Arthur Batcheller
This publicity photo of Arthur Batcheller, Radio Inspector for the second district, appeared on page 146 of the December, 1922 issue of Radio Broadcast.

The second district was headquartered in New York City, the largest U.S. port. Given the importance of radio to shipping, this was one of the most prominent posts in the Commerce Department's radio inspection service.

Arthur Batcheller is probably the best known of the Radio Inspectors, because of a run-in with Lee De Forest that occurred about three years before this photograph was run. In early 1920, De Forest moved his experimental station, 2XG, from High Bridge in the Bronx to Manhattan, without first obtaining government approval. Batcheller shut down the station because of this serious infraction. De Forest, in his 1950 autobiography, Father of Radio, both misspells the inspector's name as "Bachelor" and paints him as narrow-minded and short-sighted, quoting Batcheller as saying "there is no room in the ether for entertainment". Given De Forest's propensity for engaging in questionable activities, a more accurate explanation would be that De Forest got caught trying, once again, to exempt himself from established -- and sensible -- rules of behavior.

Arthur Batcheller had a long, distinguished career in the Radio Service. Carl Dreher, in his 1976 book, Sarnoff: An American Success, mentions the De Forest incident in passing, and notes that, from his own personal experience, Batcheller was an "intelligent, fair-minded" individual. (Unfortunately, Dreher also uses De Forest's misspelling of Batcheller's name). In addition, Batcheller was personally applauded, in 1921, by RCA, for helping them set up on short notice a station to broadcast the Jack Dempsey-Georges Carpentier heavyweight fight.

Arthur Batcheller's papers are located at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.