Centennial of KDKA
The following review appears in the AWA Review, Vol. 33 issue. It reviews the 100th anniversary of KDKA’s 1920 broadcasts and is presented here with the permission of the authors. It represents just one of the many interesting extensive investigative articles found the the AWA Review and contains many interesting illustrations regarding the stations history. Following a summary, this article is available using with a link at the bottom of this page.
The Centennial of KDKA’s Historic 1920 Broadcasts
© 2020 David and Julia Bart
This article marks the centennial of KDKA’s historic broadcasts of the U.S. presidential election results on November 2, 1920. The article identifies important parts of the Westinghouse Electric Manufacturing Company/KDKA story, and it includes discussions about Frank Conrad, Harry Davis, Donald Little, and some of the other key people responsible for building the station and Westinghouse’s radio network.
The authors compile key references for further research, trace the station’s licensed operations, and provide descriptions of the historic transmitters, antennas, and studios used by KDKA and its related experimental stations, 8XK, 8ZZ, and others. The article also shares current photographs of the station from a private tour taken in 2017. The authors mention some of KDKA’s claims of priority for “firsts” in radio broadcasting, but they do not take a position on those claims, since that debate lies outside the scope of this article.
As KDKA’s centennial celebrations approach, the authors hope to stimulate further research by sharing their findings and observations regarding the many achievements of this historic station.