Dakota Datebook

Linton Radio Reception

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


On this date in 1929, citizens in Linton were discussing how they could garner better radio reception. They had heard that an expert in the field, L. M. Parks of Minneapolis, was hired in Ellendale, and also in Williston, to clear up interference, and soon after, discussion of hiring him began in Linton.

They wanted to be sure his results were satisfactory—after all, he charged $1.50 per hour, which covered services, expenses and transportation. It cost Ellendale approximately $275. In 1929, that was a large sum. It was also the estimate that folks in Linton suspected they would have to pay. When the results of his work in the other towns came back as satisfactory, the residents of Linton decided to go ahead and have him come.

A voluntary fee paid by radio club members would help pay for the expert’s time. The club had around 43 members, with an open invitation to anyone in the community.

In the meantime, residents did what they could. In cooperation with the Emmons County Light and Power Co., all trees in Linton were trimmed, so that light wires running through the trees would not be grounded. Also, Linton was under ordinance to “protect” its radio owners. As a result, anyone running equipment that might cause interference and was aware of it had to quiet their machine, or they would be subject to a $25 dollar fine. With this ordinance, the measures they had already taken, and the measures they had yet to take, the locals felt that they could eliminate some of the current disturbances.

When Parks arrived and began investigating, he discovered 35 motors in the business district that contributed to poor reception. He began installing condensers and other noise-eliminating devices. Parks reported that Linton had fewer problems than some other towns he had been in, and with the new ordinance, he expected much better reception to follow.

Dakota Datebook written by Sarah Walker



Emmons County Free Press, Thursday, Sept. 19, 1929

Emmons County Free Press, October 3, 1929

Emmons County Free Press, October 10, 1929



This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Prairie Public.

Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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