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. The broadcasts will be continued daily and Sunday at 2 p.m.

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.

In answer to inquiries by Radio-Craft, Robert L. Coe, Chief Engineer of radio station KSD, wrote as follows:

So far as the transmitting equipment is concerned, it is the standard scanner manufactured by RCA, the output of which is fed into a 100-watt transmitter operating on 31,600 kc....

For more than a month experimental laboratory broadcasts of printed matter, photographs and cartoons have been in progress and results have been studied by engineers of KSD, commercial broadcasting station of the Post-Dispatch. During the last few weeks...they have been recorded on 15 receiving sets placed in the homes of members of the station's staff.

These sets, manufactured by the Radio Corporation of America, are the first capable of receiving high-frequency facsimile broadcasts, permitting station operation at any hour of the day. Experimental equipment in use by a few other stations employed standard broadcast wavelengths, restricting the period of their use to the early morning hours when regular commercial broadcasting stations were quiet.

Within the next month the manufacturer expects to be able to supply receivers at a cost of about $260. Several will be placed in public places for demonstration. 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....

Printed on only one side, the copy may be cut or folded to make pages of the facsimile newspaper. It is unnecessary for the reader to be on hand when a broadcast begins because a clock, set for the scheduled time, will automatically start the receiving set and stop it at conclusion of broadcasting. It requires 15 minutes to transmit one page....

Station KSD's engineers have closely followed developments of radio facsimile broadcasting since 1934. Last April, RCA agreed to supply equipment necessary for an experimental program.

(Last month Paramount newsreel made sound films of this "radio newspaper" being received in Mr. Coe's home, Variety reported. --Editor)

Radio-Craft Magazine, March 1939

This page is a contribution to the Dead Media Project.

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