Remember When …

Photo provided

Photo provided

I wonder as the year 2021 starts, do we look back on where we have been or just where we are going?

Well my thoughts on that it’s good to know where your family has been, so you can go further than your ancestors went and discover more things to help others. Communication is key for all societies to grow and learn from each other, let’s make this year count.

We have so much technology to share our thoughts of free speech, let’s do it with kindness. When shortwave radio started it was better than just using Morse Code, which was first used in 1844 or the telephone of the 1800s.

The first Flint radio station was WEAA later WFDF in 1922, the first Michigan radio station was in Detroit 8MK in 1920. One of the things that intrigues me in life is how are all those radio (and Television) waves are in the air by us.

The air is saturated with millions of “radio signals” that you can’t see, feel, hear, taste or smell – just floating around. So, did you know that sound waves are measured in hertz and are just there waiting for you to tune in to them?



All you need to do is go out in the middle of the woods and put up an antenna with a receiver and you got it. Professor Charles Herrold opened his first broadcast Jan. 1, 1909, primarily trying to perfect the radiotelephone.

Military and aviation were divided by 1912 to avoid interference with experimental and amateur stations. One of the first radio stations in the 1920s was after the first World War, with a Wednesday night program. Herrold broadcasted a show called “the Little Hams,” for the young (amateur radio enthusiasts) which taught them to build a wireless receiver. Herrold’s “umbrella style” antenna was a new thing and built on top of the building in California. His wife Sybil was the first woman to be on the radio regularly broadcasting with her husband on the program.

The Radio Act of 1912 was enacted so all radio stations had to have a license and follow the rules. It was updated in 1927.

What are your hobbies? History, music, drawing of any kind or science? Back when I was young I used to take those transistor radios apart and check them out. So, I just had to go to broadcasting school! Wow, it was so interesting. Do you have an AM/FM radio or television at your home? Remember when we were kids in the 1960-70s we were told we had to sit six feet away from the TV?

When you travel around at night the AM comes in better because it follows the horizon and FM is line of sight, and is clearer at close range, FM made in the beginning for music. What do you think about all the satellites, 5G networks, cable wires buried and now all wireless towers around? And you can travel anywhere in the world with that little cell phone.

Just think about it when 200 years ago they had no way to communicate until the lined telephone was invented. The farmers lived a quite stress-free life, just their family and no worries about the whole world.

Jan. 18 was National DJ day, a lot has changed remember in the 1960s you couldn’t call long distance without a phone operator? Now days we all communicate 24/7 in America there are 300 million on their cell phones daily.

Remember When is a weekly column in the Burton View featuring historical stories about the community from the Burton Area Historical Society. If you have some Burton history to share, email History.