The proposal to establish a broadcast station that would charge Washington area subscribers for a music service, mentioned toward the end of this article, was never tried, as there continued to be no way to restrict radio reception to only paying customers.
An original scan of this article is at: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026749/1920-08-08/ed-1/seq-26/.
Washington Times, August 8, 1920, page 26:
"Picking" Tunes From Air Nightly Pastime With Wireless Amateurs
Jules Verne has been outdone so many times recently by modern scientists, that anything that a few years ago was looked upon as impossible is today credited even in the most ignorant or unscientific circles. The latest thing is "aerial music."
All you need in your home is a small wireless telephone apparatus, with wires run into the room where you want the music to be played with an ordinary graphophone horn and by simply turning on a switch you can have as good a concert as one could wish.
Every Friday evening from 8:30 to 11 o'clock the Bureau of Standards sends out a concert, which is picked up by wireless stations within a radius of 100 miles. The bureau has been experimenting with the wireless music for several months, and has reached such an advanced stage of development that further investigation to them is useless, and they are going to discontinue the concerts. The officials of the Bureau of Standards say that the function of the bureau is investigating and after they have proved a thing, and have given it to the world, they stop and start some new experimentation or investigation.
MAY COMMERCIALIZE PROJECT.
Several commercial wireless concerns have investigated the sending of music by radio, and plans are now being discussed with the object of sending music out from some of the big wireless stations every evening for use in all parts of the United States and for ships at sea.
The advocates of the plan forsee a great future for aerial music and predict that in the very near future, none of the big passenger ships will carry bands, but will rely on their wireless for music for dances on the ships and for music during meals. The advocates also predict a great commercial future for aerial music as they think that it will do away with a great deal of the music furnished by the hotels and dance halls.
By this method, it is said, the owners of hotels and dance halls can save a great deal of expense, as the cost of installing the wireless apparatus, which is small, will be the biggest cost. The music would be furnished for a few dollars a week.
One Friday night a few weeks ago, the students of the Bliss Electrical School, which is about five miles from the Bureau of Standards, gave a dance, and the music was furnished by the Bureau of Standards from its wireless apparatus. It was said that the music was as distinct and as loud as if it had been played on a first class talking machine in the dance hall.
HEARS SINGER ON PHONES.
Many of the amateur wireless operators in Washington and nearby Maryland and Virginia have been giving their friends the benefits of the concert every Friday evening since the Bureau of Standards has been sending it out, and word has been received from Baltimore that the concert was heard there.
One of the amateur operators in Washington several weeks ago was sitting at his instrument when he was startled by hearing suddenly the voice of one of the prominent opera singers singing a selection from one of the popular operas. He went to the telephone and called a friend of his who was an amateur wireless operator also, and told him of the concert. The friend, who had been told by an official of the Bureau of Standards, laughed and told him that the concert was being given every Friday night by the bureau and that he had been one of the "audience" for several weeks. Since that time the amateur operator has had friends home every Friday evening listening to the concert.
WOULD BUILD BIG STATION.
Now that the Bureau of Standards is going to discontinue its Friday evening concerts, the amateur operators in Washington are wondering what they can do on Firday evenings after the concerts stop.
Washington capitalists were recently approached by a man who wanted money enough to finance the erection of a big wireless station near Washington that would be used nightly for concerts. This man told the capitalists that for a few dollars a week every one in Washington could have a concert by merely turning on a switch in their homes, after it was equipped with wireless. Such a contrivance he said would be very popular, as it would do away with the buying of new records every month.
Dr. J. H. Dellinger, in charge of radio experiments at the Bureau of Standards, is the man who is given credit for the strides in aerial music. He has been in charge of the experiments since the bureau began them, and although one of the youngest scientists in the bureau, is looked upon as an authority in the radio world.