Friday, December 19, 2008
Corrections to Crosley Book
In addenda to the Crosley Errata Sheet: As most folks know, Powel Crosley, Jr.'s entry into the world of radio began with a visit to Cincinnati's Precision Equipment Company. The electrical goods store was one of the few retailers of radios or parts in town, as well as being the home of Cincinnati's first radio station, WMH.
The book states, incorrectly, that Crosley visited the store with his son, Powel, III, on Monday, February 20, 1920. February 20 was, in fact, a Friday, and the 20th was not the day the pair made the journey to Precision, anyway.
As Powel clearly relates in several interviews and in personal writings, that visit took place on Monday, February 23--the day after Washington's Birthday. In those days--and in fact until 1971--Washington's Birthday was celebrated on February 22, Washington's actual Birthday. (Washington was born February 12, old-style, in 1732, which converts to February 22 with the Greogorian calendar, which we've been using since 1752.)
In addition, the book and the article in Cincinnati Magazine refer to stations such as KDKA being assigned a "frequency" or "band" of 360 meters. In the original version of the book I was careful to make the distinction between frequency and band; frequency is the number of times a signal oscillates per second, while band is a group or range of frequencies. All that aside, what KDKA and other stations were assigned was a literal radio wavelength of 350 meters. I was not given a look at the hacked-up version of the manuscript or the galleys before publication. Corrections I provided for early hackings were ignored. Hence, I do not accept any responsbility for the errors, but I will provide corrections as I discover errors, for the sake of getting the historic facts correct.