PC: Oregon's First Commercial Wirele...

Feedback.pdxradio.com message board: Portland Radio History: PC: Oregon's First Commercial Wireless Station
Author: Craig_adams
Monday, July 17, 2006 - 8:55 pm
Top of pageBottom of page Link to this message

View profile or send e-mail Edit this post

In late July 1907 construction began on a wireless station in Astoria Oreg. by United Wireless Telegraph Co. (Christopher C. Wilson, President; Samuel S. Bogart, Vice-President; W.A. Diboll, Treasurer & Cloyd Marshall, Secretary). For more on United Wireless, see: "PE: Portland's First Wireless Station". C.B. Cooper, Corporate Engineer was over seeing the construction.

In August 1907 The Department of The Navy, Bureau of Equipment, sequentially assigned the letters PC to United Wireless Telegraph Company's Astoria Oreg. station for the wavelength of 450 meters (666.2kc) with the power of 2KW.

PC's transmitter & telegraph key site was located at Smith Point, close to Industry St. The two masts were 204 feet high with a flat top antenna, having a down lead at each end, ending in a stub mast and then a single wire into the transmitter building. The De Forest model spark-gap apparatus had Leyden jar condensers and a one coil helix.

The receiver consisted of a two coil tuner with carborundum electrolytic and silicon detectors, plus a whisker point coherer consisting of a German silver wire with a platinum core 1-1000 inch in diameter. PC was connected to downtown Astoria by Western Union lines. In late August 1907 PC began operation as Oregon's First Commercial Wireless Station. PC would relay messages to and from vessels at sea and to their owners. Alfred Ferland was PC's Operator In Charge.

In early 1908 PC's masts were toppled during a strong gale, barely missing the transmitter building. They were replaced by two 113 feet masts. By September 1910 PC was operating on 425 meters (705.3kc). On June 29, 1912 station PC was purchased by Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. of America. By this time PC had employed wireless operators: Joseph H. Hallock (later part owner of 7XI, KGG & KOIN), William Vetter & Dexter Bartlett.

By 1913 PC had moved it's transmitter & telegraph key site to the east end of "G" Street (now: Grand Ave.) atop Telegraph Hill. Two guyed square tapered wood masts constructed with over-lapping joints with brown wood creosote treated all the way to the top. P.R. Champlain was Manager with the aid of Rinie D. Rogers. By April 1913 PC employed three wireless operators.

In June 1913 PC's calls were upgraded to KPC when the "Radio Division, Bureau of Navigation, U.S. Department of Commerce" began issuing the "K", "W" & "N" blocks of letters on May 9, 1913, following the ratification of the "Radio Act of 1912" on April 3, 1912. KPC was now operating on 600 meters (499.6kc) & 300 meters (999.3kc). In 1915 Arthur M. Greenwell was KPC's Manager. In July 1915 KPC was assigned 3100 meters (96.72kc) & 1800 meters (166.6kc).

By 1917 KPC had been purchased by the U.S. Government but Arthur M. Greenwell continued as Manager. In 1918 KPC was shut down and dismantled, most likely due to World War I conditions. Vincent I. Kraft helped in taking apart KPC. Did some of KPC's apparatus help in the building of 7XC Seattle in June 1920? We will likely never know but 7XC did evolve into KJR.

Sources for this history were: Edward H. Aho, Oregon Historical Quarterly, The Oregon Journal, Polk Directories, Radio Service Bulletins & Thomas H. White.

Topics Profile Last Day Last Week Search Tree View Log Out     Administration
Topics Profile Last Day Last Week Search Tree View Log Out   Administration
Welcome to Feedback.pdxradio.com message board
For assistance, read the instructions or contact us.
Powered by Discus Pro