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Early Television Stations

Mechanical Stations in the U.S. & Canada

Mechanical TV broadcast in the AM radio band (550-1600 kHz) in 1928 and 29. With 24 and 30 line systems, only about 10 kHz of bandwidth was needed, so standard radio channels could be used. Some stations also broadcast in the shortwave band. Beginning in 1930, the 2-3 mHz band was used for television, with 100 kHz channel width. 60 line systems required about 40 kHz of bandwidth. TV broadcasts could be identified by their distinctive sound.

This is a list of stations that broadcast mechanical television. All of these stations have been verified as actually being on the air, through magazine, book  or newspaper accounts, or eyewitness accounts.

Call Sign
City
Operated by
On Air
Off Air Lines  Frames/ Second Power Freq.
VE9AK Montreal, Canada Peck Television 1935 ? 60-150 ? 41 mHz
W1WX, W1XAXU, W1XAV,W1XG Boston, MA Shortwave and Television (Hollis Baird) 1929 1930 48 15   2.12 mHz, 2.85-2.95 mHz 
1931 1934 60 20 1 kw 1.6-1.7 mHz, 2.1-2.2 mHz, 2.8-2.9 mHz, 42-50 mHz 60-86 mHz
W1XAY, WLEX Lexington, MA Boston Post, WLEX 1928 1930 48 18   3.55 mHz, 4.7-4.9 mHz
W2XB, WGY, W2XAD, W2XAF, W2XCW Schenectady, NY General Electric 1928 1928 24 21   790 kHz, 9.55 mHz, 13.66 mHz
1928 1930 48 18  
1930 1939 48 18 20 kw 2.1-2.2 mHz
W2XAB New York, NY CBS 1931 1933 60 20 500 w 2.1-2.2 mHz, 2.75-2.85 mHz
W2XAL, WRNY New York, NY Hugo Gernsback 1928 1930 36,48 10   919, 1110 kHz
W2XBS,W2XF,W2XK, W2XBV New York, NY RCA 1928 1929 ? ?   2.0-2.1 mHz
1929 1932 60 20 5 kw 2.1-2.2 mHz, 2.75-2.85 mHz
WOR Kearny, NJ   1927 1927     500w 720 kHz
W2XBT Camden, NJ RCA 1930 1932 60 20 750 w 2.0-2.1 mHz, 2.1-2.2 mHz
W2XBU Beacon, NY H. E. Smith 1928 1931 24,48 15 100 w 2.0-2.1 mHz
W2XCD Passaic, NJ Lee DeForest 1931 1933 60 20 5 kw 2.0-2.1 mHz
W2XCR Jersey City, NJ Jenkins 1929 1931 48   1.5 kw 2.0-2.1 mHz, 2.1-2.2 mHz
New York, NY 1931 1933 60 20 5k w 2.75-2.85 mHz
W2XR Long Island City, NY Hogan's Radio Pictures 1929   48 15 500 w 1.6-1.7 mHz, 2.1-2.2 mHz, 2.85-2.95 mHz 
  1934 60 20 1 kw
W3XAD Camden, NJ RCA 1930 1932 60

20

 2 kw

2.1-2.2 mHz, 43, 48.5, 60 mHz

W3XE Philadelphia, PA Philco 1932 ? ? ?   ?
W3XK, 3XK Silver Spring, MD Jenkins 1928 1931 48 15 1.5 kw 6.24 mHz, 13.966 mHz, 2.0-2.1 mHz, 2.85-2.95 mHz
1931 1934 60 20 1 kw, 5 kw

2.0-2.1 mHz, VHF

3XN Whippany, NJ Bell Labs 1927 1930 50, 72 18   185, 1450, 1571 kHz
W5AGO Ft. Worth, TX Truett Kimzey 1934 ? ? ? ?
W5XA Shreveport, LA Paul L. Carriger 1929 1934 45 15   ?
W6XAH Bakersfield, CA Pioneer Mercantile Co. 1932 1932 96 20 1 kw 2.0-2.1 mHz
W6XS Los Angeles, CA Don Lee Broadcasting 1931 1935 80 15 500w 2.1-2.2 mHz, 2.75-2.85 mHz
W6XAO Los Angeles, CA Don Lee Broadcasting 1931 1936 80 15 150 w 43, 44.5 mHz
KRSC Seattle, WA Francis J. Brott 1929 ? ? ? ? ?
W7XAO Portland, OR Wilbur Jerman 1929 1930 ? ? 5.55 mHz, 2.75-2.85 mHz
W8XAV, W8XT East Pittsburgh, PA Westinghouse 1928 1932 60,72 20 20 kw 660 kHz, 2.0-2.1 mHz, 2.1-2.2 mHz, 2.75-2.85 mHz
W9XAA, W9XAB, WCFL Chicago, IL Chicago Federation of Labor 1928 1932 45 15 500, 1000 w 1564 kHz, 2.0-2.1 mHz, 2-75-2.85 mHz, 4.88 mHz
W9XAK Manhattan, KS Kansas State College 1932 1936 60 20   2.1-2.2 mHz
W9XAL Kansas City, MO First National Television 1933 1935 45 15 125 2.1-2.2 mHz, 2.0-2.1 mHz
W9XAO Chicago, IL Western Television (Sanabria) 1929 1933 45 15 500,1 kw 2.0-2.1 mHz
W9XAP, WMAQ Chicago, IL Chicago Daily News, NBC 1930 1933 45 15 2.5 kw 2.1-2.2 mHz
W9XAT, W9ICI

