Professor Earle Terry

Earle-TerryWisconsin’s “First” broadcast pioneer began experimenting with wireless transmissions while and undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, perhaps as early as 1902. He continued his experiments while a graduate Physics student and from the period of 1909 to 1912, made great advances in wireless telegraphy experiments. After 1915, when the experimental license, 9XM (licensed to Professor Edward Bennett of the UW’s Electrical Engineering Department) was transferred to the Physics Department, now-Professor Terry became the driving force behind all of the experiments at UW-Madison. He and his students made all of the necessary equipment, including blowing glass tubes at a laboratory near the station.

Terry’s passion for radio led him to institute some of the first regular broadcasts in the nation – weather reports, first by telegraphy and then through voice transmission. He managed 9XM through World War I, when nearly all the country’s radio stations were silent, save 9XM, which conducted experiments for the U.S. Navy. Post-war activities had Professor Terry creating a regular schedule of programming and obtaining one of the first regular licenses in the nation as 9XM became WHA radio. He managed WHA until his death in 1929.

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