Adventist World Radio

Wavescan  program #514 -- 46/1



Main Script for Wavescan, Edition number 514 for airing on Sunday11/7/2004. 


Host 2

From the studios of Adventist World Radio, This is Wavescan.

Host 1

Our programme for shortwave listeners and radio hobbyists from around the world.   I’m ___________ (Host 1).

Host 2

And I’m ____________ (Host 2).


Bring music up and then down. 

Host 1

In today’s edition of Wavescan we tune into history with the World’s Oldest Wireless Recoding.


We have a case of mistaken identity – with a harmless creature that everyone thought was a dinasoar.

IC DX report

DX reports today from North America and Japan


And we talk with a young man, who's dream it was to start a church.  Then trajedy struck.


PAUSE HERE  . . .  with music fade in.

Host 2

That’s all in this weeks edition --  So let’s start in with our Wavescan topic – The world’s oldest wireless recording.  Here’s Steve Hamstra


WAVESCAN TOPIC  (5 minutes)  Normally read by Student Volunteer


   (The information and this old recording in the old Morse Code are used with the permission of Glenn Sage and his website



Play Wavescan topic: * Narrator:

          This is perhaps the most exciting recording I’ve had in my short time here with Adventist World Radio.  I have here an ancient recording – indeed it’s almost 100 years old – and it’s claimed to be the oldest recording of a wireless transmission. 


Here it is from the days when both wireless and recording were very young:


* Recording in Morse Code -, Cylinder of the Month, June 2004

          Full, and fade down after 10 or 15 secs


* Narrator: 

          Here now is the story of this old recording.  The earliest procedure for the recording of sound was to imprint the sound waves onto a small sheet of tin foil that was wrapped around a metal cylinder that was spinning rapidly.  This procedure was developed by the great American inventor, Thomas Edison in 1877. 


          Some eight years later, two other American experimenters developed an improved procedure for the recording of sound and this was the usage of a wax coating on a small cardboard cylinder.  Other experimenters also produced early sound recordings by imprinting the sound waves into a coating of lead on a spinning cylinder. 


          OK, now that gives you the early development of sound recording, going back to the year 1877.  The development of wireless transmission, as we know, goes back to the year 1894 when Marconi successfully transmitted an electrical impulse through the air during his earliest experiments in Italy.  At the time, he used a square sheet of metal as the antenna and this was connected to a battery and a Morse Code key.  The receiver was just as simple, but it worked.


          The website,, is dedicated to the preservation of early sound recordings and the earliest they possess in their extensive collection is dated in the year 1878, when the invention was just one year old.  One of the very important recordings in their possession is this recording of the message in the original Morse Code.  The original tin foil cylinder is housed in the San Francisco State University.


          It is believed that this cylinder recording, with the sound imprinted into tin foil, was made during a live wireless transmission in Morse Code.  The message seems to be the introductory comment just before a boxing match, with information about the boxer Jack Johnson and his boxing opponent, Jim Jeffries.  This message was sent in the old original Morse Code that was developed by Samuel Morse & Alfred Vail back in 1844.


          In this message, it is stated that Jack Johnson insisted on a fight with the retired Jim Jeffries, and boxing records show that Johnson did meet Jeffries in a match of 15 rounds in Reno, Nevada on July 4, 1910.   This match was considered at the time to be a fight of major significance and progressive news of the event was flashed nationwide as quickly as the communications of the day would permit.


          A short article in the magazine, Modern Electrics for August 1910, states that the details of the Johnson-Jeffries match were transmitted progressively by station TG which was owned by the Western Wireless Equipment Company in San Francisco.  The station was located in the city offices of the company and it was on the air with this news broadcast for the benefit of ships at sea and for local amateur wireless operators along the west coast.


          By listening carefully to the recorded message it would be deduced that this recording was made by playing the sound from a wireless receiver directly into the recording horn of a cylinder phonograph.  Here are the reasons why it is believed that this recording contains the sound of a transmitted wireless signal:-


1. The message begins with the two Morse Code letters, CQ, which are still used to this day in the opening signal of a radio transmission in Morse Code. 


2. The sound of the spark gap tone indicates a damped wave, which was typical of wireless transmissions of that era.


3. The signal fades in and out, indicating the propagation of a wireless transmission rather than a direct transmission over a telegraph line.


4. The content of the message would seem to indicate genuine introductory information before the beginning of a boxing match.


5. This recording also contains the mechanical noise of the revolving sound of the recording equipment.


          Here now is the full message, lasting about two minutes.  So – a chance to practice your Morse code.  Listen to it carefully, and see what you think.


* Recording in Morse Code - 2 minutes


* Narrator: You have just heard the sound of what is believed to be the earliest recording of a transmitted wireless message.  This message was transmitted in the old original Morse Code, it was recorded onto tin foil that covered a phonograph cylinder, it was played back at the rate of 125 revolutions per minute, and it is dated in the year 1910. 


          A compilation of the available evidence from "Tinfoil" and other sources would suggest that this wireless transmission was made from station TG in San Francisco shortly before 3 pm on Monday July 4, in the year 1910.  The recording itself must have been made directly off air and probably by an amateur wireless operator living somewhere in the San Francisco area. 


          Our thanks to Glen Sage in Portland Oregon and his website, for the usage of his basic information and his recording of what we would suggest is likely to be the world's oldest recording of a wireless transmission. 


          What a pity, it is now too late to send a reception report and a copy of the recording to the transmitting station TG in San Francisco and ask for a QSL card!  (Indeed!)


