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On this page we have gathered together a large number of QSLs from various American shortwave broadcast stations that operated during the years 1923 to 1963. The goal is to display as many distinct designs as we can find. The basic organization is by state, with the QSLs combined into groups that sometimes contain a single station's QSLs, sometimes the QSLs of several stations. Each group is a single PDF. We have included QSLs from the "apex" stations. Not included are WWV, AFRTS, and U.N. Radio. The reverse sides of QSLs are included where they contain interesting information. Readers are urged to go to "American States on Shortwave" to find out more about the shortwave broadcasting history of each state.

The QSLs from American shortwave broadcast stations during the pre-World War II period and the first two decades after the war reflect the broadcasting structure of the day. From the beginning, American shortwave broadcasting was the province of private, non-governmental stations. The government got involved only in 1942, when it leased all the shortwave facilities from their private owners for the war effort. The Voice of America continued to lease these transmitters after the war until it began building its own. The private stations were viewed largely as experimental, hence the use of "X" calls until regular four-letter calls came into use in 1939. During the war years, the Office of War Information QSLed many stations with a red-white-and blue OWI design. Private shortwave broadcasting was never very profitable, and most of the stations were happy to turn over the keys to Uncle Sam when the time came.

We welcome additional QSLs for this collection.


VOICE OF AMERICA

There was no "Voice of America" until 1942, and most privately-owned stations continued to QSL on their own even after the VOA had leased their facilities. Once it began QSLing on its own, VOA mainly used a number of generic-style QSLs, which we show here. The first card shown is believed to be the first design used by the VOA to project itself as a distinct broadcaster, as opposed to a content provider for the private companies (the WOOC transmitter listed on the first card was a CBS-operated station located in Wayne, New Jersey ). Before the Voice of America moved to Washington, D.C. in 1954, it was located in New York City, hence the New York address on the 1949 and 1952 cards.

  • U.S. - New Jersey - VOA via WOOC, Wayne (1949)
  • U.S. - New York - VOA (1952) 
  • U.S. - California - VOA via KCBR, Delano (1960)
  • U.S. - Rhodes - VOA (1963)

CALIFORNIA - GE stations

Known as W6XBE until it changed call letters in 1939, San Francisco's KGEI became one of the most famous American stations, largely thanks to its service to American troops in the Pacific during World War II. Although conceived as a genuine international station, its main pre-war audience was American expatriates in the Far East. It moved from its Treasure Island-Golden Gate International Exposition location in San Francisco to nearby Belmont in 1941. -- W6XN in Oakland was more of a utility station than a shortwave broadcaster, but it carried broadcast programming during its short life, 1929-1930 (it had already gone silent when the second W6XN QSL was issued).

  • U.S. - California - W6XBE, San Francisco (1939)
  • U.S. - California - W6XBE, San Francisco (1939)
  • U.S. - California - KGEI, San Francisco (1940)*
  • U.S. - California - KGEI, San Francisco (1941)
  • U.S. - California - KGEI, San Francisco (1945)
  • U.S. - California - KGEI, San Francisco (1953)
  • U.S. - California - KGEI San Francisco
  • U.S. - California - KGEI, San Francisco (1955)
  • U.S. - California - KGEI, San Francisco (1958)
  • U.S. - California - KGEX, San Francisco (1945)

  • U.S. - California - W6XN Oakland
  • U.S. - California - W6XN, Oakland (1930)

*Ernie Moore collection, DX Australia, ARDXC, NFSA.


CALIFORNIA - CBS station KCBA-KCBF

KCBA and KCBF were established in 1944. Their calls were consolidated under call letters KCBR in 1951.

  • U.S. - California - KCBA KCBF, Delano (1945)

CALIFORNIA - Associated Broadcasters, Inc. station KWID-KWIX

San Francisco mediumwave station KFSO put shortwaver KWID on the air for the government in 1942. Another transmitter, KWIX, was added the following year.

