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Dead medium: Newspaper via Radio Facsimile
From: From: (David F. Gallagher)
Source(s): "First Daily Newspaper by Radio Facsimile," Radio-Craft Magazine, March 1939.

"Station W9XZY, the experimental radio facsimile broadcasting station operated by the St. Louis Post- Dispatch, last month inaugurated the world's first regular broadcast on ultra-high frequencies of specially-prepared facsimile newspapers.(...)

"Number 1 of Vol. I of the Post-Dispatch's first radio edition consists of 9 pages 8 1/2 ins. long and 4 columns wide, using the newspaper's regular 7-point type.(...) The range of station W9XZY is from 20 to 30 miles.

"On the first page of this 'radio newspaper' now being received in every home in the St. Louis service area of W9XZY equipped with a facsimile receiver, are the leading news articles of the day. Then following sports news, several pages of pictures, Fitzpatrick's editorial cartoon, a summary of radio programs and radio gossip, and a page of financial news and stock market quotations....

"The receiver, a closed cabinet with no dials to be operated or adjustments to be made by the owner, contains continuously-feeding rolls of paper and carbon paper which pass over a revolving metal cylinder from which a small stylus projects.

"Pressure, varying with the intensity of the radio waves, is exerted on a metal bar, parallel to the axis of the cylinder, beneath which the paper and carbon is fed.(...) It requires 15 minutes to transmit one page.(...)"

Photo caption: "Arrival of the afternoon 'radio newspaper,' on schedule at 2 P.M., rain or shine, is the signal for the folks at home to gather around the facsimile receiver to see the cartoons, news photos, etc., that regular radio programs leave to the imagination."

Photos and additional text at

(((bruce remarks: See also Working Note 19.6, "Radio Facsimile Transmitter.")))

David F. Gallagher, Assistant Editor, CyberTimes The New York Times Electronic Media Company 212-597-8220