3D Model of Cathedral Style Radio from Villanova College Days
Click on the play button of the radio screen and begin exploring the different sides of the radio. You'll notice this cathedral style radio, built circa 1920s, has carved signatures from students during the late 1930s through 1941.
Prior to the 1920s, radio was primarily used to contact ships out at sea, though after WWI, radio became a product of the mass market as civilians began to purchase radios for private use. Radios, equipment, and education grew exponentially in popular culture. The technology was simple enough for kits to be sold for adults and children. 1920 marked as the first time a news program was broadcast over the radio. That same year the first college station began to broadcast.
Early 1920s ads found in popular literature detailing how prevalent and accessible radio equipment and training had become.
First Members of Radio Club, 1921-1922
With radio technology at their finger tips, students organized a radio club in September 1921 and was one of nine academic clubs on campus at the time. Soon after a course in radio operation was added to the curriculum with Father Francis A. Rafferty, O.S.A. as instructor.
Technical aspects of the first broadcasting:
The original equipment was a 5 K-W. Non-Synchronous Spark Transmitter, operating on a wave length of 375 meters. The signal range went to as far north to Canada and south to Texas.
...The Club equipment is the property of Villanova College, and consists of a 5 K-W. Non-Synchronous Spark Transmitter, operating on a Wave Length of 375 meters. The Radiophone Equipment is a complete 100 Watt Radio Corporation Undamped Wave Transmitter. The Receiving Cabinet is of the De Forest Type, with 27 unit panels, containing long and short wave regeneratives, 4 stages of audio frequency amplification, Baldwin, Western Electric and Murdock Phones...