  • U.S. - California - KWID, San Francisco (1945)
  • U.S. - California - KWIX, San Francisco (1945)
  • U.S. - California - KWID KWIX, San Francisco (1948)

CALIFORNIA - Other Shortwave Broadcasters

KROJ was run by Press Wireless, a commercial organization originally established to provide news to newspapers. It was primarily a utility broadcaaster, with transmitter location believed to have been Los Angeles. AT&T and RCA also carried some broadcast programming over their utility transmitters..

  • U.S. - California - KROJ, Los Angeles (1945)
  • U.S. - California - KWV AT&T, Dixon (1945)
  • U.S. - California - KRCA RCA, Bolinas (1944)

FLORIDA - Isle of Dreams Broadcasting Corp. station W4XB

W4XB was the shortwave outlet of "Wonderful Isle of Dreams" broadcaster WIOD (later WDJM). It was on the air from 1932 to 1940.

  • U.S. - Florida - W4XB, Miami (1936)
  • U.S. - Florida - W4XB WIOD, Miami (1938)
  • U.S. - Florida - W4XB, Miami (1939)

HAWAII - Voice of America and RCA

KGU in Honolulu was widely heard via the RCA utility transmitters in Kahuku.  This is how the "Hawaii Calls" program reached mainland broadcast band stations.  KRHO, the VOA relay station in  Hawaii, was one of the first relay stations built specifically for the VOA.  It came on air in December 1944.

  • U.S. - Hawaii - RCA KGU (1938)
  • U.S. - Hawaii - Voice of America KRHO (1945)

ILLINOIS - NBC station W9XF

W9XF was operated by NBC and mainly simulcasted standard broadcaster WENR. It operated from 1929 to 1938 (NBC ownership from 1932).

  • U.S. - Illinois - W9XF, Chicago (1935)
  • U.S. - Illinois - W9XF, Chicago (1937)

ILLINOIS - Chicago Federation of Labor station W9XAA

The main programming of W9XAA was Chicago Federation of Labor partner station WCFL.

  • U.S. - Illinois - W9XAA, Chicago (1934)

MASSACHUSETTS - World Wide Broadcasting Corp. station W1XAL-WRUL

Walter Lemmon bought W2XAL in New Jersey and in 1931 moved it to Boston as W1XAL. It became WRUL in 1939, and was widely acclaimed for its service to European-based freedom groups during World War II. After that its focus was educational programming. WRUL programs were considered the best of any U.S. shortwave station. But funding of the station was always a problem. WRUL became WNYW in 1966.

  • U.S. - Massachusetts - W1XAL, Boston (1934) 
  • U.S. - Massachusetts - W1XAL, Boston (1935)
  • U.S. - Massachusetts - W1XAL, Boston (1937)
  • U.S. - Massachusetts - W1XAL, Boston (1938)
  • U.S. - Massachusetts - W1XAL, Boston "No QSL" postcard
  • U.S. - Massachusetts - WRUA, Boston (1945)
  • U.S. - Massachusetts - WRUL, Boston (1946) 
  • U.S. - Massachusetts - WRUW, Boston (1949)
  • U.S. - Massachusetts - WRUL, Boston (1955) 
  • U.S. - Massachusetts - WRUL, Boston (1959)

MASSACHUSETTS - Westinghouse station W1XAZ-W1XK-WBOS

W1XAZ was the Westinghouse-owned shortwave station in Springfield, Massachusetts that simulcasted WBZ-WBZA. It moved to Boston in 1934 and became W1XK in 1935, WBOS in 1939.

  • U.S. - Massachusetts - W1XAZ, Boston (1935) 
  • U.S. - Massachusetts - W1XK, Boston (1938) 
  • U.S. - Massachusetts - WBOS, Boston (1944)

NEBRASKA - Westinghouse station KFKX

Westinghouse established KFKX in 1923 in order to relay KDKA programs, which it picked up from KDKA's shortwave transmitter.  KFKX operated on mediumwave, and also via its 9XW shortwave transmitter. It operated until 1927.

  • U.S. - Nebraska - KFKX, Hastings (1923)

NEW JERSEY - CBS station W2XE-WCBX

CBS shortwaver W2XE, with its New York City address, started out in Richmond Hill, then Jamaica, both on Long Island, relaying WABC mediumwave. It moved to Wayne, New Jersey in 1932, where it was co-located with WABC. By the mid-1930s, W2XE, like all the American shortwave stations, was beaming much programming overseas, including programming in languages other than English.  W2XE became WCBX, and moved to Brentwood, New York in September 1941.

