaker 1 

1933 or 4. 

00:32:14 Speaker 1 

Not exactly a vintage. 

00:32:16 Speaker 1 

No, no, there was no. 

00:32:18 Speaker 1 

That was the depth of the depression. 

00:32:24 Speaker 1 

So we got to get soldiers, see the Hardy and was yet. 

00:32:27 Speaker 1 

And when did you leave CHTML? 

00:32:30 Speaker 1 

It was ckoc that I worked for. 

00:32:32 Speaker 1 

Yeah, but. 

00:32:32 Speaker 1 

You went from COC to CJC and. 

00:32:34 Speaker 1 

Then to. 

00:32:35 Speaker 1 

No, no. I went from CFCO to CJGC and then CKOC. But for six months I was engineer at. 

00:32:41 Speaker 1 

That was the. 

00:32:48 Speaker 1 

CKB that was then a phantom call on Ckoc that was operated by Taylor and Bates Brewery. 

00:32:55 Speaker 1 

But actually I was employed by CKOC to operate the the equivalent in the well. 

00:33:00 Speaker 1 

And house mean by a Phantom call 0. 

00:33:04 Speaker 1 

In those days, they might issue 2 licenses for the same transmitter and the 2nd. 

00:33:10 Speaker 1 

The second license holder was a phantom. 

00:33:13 Speaker 1 

That is, ckoc would use the transmitter most of the time, but CKB would share the transmitter and operate maybe a few hours. 

00:33:22 Speaker 1 

An evening. 

00:33:23 Speaker 1 

What was the purpose of the two licenses like that? 

00:33:29 Speaker 1 

Well, it was. 

00:33:32 Speaker 1 

Principally to conserve. 

00:33:35 Speaker 1 

Spectrum space that. 

00:33:39 Speaker 1 

The with the equipment available then they’re just no more channels available and I think that probably economy came into it too. 

00:33:50 Speaker 1 

You see that Taylor and Bates Brewery could operate the station. 

00:33:54 Speaker 1 

Much more economically than building their own transmitter, and they were quite happy with. 

00:33:59 Speaker 1 

So how many hours a day as I remember it? 

00:34:01 Speaker 1 

I think that. 

00:34:07 Speaker 1 

We operated two or three hours only in the early evening each day. 

00:34:13 Speaker 1 

A little longer on Saturdays and Sundays we had. 

00:34:16 Speaker 1 

A program from the well and House Ballroom every Saturday night and. 

00:34:25 Speaker 1 

Sundays it seemed to me, were once several hours longer. 

00:34:31 Speaker 1 

What kind of programming would you be doing in how amateur hours there was? 

00:34:36 Speaker 1 

Yes, there was quite a bit of live local talent, small orchestras, and Clarence Colton had a large orchestra which played at the Welland House. 

00:34:47 Speaker 1 

Would they play for free just with the exposure, or would they be? 

00:34:50 Speaker 1 

Hired by the state well. 

00:34:53 Speaker 1 

Clarence’s band was hired by the hotel that was quite a that was quite a popular affair. Every Saturday night they had a large crowd there. 

00:35:08 Speaker 1 

The Welland House was owned by. 

00:35:17 Speaker 1 

I don’t think I better get into names yet. 

00:35:19 Speaker 1 

So what? 

00:35:20 Speaker 1 

So what? 

00:35:20 Speaker 1 

What would happen then when the station then agreed to broadcast it for free? 

00:35:23 Speaker 1 

Or would the hotel then buy time on the station? 

00:35:26 Speaker 1 

Or how would how was that arrangement made? 

00:35:29 Speaker 1 

I think probably I don’t know the financial arrangement, but I would imagine. 

00:35:34 Speaker 1 

The station gave them free time that we gave the well known free. 

00:35:38 Speaker 1 

Time for the occupancy of the studios, which were in. 

00:35:43 Speaker 1 

Lack of the Welland House and we had a story I was going to tell you about the owner of that Welland house. 

00:35:50 Speaker 1 

We had storage battery. 

00:35:53 Speaker 1 

Storage batteries operating the equipment, and they had to be charged. 

00:35:59 Speaker 1 

Lately, and spurred by sort of like large curb batteries, yes, yes, as a matter of fact, we did have car battery. 

00:36:10 Speaker 1 

Rather than Transformers for. 

00:36:17 Speaker 1 

For voltage step down, we would put a lamp in series with the batteries. 

00:36:22 Speaker 1 

It glowed dimly, but this man saw the lamp going almost nightly in the control room and complained about consumption of power, says Stewart. 

00:36:34 Speaker 1 

Can you do you think you can charge your batteries? 

00:36:38 Speaker 1 

Less frequently, because that must be consuming consuming quite a. 

00:36:42 Speaker 1 

Bit of power. 

00:36:44 Speaker 1 

Which is not so at all, maybe 10 watts. 

