Fax Machines in 1938? Hear One Working – 30 April 2019 Phantom Dancer


Radio Stations used Fax Machines in 1938 just like radio uses the internet to complement its programming now. This blog being an example…

Faxes were sent over AM radio, not the phone line.

Hear one in operation on today’s Phantom Dancer – your non-stop mix of swing and jazz from live 1920s-60s radio and TV (and with a whole hour of live 1930s swing radio today).

I bring you The Phantom Dancer every Tuesday after the midday news on 107.3 2SER and online at radio 2ser.com. Hear this week’s show online after 2pm AEST, Tuesday 30 April.

A 1938 radio fax used to promote personalities on the radio station transmitting it
A 1938 radio fax used to promote personalities on the radio station transmitting it. Three generations of John Gamblings broadcast on New York City radio between 1925 and September 2016.

1930s RADIO FAXES
On today’s Phantom Dancer, marvel at the ‘pump and wheeze’ sound of a 1930s fax machine taken from a recording made in 1938 to introduce WOR New York’s new radio fax service.

As the radio announcer and station engineer tell us, the fax service is a ‘new breakthrough’ in radio to transmit news and information overnight to subscribers with radio fax machine in their homes.

About a dozen US AM radio stations in the late 1930s transmitted a radio fax service, with news faxes sent between midnight and 6am when the stations were ordinarily shut down.

A WOR radio fax from 1938
A WOR radio fax from 1938

Static was a problem. Static from a passing car or lightening could wipe out whole pages of information.

By the early 1940s shortwave and ultra short wave frequencies were set aside solely for the transmission of faxes.

When FM radio was introduced after WW2, some FM stations transmitted radio faxes on their broader bandwidth subcarriers. A page of news and pictures would take 15 minutes to be printed from an FM service.

So easy to use, even a child can operate it. A 1938 publicity photo shows a Finch home printer receiving a facsimile newspaper from WWJ in Detroit. (Detroit News Archives)
So easy to use, even a child can operate it. A 1938 publicity photo shows a Finch home printer receiving a facsimile newspaper from WWJ in Detroit. (Detroit News Archives, The Radio Historian)

Lack of public interest in this expensive substitute newspaper technology killed the mass production of home radio fax machines.

However, radio facsimile was still in use for the transmission of weather maps by satellite in 2010.

See the full Phantom Dancer play list below, including the 1938 announcement of WOR’s radio fax service.

Internet source:
http://www.theradiohistorian.org/Radiofax/newspaper_of_the_air1.htm

Greg Poppleton is Australia’s only authentic 1920s – 30s singer. He is also a film and TV actor who has worked with Adrien Brody, Nicole Kidman, John Goodman and many others.
Band website: www.gregpoppletonmusic.com
Actor and Voiceover: www.gregpoppleton.com

PHANTOM DANCER PLAY LIST 30 APRIL

Play List – The Phantom Dancer
107.3 2SER-FM Sydney, Live Stream, Digital Radio
Community Radio Network Show CRN #383

107.3 2SER Tuesday 30 April 2019
After the 2SER 12 noon news,
12:04 – 2:00pm (+11 hours GMT)
National Program:
ArtSoundFM Canberra Sunday 7 – 8pm
2ARM Armidale Friday 12noon – 1pm
and early morning on 22 other stations.

Set 1
Raymond Scott on 1940-41 Radio
Pretty Little Petticoat (theme) + Wellesley High Jump
Raymond Scott Orchestra
Blackhawk Restaurant
WGN Mutual Chicago
21 Oct 1940
Pretty Little Petticoat (theme) + A Symphony Under The Stars
Raymond Scott Orchestra
Bermuda Room
Hotel Brunswick
WBZ NBC Boston
6 Dec 1941
Huckleberry Duck + Pretty Little Petticoat (theme)
Raymond Scott Orchestra
Blackhawk Restaurant
WGN Mutual Chicago
1 Nov 1940
Set 2
A New Radio Service
Il Pesce e l’Uccellina
EIAR Orchestra Moderna (voc) Silvana Fioresi and Trio Lescano
Comm Rec
Rome
1938
Facsimile ‘Visual’ Radio
Interview
WOR Mutual NYC
9 Feb 1938
Set 3
1930s Local Radio Music
Theme + Sugar + On The Lone Prairie + When The Rest of the Crowd Goes Home + Heigh Ho + Theme
Our Orchestra
Radio Transcription
Los Angeles
1934
Set 4
1935-36 Radio
Open + Ad Music + I Got Rhythm
Freddy Rich Orchestra
’Dodge Show’
Radio Transcription
New York City
1936
Sleep (theme) + On Your Toes
Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians (voc) Johnny Davis and Trio
’Ford Show’
WABC CBS NY
14 Apr 1936
Syncopated Love Song
Nathaniel Shilkret
KFI NBC LA
1935
Set 5
Swing on 1939 Radio
Top Hat Shuffle
Jan Savitt Top Hatters
Radio Transcription
New York
1939
Basin Street Blues
Jack Teagarden and Benny Goodman
’Camel Caravan’
WABC CBS NY
31 Jan 1939
You Can Count On Me
Duke Ellington Orchestra (voc) Ivie Anderson
Ritz Carlton Hotel
WNAC NBC Boston
26 Jul 1939
Man From Mars + Nightmare (theme)
Artie Shaw Orchestra
Cafe Rouge
Hotel Pennsylvania
WEAF NBC Red NY
21 Oct 1939
Set 6
Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra on the Air
Theme + Little John
Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra
’One Night Stand’
Casa Mañana
Culver City Ca
AFRS Re-broadcast
8 Sep 1945
Honey Dripper
Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra
’Spotlight Bands’
Jefferson Barracks, Missouri
Blue Network
23 Nov 1945
Culver City Ca
AFRS Re-broadcast
8 Sep 1945
I Need a Lift
Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra
’One Night Stand’
Casa Mañana
Culver City Ca
AFRS Re-broadcast
4 May 1945
Wham + For Dancers Only
Jimmie Lunceford Orchestra (voc) Band
’Jubilee’
AFRS Hollywood
1943
Set 7
The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra on 1955-56 Radio
Theme + Opus No. 1
Dorsey Brothers Orchestra
Cafe Statler
Hotel Pennsylvania
WRCA NBC NY
Dec 1955
Ridin’ Around in the Rain (voc) Dolly Houston
Dorsey Brothers Orchestra
Cafe Statler
Hotel Pennsylvania
WRCA NBC NY
Apr 1956
I’ll Always Be In Love With You
Dorsey Brothers Orchestra (voc) Dolly Houston
Cafe Statler
Hotel Pennsylvania
WRCA NBC NY
Mar 1956
Tender Trap
Dorsey Brothers Orchestra (voc) Tommy Mercer
’NBC Bandstand’
NBC Radio and TV NY
1956
Set 8
Bop and Cool
Broadway
Charlie Parker
Birdland
WJZ NYC
9 May 1953
Sugar Beat
Eliot Lawrence Orchestra
Palladium Ballroom
KNX CBS Los Angeles
2 Dec 1947
I Remember Clifford
Oscar Pettiford Orchestra
Birdland
WCBS CBS NY
Jun 1957
Koko + Anthropology (theme)
Barry Ulanov All Star Metronome Jazzmen
WOR Mutual NY
8 Nov 1947

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