I was raised in Jamaica, New York, in the
borough of Queens. Some time after the end of WWII, a man
named William B. Still (Bill), opened a store on Jamaica Avenue.
He had a television camera and a receiver in the window that faced
the street. People could stand in front of the camera and
look at themselves on the receiver. It certainly attracted a
crowd when it was operating. He was building television
receivers and apparently was also building a television station.
W2XJT originally applied for channel 3 (72-78 mHz) in 1940.
There is no evidence that the station ever broadcast on channel
3, but in 1945 amended its application to request Channel 13.
The application stated that it would broadcast on 230-236 MHz,
which differs from the published FCC channel 13 frequency of
234-2409 mHz (this information is from the web page What Became of
Still had a copy of his FCC license in the window along with the
television equipment, and his call sign was W2XJT, which I
assume was eXperimental Jamaica Television... I should
mention that I was just becoming interested in radio and
electronics and that I was about 12 years old... in 1947..
Sometime later, 'Bill' Still moved his
operation to a brand new building several blocks away, on
Sutphin Blvd., just South of the Long Island Rail Road tracks. At the new building, there seemed to be a lot more
activity and a tower was put up behind the building... I'm not
sure about the height of the tower, but I guess that it was at
least 100 feet tall.
Inside the building, were television cameras,
control consoles, and rough studios with very bright lights...
Some of the cameras were made by RCA, and others had no obvious
labels on them. The transmitter was in a smaller
building behind the large one, and I never got a peek at the
inside of it. The only reason that I was able to see
inside the main building was due to the heat generated by all of
the electronic gear and the studio lights. There was no
air conditioning so the huge roll-up equipment door was usually
open during the summer. They had a chain across the
doorway, but I just popped right under it... Some of the
technicians were quite friendly and explained a lot of the
equipment to me... Of course, it was several years later when
their explanations really meant something to me...
I wanted to add some small details to
whatever history you might have about Jamaica Television...
'Bill' Still was an exceptional man, and he put a great deal of
effort into Jamaica Television. I often wonder what
ever happened to him, and Jamaica Television.
By the time I returned to New York, Jamaica
Television was gone. The building is now a warehouse, and
there isn't a trace of what once existed.