With the introduction of vacuum-tube transmitters, the DeForest Radio Telephone & Telegraph Company, in addition to its line of receivers, began selling low-power voice-transmitters for amateur use, such as the one displayed below. Beginning in 1916, the DeForest Company began daily broadcasts from its "Highbridge station", 2XG, in New York City. Because the audience included numerous amateurs with their own transmitters, the announcers would sometimes listen-in for comments transmitted by the audience. This could also lead to a form of heckling. Other stations were supposed to use other wavelengths, but there were reports of pranksters who operated on 2XG's wavelength while it was broadcasting, and interjected their own comments, so that a DeForest employee might suddenly appear to say something like "we have no equipment to sell".

The American Radio Relay League gave extensive coverage to the 2XG broadcasts, and, in the April issue of its QST magazine, even speculated about the use of radio broadcasting for advertising. However, the broadcasts came to an abrupt halt in April, 1917 with the entrance of the United States into World War One, as all private radio listening was now prohibited, and with the United States government taking control over all radio transmitters, 2XG was silenced for the duration of the war.

 
QST, August, 1916, page 227:

New DeForest Instruments
DeForest radiotelephone     A short distance radio telephone transmitter is illustrated below. This set employs the Oscillion, a form of Audion for generating high frequency currents. The transmission of speech is at least as clear as that of a wire telephone, and the Oscillation is, of course, as reliable and constant as the Audion.
    The range is from one to five miles. The lighting circuit is to operate on six volts and the "B" or high voltage circuit requires 250 to 350 volts, depending on the distance to be covered. This circuit is controlled by the usual potentiometer employed in all the latest Audion instruments. The set is mounted on a panel measuring 11 by 13 inches.
    This set may be used also as a transmitter of undamped waves as a telegraph and then has a radius of about twice the telephone range.

QST, January, 1917, page 26:

A Concert by Wireless

Lee  De  Forest  Gives  Amateur  Operators
a  Treat  Over  the  'Phone.

    Thousands of amateur wireless operators within a radius of 100 miles of New York heard a wireless telephone concert given recently at the De Forest experimental laboratories at Highbridge. The entertainment lasted for more than half an hour, and operatic selections and popular music were poured into the telephone to be sent out in wireless waves to every listening ear in and about the city. Phonographic records were used and a special record was put on to oblige an operator "somewhere in Flushing."
    Notice of the concert had been sent out several days ago, and so that amateurs were waiting with receivers clapped to their ears for the signal that would tell them that the performance was about to begin. All that the operators had to do to enjoy the music was to tune up to the wave length of the sending station.
    Walter Schare was in charge of the concert, and after the first few selections had been played on the phonograph expressions of thanks from the unseen audience began to sputter into the receiving instrument. From Yonkers came a hearty vote of thanks, and one enthusiastic Staten Islander insisted on sending messages of appreciation several times.
    The concert is one of a series planned at the laboratories. Indeed, it is the plan of Lee De Forest to establish a sort of wireless newspaper to which every amateur with an instrument can subscribe. In this way news can be telephoned and the interesting happenings of the day can be sent to listening ears "hot off the wire."
    We are informed that the test will continue every evening from Monday to Friday inclusive, at 8:00 o'clock on a wave length of approximately 800 meters. The De Forest Company would deem it a great favor if those hearing the concert would report by mail.
QST, February, 1917, page 47:

WIRELESS DANCE

    One of the first wireless dances was lately held in Morristown, N. J. at the home of Theodore E. Gaty. Mr. Gaty tuned his set up and by means of a regenerative system and a two-step amplifier attached to a loud-speaking phone, he was able to amplify the music from the DeForest Factory at Highbridge, New York. The distance was about forty miles, yet the signals were so strong that six or seven couples were able to dance to it.
QST, April, 1917, page 34:

