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Westchester Public Radio
serving NY's lower Hudson valley

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Historic photos

from the WDFH Technical Photograph Archive

<<  Return to tech photo index.

These photographs from the WDFH Technical Photograph Archive show equipment that we believe was designed and used by Maj. Edwin Howard Armstrong, the inventor of FM, in the early days of his FM experiments.  These are old, sometimes unidentified photographs; where captions are available, they are provided here in quotation marks.

An excellent history of Armstrong's invention of FM (among other important developments in radio) can be found in Tom Lewis's fascinating book, Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio,  published by Harper Perennial Books in 1993.  Ken Burns also did a PBS documentary based on the book.

Armstrong photo 1

"Second transmitter modulating equipment at Empire State Building, showing multiplexing apparatus (Armstrong System)"


Armstrong photo 2


Armstrong photo 3

Presumably one of Armstrong's transmitters.


Armstrong photo 4

"Armstrong receiving apparatus at home of George Burghard, Westhampton, L.I."  This photograph appears to be of the right part of an L-shaped desk; the equipment on the left part of the desk is pictured in the photograph below.


Armstrong photo 5

"Armstrong receiving apparatus at home of George Burghard, Westhampton, L.I."  The large map at the left is of Long Island and NYC; the document in the lower frame on the wall is unreadable but the one in the upper frame is a Radio Operator License issued by the Federal Radio Commission, the government agency that licensed radio stations from 1927 until 1934, when the FCC was formed.  This photograph is presumably from that era.


Armstrong photo 6

This photograph is not identified, but the equipment (radio cabinets, large speaker) suggests a receiving station.


Armstrong photo 7

This one is also not identified, but the presence of a microphone on the desk and a turntable (in floor cabinet behind chair) suggests a transmitting station.  The pictures on the wall are of sailboats, and this may be in someone's home.