1960 - Announcers Bob Ellsworth, Dick Bertel, Ed Anderson and Bruce Kern in studio F of the Travelers Grove Street building. Photo courtesy of wticalumni.com.
Bob Ellsworth and Bob Steele.
(This section is under construction. The text below is a draft history, more information is needed.Please contact us with corrections, updates and/or suggestions. Email us at: email@example.com.)
Above: This is a rare shot of WTIC's first towers on Avon Mountain. The towers supported the horizontal section of a "T" antenna, with the vertical portion dropping down to the little house in the middle of the picture. The bases of these two towers are still intact. The building was moved to a different location on the property and since 1973 has been the home of WWUH's transmitter.
WTIC (AM) dates back to 1925 when it came on the air with 500 watts of power from the 6th floor of the Travelers 26 Grove St bulding in Hartford where there were seven studios, most or all with control rooms. The station was licensed to the Travelers Insurance Company ("TIC") and had studios in downtown Hartford.
The 1931 CT State Register shows WTIC, owned by Travelers Broadcasting Service, operating on 1060 Khz with 50,000 watts, the most powerful statoin in the state. By 1941 they had changed frequency to 1080 khz.
According to contriubtor Robert Paine, the station broadcast from the observation deck of the well known Travelers Tower, Hartford's first skyscraper, on at least three occasions. These were during the floods of 1936, and the hurricanes of 1938 and 1944. In 1938, Ben Hawthorne and Tom McCray handled the broadcast(s), which WTIC fed to the NBC network. In 1944, Bernard "Bunny" Mullins reported conditions during the hurricane.
The power was increased to 50,000 watt operation on August 2, 1929 making it one of the very first few stations in the world to achieve that power level. The transmitter, affectionately referred to as "old number one" was the very first 50,000 watt transmitter ever manufactured by RCA and reportedly had serial number 001 (although at lease one contributor claims he has evidence that it was number 002). This RCA 50 transmitter was the first high power commercial transmitter to use 100-kilowatt tubes, the first to use mercury-vapor type rectifiers throughout, and the first capable of true 100 percent modulation of its full rated 50-kilowatt carrier output.
Studio locations include the Travelers Insurance building on Grove Street, Broadcast House at 3 Constitution Plaza and 1 Financial Plaza, the "Gold" building. In the late '90s WTIC moved to 10 Executive Drive in Farmington where they joined WRCH-FM and WZMX.
(See associated WTIC 1929 and WTIC Technical pages, left)
Above: Aerial view of the WTIC facility on Avon Mountain. Prior to moving to this site in the 1930's WTIC had it's antenna on top of a building in downtown Hartford. The two towers on the left are the two Blaw-Knox 1080 towers, errected in the late thirties. The bases of the two original tower can be seen in about half way between the towers on the left and the channel 3 tower on the right of the cleared area. The city of Hartford can be seen in the background.
Above: 1929 issue of amateur radio magazine QST featuring WTIC's new Avon Mountain tower site on the tower. Photo courtesy of wticalumni.com.
Statue of "The Broadcaster" which has been in the WTIC lobby for decades. Photo courtesy of wticalumni.com.
Above: For many years the WTIC studios were in the Travelers building at 26 Grove Street along with those of Channel 3. 2009 photo.
Above: Entrance to Broadcast Plaza on Constitution Plaza, home of WTIC, WTIC-FM and WTIC-TV (then channel 3) in the sixties and seventies. Photo c. '70s courtesy of wticalumni.com.
WTIC radio occupied the 19th floor of Hartford's "Gold Building" for close to two decades. 2009 photo.
Above: Program Guide, 1974. Photo courtesy of wticalumni.com.
The letterhead on the stationary used for editorials throughout the seventies.
Article about WTIC announcer Jean Colbert celebrating 25 years on the air.
Above: AM studio in 2002.
A problem about the history of The Hartford Courant, 1947
The assistant GM of WTIC is "drafted" to serve in the Censorship Dept. in 1943.
WTIC played a key roll in keeping the public informed about the disasterous Circus Fire in 1944
Children's show, 1941
Know someone who grew up listening to Hartford radio? Why not give them the book "Hartford Radio" as a gift? Over 220 images of Hartford's radio statoins and DJs going back to 1923!
Newscaster Phil Becker broadcasts from a temporary New Studio set up as part of a demonstratoin at G. Fox & Co.
WTIC ad, 1976
Tom Ray "(This) morning show (75 or 76) was done on the upper porch at the ConnecticutBuilding at the Big E on Connecticut Day so Tom McCarthy and Arnold Dean would be on hand when the doors opened. We got there bright and early at 4AM for a 5AM air time – it was a beautiful day to watch the sun come up over West Springfield. Left to right, Arnold Dean (sports and co-host), Joe Furey (weather), Tom McCarthy, and Tom Ray, CE."
Bob Steele LP!
Brad Davis, currently with WDRC, got his start in Hartford Radio at WTIC in the sixties.
Brand new Westinghouse 50HG transmitter installed at WTIC in 1947. The cost was $115,000.00, a huge amount of money in those days. This transmitter was used as the main transmitter until around 1980 when it was replaced by a Continental rig. The Westinghouse remainse in standby service for several more years.
Engineering staff, early '80s.
Gary Craig and Co.
Ross Miller (L), Jean Colbert (R)
WTIC morning man Hathaway (L)
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