9XM-WHA - Madison, WI
N 43° 04.382 W 089° 24.013
16T E 304590 N 4771721
Quick Description: 9XM-WHA "The Oldest Station in the Nation" is at Vilas Hall, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Location: Wisconsin, United States
Date Posted: 3/2/2008 8:36:06 AM
Waymark Code: WM39R9
From Wisconsin: A Guide to the Badger State (pg. 138):
"Wisconsin's radio history goes back to 1909, when wireless experiments were conducted in the laboratories of the department of physics of the University of Wisconsin. "Point-to-point" communication led to the development of broadcast service in 1915 over station 9XM, later WHA. During the World War, when the Navy Department ordered most stations closed as a precautionary measure, 9XM continued experimenting until, in 1919, the first clear and scheduled telephonic broadcast was heard from the University by the Great Lakes Naval Training Station. In 1920 the first daily scheduled weather reports were begun; then followed market and produce reports for farmers and bulletins on road conditions.
In 1922 9XM was licensed as WHA, ... WHA is concerned with keeping the highly trained personnel and technical services of all State agencies in direct and frequent contact with the people. Its programs are generally educational in purpose. It has 40,000 regularly enrolled listeners in addition to the thousands who form the usual radio audience."
The historical marker reads:
"On this campus pioneer research and experimentation in "wireless" led to successful transmission of voice and music in 1917, and the beginning of broadcasting on a scheduled basis in 1919.
Experimental station 9XM transmitted telegraphic signals from Science Hall until 1917 when it was moved to Sterling Hall. In that year Professor Earle M. Terry and students built and operated a "wireless telephone" transmitter.
In 1918, during World War I, when other station were ordered silenced, 9XM operated under special authorization to continue its telephonic exchange with U.S. Navy stations on the Great Lakes. After the war, programs were directed to the general public.
The WHA letters replaced the 9XM call on January 13, 1922. Thus, the University of Wisconsin station, under the calls 9XM and WHA, has been in existence longer than any other.
WHA is still broadcasting and is today part of the Wisconsin Public Radio Network. Click here for their web site or here for a live audio feed.