Radio Digest, October 4, 1924, page 7:

   8XB  FIRST  STATION  TO  RADIOCAST   
Simple Set Used in Cincinnati as Radio Stimulant

By Lieut. H.  F.  Breckel

On the 5:15,
Hear the whistle blowin',
On the 5:15,
Boy, she's right on time,
On the 5:15,
Steamin' into Frisco,
Everybody's happy on the 5:15.
Lt. H. F. BreckelSUCH was the first musical selection Radiocast by a Radio telephone transmitting station located at Cincinnati, Ohio, which station, it is believed, was actually the first placed in service for the express purpose of Radiocasting entertainment matter and the like for the benefit of the Radio public. This event occured during the earlier part of the year 1920 and the above selection was the title of a phonograph record which was used during the testing of the apparatus while undergoing construction. Although not generally known, it is believed that this station, which operated under the call letters 8XB and later WMH, was actually the pioneer station in the field of Radiocasting in the United States and its conception was original with The Precision Equipment Company, although the same thought or idea may have been conceived by others "theirs was the first Radiocasting station." How its establishment came about will be set forth below.
    The station was owned and operated by The Precision Equipment company, now no longer in existence, which concern carried on the manufacture of Radio receiving and transmitting apparatus for sale to the Radio amateurs throughout the country. The demand for equipment of this sort was confined to a comparatively limited market consisting of the telegraphing Radio amateurs who did not exist in sufficient numbers to warrant a steady production program and the business was at that time a very unstable one, to say the least.
    The matter of stimulating interest in the art and thus creating a wider market happened to come up at a more or less informal conference or rather discussion by members of the company and it was at this time that the writer recalled the great and un-disguised interest which had been manifested by those who had listened in to the Radio musical concerts which had been transmitted during the war by the United States Ship George Washington Radio telephone apparatus for the benefit of the destroyers and submarine patrol force at anchor in the harbor at Brest, France and the suggestion was made by the writer, "Let us Radiocast music" with the idea in mind that this procedure if adopted and carried out might stimulate the public's interest in the art and thus provide for a wider market for the sale of Radio receiving apparatus and thus put the business on a much more stable plane.
    The outcome was that it was decided to construct and install a Radio telephone unit for this express purpose, i. e., the Radiocasting of entertainment matter via Radio for the benefit of Radio fans. The station was located in the plant of The Precision Equipment company of which Mr. John L. Gates was president. The actual designing, construction, installation and testing was carried out by the engineering staff of the company, comprising Mr. Thos. E. New and the writer. The first regular Radiocasts were transmitted under the experimental license call letters "8XB" as at this time stations of this type were not interpreted as coming under the commercial classification and it was not until many months later that it was so classified and the call letter "WMH" were assigned it.
    The art of Radio telephony was at that time still in comparative infancy and many difficulties were encountered before a rugged, practical unit was developed which would stand up under continued operation.
    We were handicapped in attempting to design a high-powered unit at that time mainly because of the inability to secure vacuum tubes of the transmitting type.

The First Transmitter

    The first transmitter incorporated four amplifier tubes connected in parallel, the filaments of which were supplied with current by a storage battery, the plate current being supplied by a high voltage B battery of high current capacity. The modulation circuit was of the so-called grid type, in which the voice frequency currents were impressed directly on the grid circuit of the oscillator tubes.
    The "pick-up" device used for collecting the voice or music was of the simplest type, comprising a special microphone of the train despatchers' type, which was fastened on the end of a large brass phonograph horn and which is clearly shown. [This] device was always used when Radiocasting selections rendered by groups of players, or singers, but for phonograph music only the microphone alone was employed as the volume of sound was great enough to properly react on the modulation circuit without using the horn to concentrate it.

Phonograph Records for First Concert

    At the time of our first Radiocasts the art of Radio telephony was not generally known by the public to be in existence and in fact many of the amateurs were not aware that it had been developed to a point where it could be considered practical. Great was the surprise among those individuals with receiving equipment residing within range of the station when they happened to tune in on the proper wave length and heard the strains of music instead of the usual "di-da-di-da-di-da" of the "brass pounders" and their "rock crushers." Little or no publicity was given the earlier concerts, which were very much of an experimental nature, being held in connection with the testing of the apparatus during its designing, and the sole artist besides the engineer with his familiar (in those days) long, drawn-out, "Hello-o-o-o-o-o-1-2-3-4" to appear before the microphone, was the phonograph. It so happened that the record "On the 5:15" was the title of the first selection played and only the ether knows how many times it was played while tests in connection with the oscillation and modulation circuits were being conducted, it being considered impractical to change records while doing so, on account of their variance in volume of sound.

High Powered Station Built

    The returns from our Radiocasting venture were so satisfactory in the way of increased demand for receiving equipment that it was decided to proceed with the installation of a higher powered equipment which would give the station a greater transmitting radius, this being done late in 1920, at which time more modern equipment was available. With the new station in use we were able to increase our range and it wasn't long before the public began to show an ever increasing interest in this new and most modern diversion.
    Of course, after preliminary experimental work in connection with the station was completed, we made every effort to get all the publicity possible through the medium of the local press and it is very amusing now to read some of the clippings which were taken from various local papers in those days, headed in big type and containing such statements as "Music Is Sent By Wireless for More Than A Mile"--"Concert Given By Wireless"--"Phonograph Records Heard Ten Miles Away" and the prediction carried by one paper--"Radio Phones in Homes Soon."
    Those of us who were instrumental in conceiving and introducing this now nationally, nay--internationally popular art of Radiocasting, little realized the widespread effect the establishment of the first station would have on the public, and although it is no longer in existence, it served its purpose in bringing pleasure to thousands of listeners located within its range. And finally, it will go down in history as having been the first Radiocasting station conceived, designed and placed in operation for the specific purpose of Radiocasting entertainment matter and the like, for the express benefit of the Radio listeners of the United States.
Radio hath its charms,
To bridge the empty space,
Bringing voices from afar--
Music--through the gloomy night.
8XB studio
    Broadcasting Station 8XB and later WMH, the first station specifically designed and operated for the express commercial purpose of broadcasting useful and entertainment matter for the benefit of the Radio public of the United States. It was conceived in 1919 and operated by the Precision Equipment company, Cincinnati, Ohio, now out of existence. The individuals in the photo are: at the piano, Luther J. Davis and two artists, Miss Dorothy Richards, violinist, and Miss Margaret Spaulding, soprano. Standing at the extreme right of the photo is John L. Gates, former president of the Precision Equipment company. Seated before the broadcasting equipment and operating it is Lieut. Harry P. Breckel, author of this article. WMH, on the air once more, is now operated by Ainsworth Gates company, Cincinnati.