  • U.S. - New York - 2XE, Richmond Hill, L.I., New York (1928)**
  • U.S. - New Jersey - W2XE, Wayne (1932) [possibly still in Jamaica, L.I., NY at this time]
  • U.S. - New Jersey - W2XE, Wayne 1936) 
  • U.S. - New Jersey - W2XE, Wayne (1937)
  • U.S. - New Jersey - W2XE, Wayne (1937)
  • U.S. - New Jersey - W2XE, Wayne (1938)
  • U.S. - New Jersey - WCBX, Wayne (1941)
** Slingsby Collection - http://vintageqsl.blogspot.com/

NEW JERSEY - Radio News/Aviation Radio Station, Inc. station W2XAL

This is not a QSL, but it memorializes the shortwave simulcaster of WRNY, which was owned by Radio News magazine. It was bought by the Aviation company in 1929, but it was soon sold again, and in 1931 it was moved to Boston, where it became W1XAL.

  • U.S. - New Jersey - W2XAL, Coytesville 

NEW JERSEY - NBC stations in Bound Brook

NBC station W3XAL was installed in 1930 at the WJZ broadcast band transmitter site in Bound Brook, New Jersey. W3XL, also an NBC station, operated in more of an experimental mode. Four-letter "W" calls were assigned to Bound Brook after "experimental" shortwave broadcast callsigns were phased out. "Bound Brook" became WBOU in 1955. The fourth card in the group is a generic "NBC New York" card, sometimes used to confirm programs originating on shortwave as point-to-point transmissions for rebroadcast over mediumwave or shortwave stations (on shortwave, usually over transmitters in New Jersey)..

  • U.S. - New Jersey - W3XAL, Bound Brook (1937) 
  • U.S. - New Jersey - W3XAL, Bound Brook (1938)
  • U.S. - New Jersey - W3XL, Bound Brook (1938) 
  • U.S. - New Jersey - NBC [VP3THE] (1938)
  • U.S. - New Jersey - WNBI, Bound Brook 
  • U.S. - New Jersey - WNRA, Bound Brook
  • U.S. - New Jersey - WNRE, Bound Brook
  • U.S. - New Jersey - WRCA, Bound Brook

NEW YORK - General Electric station W2XAF-W2XAD-WGEO-WGEA

Founded in 1925 at the GE plant in Schenectady, New York, W2XAF-W2XAD was one of the main shortwave broadcasters during the U.S. private-station era, and often the strongest U.S. signal received overseas. Later it took the call letters WGEA-WGEO.

  • U.S. - New York - 2XAD, Schenectady (1927)**
  • U.S. - New York - 2XAF, Schenectady (1927)**
  • U.S. - New York - W2XAF, Schenectady (1934)
  • U.S. - New York - W2XAF, Schenectady (1935)
  • U.S. - New York - W2XAD, Schenectady (1937)
  • U.S. - New York - WGEA WGEO, Schectady (1944)
** Slingsby Collection - http://vintageqsl.blogspot.com/

NEW YORK - CBS stations in Brentwood

CBS transferred its Wayne, New Jersey station to Brentwood, Long Island in 1941. Brentwood became WABC in 1951, WDSI later, both calls that it shared with Wayne (Wayne returned to the air in 1944. WOOC and WOOW [among the calls on the last card] were actually located in Wayne.)

  • U.S. - New York - WCRC WCBX WCDA, Brentwood (1942)
  • U.S. - New York - WCRC WCBX WCDA, Brentwood (1943)
  • U.S. - New York - WDSI, Brentwood (1953)
  • U.S. - New York - CBS, Brentwood (1944)

NEW YORK - Other Shortwave Broadcasters

W2XV was owned by Radio Engineering Laboratories, a radio manufacturer. It came on the air in 1930. The Voice of the Maritime Trades Department was a program for ships' crews. It was sponsored by the AFL-CIO and transmitted on Sundays by Press Wireless, which transmitted other programming as well.

