Author: John Ramsey
# of Pages: 128
Over 220 high quality images
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
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Radio broadcasting has been an integral part of the history of Hartford since the early part of the 20th century. WDRC was the state’s first station (1923), and they helped pioneer FM radio technology in the early 1940s. Many Hartford residents learned about the end of World War II via radio, and the medium played a key role in keeping people informed during the floods of 1938 and 1955, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the great Northeast Blackout of 1965. Surprisingly, Hartford, the capital of “the land of steady habits,” saw two stations break from the pack to help bring the British Invasion to the state in the early 1960s. And thousands of schoolchildren eagerly listened to WTIC’s legendary Bob Steele on wintery mornings as they excitedly awaited school closing announcements. Hartford Radio offers a glimpse into the history of the area’s broadcast stations and the people who ran them.
WTIC (AM) TECHNICAL (MISC)
This room on the third floor of the transmitter building used to be the engineering department office. Currently it contains a number of public safety two way radio systems.
For many years there were shifts of engineers working 24/7 at the tower site just to maintain the 1080 signal. This room in the basement was a machine
shop which allowed the engineers to fabricate parts if required.
Old 4,800 volt switch gear in the basement.
This photo was part of the application for a new FM station which was to become WTIC-FM. It is taken looking southwest from the top of the East AM
1923 Transmitting Room Log
This 1957 photo was take the same year that channel 3 went on the air. Their self-supporting tower can be seen to the left of the building. Also note the turnstyle-type antenna on the roof towards the rear of the building. Antennas of this type were often used for transmitting in the early days of FM broadcasting so perhaps this is one of the original W53H (WTIC-FM) antennas although there is some speculation that it might have also been used for an FAA beacon at the site.
Original 50,000 watt AM transmitter tubes in attic.
This water tower was used to store spring water for use in the tansmitter building, esp. important since the early WTIC transmitter was water cooled.
Up until the early sevenites this 3rd floor room contained a number of bunks which could be used by engineers when they were snowed in during the winter. It is currently being used to house a large blower for the Continental back up transmitter.
Picture of the transmitter building with WFSB TV tower in foreground.
The entire building is screened in copper!
There were reports that these thick, steel shutters were installed on the building after the Cuban Missile Crisis when the government went around hardening clear channel stations. However, we spotted the shutters on construction photos from 1929 so we assume they are storm shutters for
use duing hurricanes.
View from the north of the compound looking south at the East AM tower. Behind that is the WFSB TV tower and behind that is the WTIC-FM/WWUH tower.
Early 80's engineering staff: L-R, Larry Titus, ?, Jim McGivern.
Danger, High Voltage! This is the base of the west AM tower which during the day has 32 amps of RF in it! Note extensive ground screen.
Photo of the transmitter building in 1957. The TV tower is on the left and the east AM tower can be seen in the background. Note the multi-bay turnstyle antenna on the roof the the buidling to the rear. This may be the origian W53H low band FM antenna.
In the attic of the transmitter building we found the signature above written on the underside of the roofing tile,
probably by one of the workers.
Engineer Chuck Dube in one of the production studios.
One of the original 50kw tubes on display at the
WTIC studio in Farmington, 2011 photo.