Minneapolis, MN George Young, WDGY 1933 1938 45 15 500, 1 kw 42-50 mHz 60-86 mHz
125 ?
W9XMJ. W9XD Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Journal 1930 1938 45 15 500 w 43, 43.5, 48.5, 60 mHz
W9XG West Lafayette, IN Purdue University 1931 1939 60-100 20 1,5 kw 2.1-2.2 mHz, 2.75-2.85 mHz
W9XK Iowa City, IA State University of Iowa 1932 1939 45 15   2.0-2.1 mHz
W9XR Downers Grove, IL Great Lakes Broadcasting 1929 24 15 500 w 2.85-2.95 mHz

 

Canadian Stations (1931)

Operating Hours (1932)

From a 1932 survey by Radio and Television News

Call Sign City Operated by

Broadcasting Hours

W1WX, W1XAV, W1XG Boston, MA Shortwave and Television (Hollis Baird) 2-4 PM, 8-10 PM daily except Sunday
W2XB, WGY, W2XAD, W2XAF, W2XCW Schenectady, NY General Electric No fixed schedule
W2XAB New York, NY CBS 2-6 PM, 7-11 PM daily
W2XCR New York, NY Jenkins 3-5 PM, 6-9 PM daily, 5-9 PM Sunday
W2XR Long Island City, NY Hogan's Radio Pictures 4-10 PM daily except Sunday and holidays
W2XK Camden, NJ RCA Usually mornings, 2-3 PM, 5-6 PM, 7:30-10 PM
W3XAD Camden, NJ RCA Usually mornings, 2-3 PM, 5-6 PM, 7:30-10 PM
W3XK, 3XK Silver Spring, MD Jenkins 3-5 PM, 6-9 PM daily, 5-9 PM Sunday
W6XAO Los Angeles, CA Don Lee Broadcasting 6-7 PM except Sundays and holidays
W8XAV, W8XT East Pittsburg, PA Westinghouse 3:30-4:30 PM Friday
W9XAP Chicago, IL Chicago Daily News 12:35 PM Monday-Friday, 12-6:45 PM Saturday
W9XD Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee Journal 4-6 PM Monday-Friday
W9XG West Lafayette, IN Purdue University No Fixed Schedule

1932 schedule

Radio World, February 27 1932

The following stations were reported in publications, but no verification has been found that they actually went on the air. They may have been only construction permits. The Date column contains the year a reference appeared in a publication. 

Call Sign
City
Operated by
Date  
Lines 

Frames/ Second

Freq.
VE9AG Walkerville, Ontario   1935     42-46 mHz, 60-88 mHz
VE9AR Saskatoon, Saskatchewan   1935     2.75-2.85 mHz
VE9AU London, Ontario   1935     2.0-2.1 mHz, 42-46 mHz, 60-88 mHz
VE9BZ Vancouver, BC   1935     42-46 mHz, 60-88 mHz
VE9DS Montreal, Quebec   1935     2.0-2.1 mHz, 42-46 mHz, 60-88 mHz
VE9EC Montreal, Quebec   1935      
VE9ED Mt. Jolie, Quebec   1935     2.75-2.85 mHz
VE9RC Quebec City, Quebec   1935     42-46 mHz, 60-88 mHz
W1XB, W1XBA Somerville, MA General Industries 1930     2.1-2.2 mHz, 2.75-2.85 mHz
W1XAE Springfield, MA Westinghouse 1930     2.0-2.1 mHz
W1XY Springfield, MA Pilot Electrical 1930     2.0-2.1 mHz
WOR New York, NY   1928     740 kHz
W2XAK New York, NY Atlantic Broadcasting Corp. 1934      
W2XAX New York, NY   1935     42-46 mHz, 60-88 mHz
W2XBA Newark, NJ WAAM, Inc. 1934     2.75-2.85 mHz
W2XBC, W2XBO Long Island City, NY United Research Corp. 1930,31     2.75-2.85 mHz
W2XBW Bound Brook, NJ RCA 1928      
W2XCL Brooklyn, NY Pilot Electric 1930     2.0-2.1 mHz, 2.75-2.85 mHz
W2XCP Allwood, NJ Freed Eisemann 1930,31,32     2.0-2.1 mHz, 2.75-2.85 mHz
W2XD New York, NY   1935     42-46 mHz, 60-88 mHz
W2XDA New York, NY Atlantic Broadcasting 1932     1544 kHz
W2XDR Long Island City, NY   1935     2.0-2.1 mHz, 42-46 mHz, 60-88 mHz
W2XDS New York, NY Jenkins 1932     43, 48.5, 60 mHz
W2XX Ossoning, NY R. F. Gowen 1930     2.0-2.1 mHz
W3XAK Bound Brook, NY RCA 1931     2.1-2.2 mHz
4XAA, W4XA Memphis, TN   1928     2.4-2.5 mHz
W4XE Winter Park, FL W. J. Lee 1930     2.0-2.1 mHz
W6XAM Los Angeles, CA R. S. McGlashan 1928,30     2.0-2.1 mHz
KGFJ Los Angeles, CA   1928 48   1411 kHz
W6KQ Los Angeles, CA Amiee Semple McPherson 1931      
W6XC Los Angeles, CA R. H. Parrish 1928,30     4550 kHz
W8XAN Jackson, MI Sparks Withington 1931,34,35     42-46 mHz, 60-88 mHz
W9XAG Chicago, IL Aero Products 1928,30,31     2.0-2.1 mHz