RADIO TELEPHONE ADVERTISING

    There seems to be no limit to the new things in radio. The latest is a suggestion which has come to us based upon the DeForest Company's nightly radio-telephone concert which is heard by nearly everybody within a radius of 100 miles of New York City. To those of us who are not within reach of these wonderful telephone waves, it might be well to explain that every night the DeForest Company give a radio concert, tell stories and in some cases talk with certain amateurs whom they know are listening. On one ocasion, Mr. Godley, the designer of the well-known Paragon Regenerative Receiver which many of us use, was here at Headquarters and while listening in at the station of Mr. L. D. Fisk, he was told some news by the DeForest operator in New York.
    Recently the DeForest Company has made occasional general announcements over their radio telephone to the amateurs of the East, and this at once brought up the question of conducting regular advertising and news talks by radio. It would be entirely practical. The clearness of the present waves is distinctly greater than in the regular wire telephone. The voice is almost perfect and a good speaker with clear enunciation could easily speak to fifty thousand listeners and have every syllable and accent heard. It is decidedly something to think about.
QST, April, 1917, page 72:

DeForest Wireless Telephone

ON the evening of January 24th last we asked that those listening to our Oscillion Radio telephone concerts kindly drop us postals that we might in this way get some idea of the size of our radio audience. The results were so surprising that we believe a brief line concerning them would be of interest to your readers.
    About two hundred replies to our request have been received to date, and these represent an actual audience of about five hundred people. With these figures before us we feel that it is conservative to estimate that our nightly audience is in excess of one thousand people.
    The replies were decidedly interesting, especially because of the enthusiasm of the writers. There were many letters from lady listeners, and several from those of the gentler sex who have wireless stations of their own. One lady complained because she, at one concert, became so enrapped in the music that she thoughtlessly allowed the supper to burn up on the kitchen stove.
    There were many requests and co-operative suggestions, and one of the chief worries was that it might not be our intention to keep the concerts going for some time to come. Some of the replies were from a distance. One operator hears us regularly off Cape Hatteras about three hundred miles away, and several enjoy our concerts even though located between one and two hundred miles from our tower.
    That those interested may see the personal frank nature of the replies, we enclose for publication, a copy of one which is more or less typical. In explanation of the manner in which it is addressed to a member of the company we would say that it appears that the different voices of the operators are recognized each night by the members of our audience, so that they feel they know us quite intimately, and accordingly many of the letters were addressed to the operators personally. It is also interesting to note that although we asked merely for postal-card reports, the number of postals received did not represent ten percent. of the total number of the replies.
    A novel request was one from two gentlemen in Newark, N. J., who asked that on a certain evening we play dance music. This, in order that their guests of that evening, to the number of one hundred, might dance to our Graphonola Orchestra furnished us nightly by the Columbia Graphophone Company. We heard afterwards that this dance was a great success, as was the previous one in Morristown, N. J., for which we also provided the music at Highbridge, N. Y., thirty odd miles away.
    May we take this opportunity to thank, through your colums, the many kind friends who have thus appreciated our work and have been good enough to say so? We shall be only too glad to reciprocate by radio telephoning them to look for our report in the March number of QST.
Irvington, N. J.
Jan. 28th, 1917.