Host 2

The world’s oldest wireless recording?  We think so – but if you know differently then write in and tell us.  Indeed, we enjoy your letters and comments on all our topics – and if you want to write, here’s our address:  AWR, 39 Brendon St . . .   Or e-mail  Those details again at the end of the programme.


Travelogue  (5 minutes)

Host 1

Time now for our travel section and a question: What would your reaction be if one ordinary day you found yourself face to face with a dinasoar -- in your back garden? I'm not sure what I would think or do. But Bruce Davidson now tells a story of how one community reacted when they really thought they were invaded by a prehistoric monster.


Play Travelogue: 1290:Mistaken Identity ®:

IN: "This time around I'm going to look at a classic case of mistaken identity . . "

OUT: " or the Lockness Monster . .. Who knows."

Host 1

An interesting story -- or a living nightmare that turned out to be  not so frightening after all. It  reminds me of the saying "A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing." We can apply this to our knowlwdge of God as well. How much do we really know about Him? Are we somehow frightened by the perceptions we've gathered from somewhere or someone about Him? The Bible is a facinating book and is the best place to find the truth about God. We highly recommend it as the place where you will find a loving God who is not determined to harm, but to give peace and a secure future for everyone who wants it.


P A U S E    H E R E    P L E A S E


DX Report (IC and/or programme hosts)  (4 minutes IC and 2 minute host tips.  Total 6 minutes.)

Host 2

You’re listening to Wavescan, Adventist World Radio’s programme especially for shortwave listeners and radio hobbyists.  Our DX reports for this week start will information compiled by Dr Floyd Layer in Terre Haute (TERRA HOTE), Indiana, in the USA .

* QSLS: Dr Floyd Layer reports that his collection of QSLs now stands at 4,100, most of which he has obtained directly from the stations, though some have been obtained from other sources. He is also obtaining copies of significant QSL cards for preservation of valuable historic information.   He has also procured in recent time an almost complete worldwide set of postage stamps that depict various forms of wireless & radio.


* USA: In recent time, Dr Layer has heard all of the digital series of NASB broadcasts from Radio Miami International WRMI in Miami Florida.  He reports that the signal from WRMI on the newer channel 6870 kHz provides a more reliable signal than the previous channel in his area.  He reports also that the digital signals from RCI Sackville in Canada provide a reliable signal to his area, though he is currently listening in the analog mode rather than digital.


* GUAM: The AWR station on the island of Guam was on the air with special broadcasts from transmitter KSDA5 on three different channels in the early part of September.  Floyd states that he heard all three channels during the special events week.


* SATELLITE RADIO: Just recently, Floyd procured a radio receiver that picks up the satellite radio programming from Sirius Radio.  This system gives the listener 120 channels of different radio programming.  He procured this system rather than the XM system due to the fact that Sirius Radio provides a dedicated 24 hour channel for the programming from WRN, the World Radio Network in England.  The WRN relay is itself a composite relay of radio programming in English from many of the major radio stations around the world.  Dr Layer operates the Sirius Satellite Radio in his suburban home, using a thin antenna wire affixed to the base, and playing the audio into a boom box.


          In other news, Dr. Floyd Layer states that he has received a WHRI QSL card with sticker from World Harvest Radio for their broadcasts over station WSHB at Cypress Creek in South Carolina; he heard and reported the WRMI relay of Radio Australia on a second channel; and he states that station WRMI recovered from the poundings of the recent hurricanes that swept through Florida and returned to the air quite quickly on each occasion.


Now over to the other side of the world – and an area that, sadly, has recently had its share of Typhoons and earthquake.  So our sympathies are with the people of Japan – but we’re glad our friends at the Japan Shortwave Club can join us now.


DX Report

Host 2

And our thanks to the Japan Shortwave Club for that report.  You’re listening to Wavescan.


Feature  (5 minutes) 

Host 1

Venice Beach in California is well known to the people of West Los Angeles.   By day its filled with tourists, looking to buy souvenirs or walk along its beach front.    You may have seen the area without knowing it.  The beachfront open-air paddle tennis, basketball and weightlifting courts have been memorialized in countless films.


If you happen to visit, it won’t be long before you see what Venice Beach has to offer.  There are tattoos and body piercing shops, surfers, people playing drums, tarot card readers and art sellers for example.


Drugs, panhandling and homelessness is also quite common.    Its in this environment that a group of friends say they felt compelled to plant a church.   Their pastor is 27, and , with his trendy mannerisms and easygoing style, looks like he too could easily fit in.   His name is David Appel (Ah-pell).


Play Feature 839: Vennice Beach pastor:

It is an uncomfortable place . .

 . . . God is powerful enough for any situation.

Host 2  ---

That was the late pastor David Appel speaking of the work he'd hoped to do in Vennice Beach California.  Sadly, shortly after this interview was conducted,  David Appel was killed in a car accident.   He was 27 years old.



1  Host 2

And that brings us to an end of this week’s edition of Wavescan – a production of Adventist World Radio.  Next week we will be:

1. back at the Japan Radio Fair with another interview

2.  Catching up on the Eurpean and Global DX scene with Bob Padula and Christopher Lewis.

3. and finding out about ants – and children’s story telling

2  Host

Your reception reports, tips and comments are always welcomed.  Here’s our address:

3  Host

AWR, 39 Brendon St, London, W1, England, or e-mail us at  

4  Host

That’s also the address for your Bible questions or free Bible Guides:  AWR, 39 Brendon St, London, W1, England, or e-mail us at  

5 Host

Wavescan is written and produced by Adrian Peterson and Steve Hamstra.  You can find it on the web at:  I’m . . . (Me)

6 Host

. . . and I’m . . .  (You) Thanks for joining us.