Dr. Charles A. Culver

Charles+Culver004Dr. Charles A. Culver (1875-1969) was Wisconsin’s first broadcasting pioneer. In 1907, Dr. Culver became chair of the physics department at Beloit College and immediately began wireless experiments at the college. The following year he sent a wireless signal from a campus rooftop in Beloit to a public library 15 miles away in Rockford, Illinois. In 1909, he gave the first public demonstration of wireless telegraphy in Wisconsin by broadcasting the results of a track meet at the college’s athletic field to receivers on campus and at the Beloit Daily News.

By 1910, Dr. Culver had a 1,000-watt wireless station in daily operation at the college. He received Wisconsin’s first radio license–9XB, for Beloit College–in 1913. During World War I, Dr. Culver enlisted with the U.S. Signal Corps and formed a Beloit Signal Corps Company that saw service in Europe. After the war, he returned to Beloit College for a short time and then worked in the private sector for three years before returning to his alma mater, Carleton College, in Minnesota, where he put one of Minnesota’s first radio stations on the air and subsequently served 23 years as physics department chair.

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