Mr. Gowan,
De Forest Laboratories,
High Bridge, N. Y.
Dear Mr. Gowan:
    Answering your general call of last Wednesday evening, am writing the views of us "Hams" here in this city.
    By the way as I am pounding this on the mill you are playing the anvil chorus from Trovatore, am glad you like that selection, I do too, in fact I have it here, also the Sextette you just played.
    We get you very well here, in fact I hear you very plainly while writing this, even though I am temporarily using galena, owing to my DeForest Audion bulbs--I use two--blowing out, one a week ago and one a little over a month back. I have had them something like three years each, which is a little over the average life, using them steadily about eight hours daily with the exception of thru the thunderstorms--you might mention to Dr. DeForest that I think its a longer life than he bargained for, but am sorry I cannot get them renewed as I have a letter over his signature saying that the patent situation temporarily discontinues the sale of them. I think he's mean for that (?)
    I have heard some radiophone steadily now for two years but think that the other one I heard was under the direction of Wanamakers as I only heard it from one to two p. m., daily, however, not for some months now. OH YOU POET AND PEASANT, some record that you are playing now! ! !
    I have a friend in Lincoln N. H., who thinks he has heard your phone, unless there is one nearer him. He also uses a panel amplifier.
    There are forty-three members of our club, but as most of them like to sit on their keys and hammer out little nothings, they never hear you. However, the following members are pleased to advise you that they get you very well, in some cases can hear you at arms length:
    Herman Enderwoods, Pres. our club, the largest in the state, 144 Linden Ave., Irvington, N. J.
    Elmer Diehl, 29 Orange Place, Irvington, N. J.
    Mr. Zeilbauer, 87 Union Av., Irvington, N. J.
    F. S. Budd, 146 Brunswick, St., Newark, N. J.
    Ed. Helms, 113 Third Ave., Newark, N. J.
    Al. Mills, 57 Linden Ave., Irvington, N. J.
    Al. Oechler, 82 Smith St., Irvington, N. J.
    Howard Selvage, Hilton, N. J.
    Herbert Schwab, Irvington, N. J.
    I regret that is all at this time who have reported to me, yes, that busy Lizzie was a suprise--MIM--
    I missed all you said that time--some ham--2ANA has his set tuned at seven hundred and my coupling is now five inches clear between the nearest ends of each of the pri. and sec. coils, some coupling, and fifteen degrees on each sec. variable, but he is still hammering in and drowns you out--sorry am missing it all--its the reports of the answers too--
    I frequently have a whole room full of visitors and by means of a detectophone of my own design and a horn, we hear the music almost as good as the phonograph I have here in the room.
    You mentioned stability and advisability of commercial use of the DeForest Oscillion, and from the way I get you, I rather think its beyond any comparison--yes I've had ladies here listening too--but they're too bashful to write to a strange (?) ! ! !
    MIM Think I'll go to Long Island and Dance too--MIM those fellows have me beaten, I thought I got you loud--but Holy Smoke I can't dance to my own victrola yet (?)
    Sorry I have such a poor mill to write on, but have a better one in the repair shop.
    Well I think I have covered all you care to know, I've written rather freely, but then I'm so accustomed to having you talk and you do it in a way that makes it appear rather addressed to each of your audience individually--not collectively--rather a rare talent by the way--that I am taking a chance--yes, you'll hear from many others yet before next week.
    I have a small sending set, and a darn good telephone here and so if I should be able to be of any service to you in any way, or any of us other "Hams" here, please command us---we are all at your service, and are mighty glad to say that we have heard you from the very start, and have had people laugh at us and say we fabricated when we told 'em we heard a gentleman talking every night and entertaining us immensely with good music--I happen to be also a "Ham" professor who plays piano and organ at various small concerts gatherings, not to mention a church, so I know good music, such as Busy Lizzie (???) Sextette from Lucia, (Good Night--MIM NINE P. M.) and other operatic selections--ur whispering tonight was the first I've heard, and the imitation of a screech owl--MIM My dad heard that--he just came on, and hadn't heard you before. He ducked off the phones and stuck his bald head outta the window and thought an owl was surely on the lawn. MIM--HONEST--I told him what it was and he only grunted--HUH.
    Well Mr. Gowan, I don't think I could say enough in a year to express the fun, entertainment, and STUDY I, and we all, have derived from your utterly wantonless waste of juice up there keeping that arc going, but anyway I guess its being wasted in an all-fired good cause. We appreciate it more than the whole 43 of us could write--in 100 page letters, and my aged grandfather says he never dreamed he would live to hear anything like it, and I echo his thoughts--I have a friend at WBU (D. L. W. RR Hoboken) who says they have some wireless telephones there, but I heard them only a few times and they seemed to give it up--it's a cinch they can't begin to compare with the one you are using.
    In your comparison recently on microphones, your number two was the most satisfactory here. Number three was coarse, and number one too weak.
    Well, guess this is enuf. Hope you dont get tired reading it and hope to hear you again tomorrow night and other nights, I am on every evening except Thursdays, Club night.
    Wishing Dr. DeForest and yourself, and the company in general the very best of success in your undertakings, I beg to remain yours for the cause, sincerely,
    (Signed)     W. George Hunt,
    Commercial Representative, and Manager Radio Experimental Department W. U. Telg. Co. Main Office, 1133 Clinton Avenue, Irvington, N. J.
    Call 2AVM.


QST magazine was--and is--the official publication of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL)