"The Little Station from Tuscola"
Radio Station 9JR
(later renamed WDZ), Tuscola, Illinois
With its new equipment and generator. This photo was taken
about 1922. The new equipment and generator
on the left were for the 50 watt phase of WDZ. Next to it is the
original 15 watt G.E. transmitter (with tubes). The next two panels
are amplifiers and dial tuners on a Westinghouse R-6 receiver that could
pick up stations 1,999 miles away (cost $216). On the right hand
end is a Magnavox speaker (cost $45) and under the table, the various
wet and dry cell batteries.
the Decatur (Illinois) Tribune, Nov. 15, 1989, p. 6)
WDZ radio started in the office of James Bush's grain elevator
office in Tuscola. Call letters for the beginning years were 9JR.
The intentions of the radio station were to broadcast the grain reports.
Besides being one of the first commercial radio stations in the U.S.,
it was the first to broadcast grain reports. This historical event occurred
March 17, 1921. The antenna in 1921 was a simple strung wire between
buildings in Tuscola. At the time there were only two receivers
in the area to hear the signal. This first broadcast only lasted
five minutes. Two other radio stations, KDKA in Pittsburgh and WGY, Schenectady,
N.J. were also broadcasting signals. These three were they only
ones as of this date. For some time 9JR would intermingle music with the