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Early Television Stations

W7XAO - Portland

The following was sent by Craig Adams of Portland, Oregon:

In May 1926 Wilbur J. Jerman, Owner & Manager of KWJJ Portland, Oregon was issued a "Special Land" experimental license for television from the Radio Division, Bureau of Navigation, U.S. Department of Commerce bearing the calls 7XAO.  This was the first experimental TV license in the Northwest.

On June 16, 1928 Mr. Jerman announced that within two months his station would begin installation of television equipment for broadcasting of small 2 inch square pictures on 54 meters Short Wave.   By then calls had changed to W7XAO.

Two months later on August 26, 1928 Mr. Jerman, anxious to begin operation of W7XAO, announced that he only awaits permission from the Federal Radio Commission (FRC) to assemble the equipment and begin test broadcasts.  He stated, it wouldn't take him more than 48 hours to do so.  Word was, the FRC had already granted permission for several East Coast stations to begin.

On December 27, 1928 Edwin W. Lovejoy, Supervisor of the 7th Radio District said he had received word earlier today that Wilbur J. Jerman had been granted a license for television transmissions.  W7XAO was authorized to transmit pictures by radio on frequencies between 2750 and 2850 kilocycles Short Wave using 100 watts of power.  Mr. Jerman could begin experimental television broadcasts in a month said Lovejoy.  The license could not be used for commercial purposes.

Jerman said he ultimately expects to broadcast moving pictures on television using the projection machines in the Broadway Theatre for pictures, and KWJJ broadcasting the sound accompaniments.  Pictures probably will be 3 inches square. At the time KWJJ studios were in the Broadway Theatre which was located at 328 Salmon St. (now: 622 S.W. Salmon St.).  It is believed between 1929-30 early television broadcasts did take place but there is no documentation of this, as of this writing.  In November 1930 the license W7XAO was canceled by the FRC.

All newspaper information came from The Portland Oregon Journal.