The Sears & Roebuck Co. founded WLS ( WORLDS LARGEST STORE) on April 12,1924. In 1938, the station’s transmitter was moved to Tinley Park, Illinois In 1931 and the station’s power was increased from 5,000 watts to 50,000 watts using a RCA 50 kw transmitter.
The 50F even had a door that you could walk through to get into the transmitter from the front. Here, the door to the power supply section is open.
Transmitter site Tinley Park, Illinois
Ralph Beaudin was the station’s president and general manager, and oversaw the station’s transformation into a rock and roll / top 40 station.Sam Holman was the station’s program director and an afternoon DJ. Beaudin and Holman were both brought in from KQV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Could of been our own Joe WB3AGB !
The station also experimented successfully in many forms of news broadcasting, including weather and crop reports. Its most famous news broadcast was the eyewitness report of the Hindenburg disaster by Herbert Morrison. Morrison and engineer Charles Nehlsen had been sent to New Jersey by WLS to cover the arrival of the Hindenburg for delayed broadcast. Their recordings aired the next day on May 7, 1937, the first time that recordings of a news event were ever broadcast.
Herbert Morrison born May 14th, Connellsville, Pa. In 1905 best known for his dramatic report of the Hindenburg disaster, a catastrophic fire that destroyed the LZ 129 Hindenburg zeppelin on May 6, 1937, killing 36 people.Morrison served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and became a radio reporter and the first news director at WTAE-TV in Pittsburgh. He ran for Congress three times as a Pennsylvania Republican during the 1950s.