  • U.S. - New York - W2XV, Long Island City, Queens (1931)
  • U.S. - New York - Press Wireless, Hicksville, L.I.
  • U.S. - New York - Voice of the Maritime Trades Dept., via Press Wireless, Hicksville, L.I. (1959)

OHIO - Crosley station W8XAL-WLWO

WLWO was one of the most-recognized call letters associated with the Voice of America. It started out as Powell Crosley's station W8XAL, and adopted the four-letter call in 1939.

  • U.S. - Ohio - W8XAL, Cincinnatti (1937)
  • U.S. - Ohio - W8XAL, Cincinnatti
  • U.S. - Ohio - WLWO, Cincinnati (1943)*
  • U.S. - Ohio - WLWO, Cincinnatti (1947)
*Ernie Moore collection, DX Australia, ARDXC, NFSA.

PENNSYLVANIA - CBS station W3XAU-WCAB

CBS shortwaver W3XAU went into operation in 1930. It simulcasted WCAU. In the mid-1930s, W3XAU increased power to 10 kw.; the transmitter was located in Newtown Square, near Philadelphia. W3XAU became WCAB, and operated until 1941.

  • U.S. - Pennsylvania - W3XAU, Philadelphia (1933)
  • U.S. - Pennsylvania - W3XAU, Philadelphia (1934)
  • U.S. - Pennsylvania - W3XAU, Philadelphia (1935)
  • U.S. - Pennsylvania - W3XAU, Philadelphia (1937)
  • U.S. - Pennsylvania - W3XAU, Philadelphia (1938)
  • U.S. - Pennsylvania - WCAB, Philadelphia (1941)

PENNSYLVANIA - Westinghouse station W8XK-WPIT

The most historic American shortwave station, W8XK reflects the call letters of the first American shortwave broadcaster, 8XK (1924), which was operated by Westinghouse from its Pittsburgh plant starting in 1923 (as 8XS). It relayed KDKA. The call letters changed to WPIT in 1939. The station closed in 1940, when Westinghouse shortwave work shifted to Boston.

  • U.S. - Pennsylvania - KDKA SW, Pittsburgh (1925)***
  • U.S. - Pennsylvania - KDKA SW, Pittsburgh (1928)**
  • U.S. - Pennsylvania - W8XK, Pittsburgh (1934)
  • U.S. - Pennsylvania - WPIT, Pittsburgh (1940)

**Slingsby Collection - http://vintageqsl.blogspot.com/
***Atherton Collection - http://vintageqsl.blogspot.com/


APEX BAND STATIONS

The apex stations were active from the mid-1930s to 1941. They operated on an experimental basis in regular AM mode on high shortwave frequencies, often around 26-31, some higher. Many eventually changed over to FM. These QSLs are from apex stations that operated below 30 MHz. (Changes in frequency among the apex stations were not unusual, and some were authorized to operate on more than one channel.)

  • U.S. - California - W6XKG KGFJ Los Angeles (1937)
  • U.S. - California - W6XKG Los Angeles (1937)
  • U.S. - Colorado - W9XLA, Denver (1940)
  • U.S. - Minnesota - W9XTC WTCN, Minneapolis (1938)
  • U.S. - Minnesota - W9XTC WTCN, Minneapolis (1939)
  • U.S. - Minnesota - W9XUP KSTP, St. Paul (1938)
  • U.S. - Missouri - W9XA KITE, Kansas City (1938)
  • U.S. - Missouri - W9XA KITE, Kansas City
  • U.S. - New York - W2XJI WOR, New York (1939)
  • U.S. - Oklahoma - W5XAU WKY, Oklahoma City (1940)
  • U.S. - Pennsylvania - W3XKA, Philadelphia (1936) Seemingly not a QSL
  • U.S. - Pennsylvania - W3XKA KYW, Philadelphia (1937)
  • U.S. - Tennessee - W4XCA WMC, Memphia (1938)
  • U.S. - Texas - W5XD WFAA, Dallas (1939)
  • U.S. - Wisconsin - W9XAZ WTMJ, Milwaukee (1937)
  • U.S. - Wisconsin - W9XJL, Superior (1938)