Smile Politely

WILL is 99 years old today

On this day in 1922, WRM (which would eventually become WILL-AM) first hit the airwaves, broadcasting from the U of I Electrical Engineering Lab. From their website:

“The call letters stand for “We Reach Millions.” WRM possessed the only two vacuum tubes on campus — tubes so fragile they had to be cooled by blasts of an electric fan to avert disaster. They were so rare that they were borrowed during off-the-air hours for Professor Joseph Tykociner’s pioneer work with sound film.”

A few other milestones:

  • 1928 – Call letters changed to WILL
  • 1935 – Began operating on the 580 AM frequency, where it still broadcasts today
  • 1941 – WILL-FM began broadcasting
  • 1955 – WILL-TV began broadcasting
  • 1999 – The current home of WILL, Campbell Hall, is dedicated
  • 2009 – WILL becomes Illinois Public Media

You can read more about the history of the of this important public media source here.

Top photo from Illinois Public Media website.

Staff writer

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