In the U.S. Presidential election of November 7, 1916, Republican Charles Evans Hughes tried unsuccessfully to unseat the Democratic incumbent, Woodrow Wilson. That election night a New York City newspaper, The American, gathered election results, then distributed them by telephone to hundreds of theaters, outdoor bulletin boards, and hotels, plus one radio station--Lee DeForest's experimental "Highbridge station", 2XG. Although not mentioned in this account, according to DeForest, the station ended its broadcast before the final come-from-behind Wilson victory, so while shutting down operations for the night the station incorrectly declared Hughes the winner.
In his autobiography DeForest called himself the "chief announcer" for the broadcast -- Walter Schare, the "unassuming chap" said in this article to be the broadcast's main announcer appears to have disappeared from most accounts of this historic broadcast.
The Electrical Experimenter, January, 1917, page 650:
Election Returns Flashed by Radio to 7,000 Amateurs
SEVEN thousand wireless telephone operators within a radius of 200 miles of New York City received election returns from the New York American. Three hundred and fifty moving-picture theaters; special bulletin boards in different parts of the city, and the principal hotels of Manhattan obtained the news from the above office, as fast as it was received. Fifty extra telephone lines were run into the American office, the theaters were placed on lines that were in continuous operation, and while the news of the closest Presidential election in years was being given to the public thru these channels, the editorial staff compiled the returns without the slightest confusion.
When the returns came in, indicating the election of Hughes, and the first edition was prepared for press at 11 p.m., the heads and the reading matter inclined that way. Later there was a change, a doubt was cast, and then the tide drifted Wilson-ward. It ebbed and flowed, from one candidate to the other, for several hours. Thru the clearing house all outlying district information was gathered, in an effort to sweep aside the uncertainty. Then the headings, which were studies in clarity and terseness, were altered, the introductions and summaries were changed, and Wilson was featured as the winner. The wireless telephony feature was remarkable. The 7,000 amateur radio operators were all notified in advance, and the news was supplied in the most systematic manner, thru the circulation department, by an expert from the editorial rooms, who took his bulletins from the same source as the fifty operators who supplied the moving-picture shows, hotels, and bulletin-board operators.
Realizing that all men cannot grasp a spoken message alike, or in the same time, and because it was impossible to stop and answer questions, a black-board was erected, in view of all the operators. The bulletins were written on this and reading from it, the operators telephoned the news to the different points. In the picture theaters the messages were transmitted to slides and flashed on the screen.
The amateur wireless operators located in different towns about New York gave out the information, and allowed others to listen in. They heard not only election returns, but music as well.
Over their heads, reaching from that droning desk in the New York American's office to the white bulletin boards on which their eyes were fastened, a vast network of electrical waves were meshing and passing. On these unseen waves the news they sought was carried.
From the deep semi-circular desk the news had been flung by telephone to the de Forest Wireless Telephone Laboratories at Highbridge on the Harlem River. Up in the de Forest tower sat Walter Schare, an unassuming chap, who listened thru a receiver clamped to his ear.
At Schare's hand was the wireless telephone transmitter switch. As he heard the news from the seventh floor of the great red building near Brooklyn Bridge he snapt it forth to 7,000 anxious amateur wireless operators within that great 400-mile circle.
Between the bulletins, music was sent thru the clouds. The crowds heard "The Star Spangled Banner," "Dixie," "Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean," "America," "Maryland," "Yankee Doodle" and all the other anthems, songs and hymns that Americans love.
The radiophone equipment consists of two large Oscillion tubes, used as the generators of the high frequency current, which may be seen on the panel. They develop one-half kilowatt of energy and this charges the antenna. The high potential current is obtained from a 1500-volt direct current generator, driven by a constant speed motor. This high tension current is controlled by suitable rheostats and shunted with capacities so as to reduce the inductive reactance as much as possible in the oscillating current. The filaments are lighted by 110 volt direct current. The oscillating circuit comprises a number of capacities and inductances properly balanced in the circuit. The voice-current modulations are derived from a microphone, inductively coupled to the high frequency circuit. Another microphone connected in parallel with the first by a switch, is used in conjunction with a phonograph. The operator standing near the microphone is Charles Logwood, chief engineer to Dr. de Forest, and a great deal of credit is due him in the development of the radiophone employing the Oscillion tube as a generator of radio frequency currents.
Dr. Lee de Forest gave a demonstration of transmitting music by wireless at the Hotel Astor, New York, on the evening of October twenty-sixth. Columbia phonograph records played from the laboratory of the company at 102 West Thirty-eighth Street were distinctly heard in the receiving room of the Astor, with the exception of a few interruptions by the powerful naval wireless apparatus at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, when the warning of a storm was heard intermittently with the music.