00:36:53 Speaker 1 

I proceeded to paint the lamp black and he came back and congratulated me on the power saving power consumption. 

00:37:05 Speaker 1 

Another amusing thing that happened to me was that. 

00:37:10 Speaker 1 

At CCO, I had a scanning disk television receiver operating in. 

00:37:17 Speaker 1 

At the time the station was moved from. 

00:37:22 Speaker 1 

Into the William Penn hotel. 

00:37:23 Speaker 1 

It was the opening night of the William Pet and Beardall asked me to bring my television receiver down because it was quite a fascinating thing. 

00:37:31 Speaker 1 

All we could receive then was the Jake and station in Washington at a silhouette of a girl bouncing a ball. 

00:37:40 Speaker 1 

But we would sit and look at that thing with fascination by the hour, and he was quite intrigued about it. 

00:37:48 Speaker 1 

So he thought this would be quite an attraction at the hotel opening. What would you 1929? 

00:37:57 Speaker 1 

Was working, had been experimenting with TV and New York and New York 11927 so that he was working an engineer and he was working. It’s. 

00:38:06 Speaker 1 

Oh, while he was the inventor of the cathode ray tube, the electronic television, this was all mechanical in the 20s and he did come along in the early 30s and revolutionized the business well. 

00:38:20 Speaker 1 

Yes and. 

00:38:24 Speaker 1 

This disc had 24 holes around and a spiral around the periphery. 

00:38:29 Speaker 1 

Which gave us a 24 line picture, which is quite pretty crude by today’s standards. How how would you come to build a television receiver in 1929? Well, it was. It was an interesting. 

00:38:44 Speaker 1 

Project for amateurs in those days. 

00:38:46 Speaker 1 

Where would you get the plans or the ideas that are popular? 

00:38:49 Speaker 1 

Radio news or Popular Mechanics, one of those and. 

00:38:57 Speaker 1 

I was going to tell you that I carted it down to the hotel. 

00:39:02 Speaker 1 

And tried in vain to get a picture with Berdella standing over my shoulder. 

00:39:08 Speaker 1 

Telling me to get it working, get it working right away because all the dignitaries were assembled there for the grand opening of the William Penn Hotel. 

00:39:16 Speaker 1 

But I failed to get a picture, probably because of the. 

00:39:19 Speaker 1 

Of the steel framework of the building which with which I wasn’t familiar with. 

00:39:24 Speaker 1 

Where there was actually the station broadcasting and the station in. 

00:39:27 Speaker 1 

Washington break that. 

00:39:28 Speaker 1 

Oh yes, yes, the Jenkins station. 

00:39:33 Speaker 1 

Was operating then hello. 

00:39:36 Speaker 1 

And Westinghouse also had a station. 

00:39:40 Speaker 1 

On the air, yes. 

00:39:50 Speaker 1 

Will kids excuse us? 

00:39:51 Speaker 1 

I’m trying to provide this man with some information on his tape recorder. 

00:40:01 Speaker 1 

I’ll be through in a few minutes. 

00:40:05 Speaker 1 

So whatever happened to the original, the original television receiver? 

00:40:13 Speaker 1 

I still have the the motor in my basement, but I cut up the disk for shielding and a transmitter in later years. 

00:40:23 Speaker 1 

Have you left Ckoc? Then it went down to Windsor. What year was that, 27? 

00:40:26 Speaker 1 


00:40:29 Speaker 1 

So they’ve been in the years since. 

00:40:31 Speaker 1 

193232 so you were just one of the crew at that. Yes, yes, I am. I was a transmitter operator. 

00:40:39 Speaker 1 

One of 637. 

00:40:42 Speaker 1 

You know, Mr. 

00:40:43 Speaker 1 

Bill, Getfield was telling me they’ve been a pretty successful operation financially right from the start. 

00:40:51 Speaker 1 

Why would you leave Hamilton more money? 

00:40:53 Speaker 1 

Oh yes, this this was the this was the biggest station in Canada, or at least the salaries were better than any others. 

00:41:00 Speaker 1 

So it was a. 

00:41:02 Speaker 1 

It was a happy hunting ground for technicians. 

00:41:06 Speaker 1 

Bill Carter was the chief engineer at that time. 

00:41:09 Speaker 1 

And I worked for Sai Pool. 

00:41:14 Speaker 1 

You probably have encountered him or will. 

00:41:19 Speaker 1 

He was transmitter supervisor. 

00:41:21 Speaker 1 

George McCurdy was one of the operators at that time. 

00:41:29 Speaker 1 

He left. 

00:41:32 Speaker 1 

In 19421942 worked for Roy Thompson. 

00:41:40 Speaker 1 

You you’re we fairly recently retired and yes, I retired. 

00:41:46 Speaker 1 

Two years ago. 

00:41:47 Speaker 1 

Are you enjoying it? 

00:41:49 Speaker 1 

Yes, very much.