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Quite Possibly

September 7, 2014

polioIn 1916, De Forest, from experimental radio station 2XG in New York City, broadcast the first radio advertisements (for his own products) and the first Presidential election report by radio in November 1916 for Charles Evans Hughes and Woodrow Wilson. A few months later, DeForest moved his tube transmitter to Highbridge, Bronx.[13] Like Charles Herrold in San Jose, California,—who had been broadcasting since 1909 with call letters “FN,” “SJN,” and then “6XF”—De Forest had a license from the Department of Commerce for an experimental radio station, but, like Herrold, had to cease all broadcasting when the U.S. entered World War I in April 1917. From April 1920 to November 1921, DeForest broadcast from station 6XC at the California Theater at Market and Fourth Streets in San Francisco. In late 1921, 6XC moved its transmitter to Ocean View Drive in the Rockridge section of Oakland, California, and became KZY.[14][15]

In 1916, New York City experienced the first large epidemic of polio, with over 9,000 cases and 2,343 deaths. The 1916 toll nationwide was 27,000 cases and 6,000 deaths. Epidemics worsened during the century: in 1952, a record 57,628 cases of polio were reported in the United States.

Conrad first became interested in radio in 1912 when, in order to settle a bet on the accuracy of a watch, Conrad built a radio in order to hear time signals from the Arlington, Virginia Naval Observatory. He then constructed, in his garage, a new transmitter, licensed in 1916 as 8XK, whose signal could be heard throughout the Pittsburgh area. In response to popular demand, Conrad began broadcasting for two hours each Wednesday and Saturday night. When all civilian amateur radio operations ceased in 1917, Conrad began using his radio for military purposes during World War I.

In 1916, schoolchildren in Bucks and Montgomery counties [Pennsylvania] had an extra month of summer vacation, but little chance to enjoy it. A polio epidemic that began in New York City in May had spread to Pennsylvania and other mid-Atlantic states by August. There was no vaccine against polio, an infectious virus also called infantile paralysis. It commonly resulted in a withered or stunted limb, and in severe cases, it could leave a child or adult permanently paralyzed or dead.

Polio occurred primarily in July, August, and September and hit regardless of geographic region, economic status, or population density. Relatively few people showed any symptoms and even fewer died or experienced paralysis, but the physical effects were dramatic. Communities reacted with dread because no one understood how or why people got it, and because children were the most frequently affected.



From → Biology, Geophysics

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