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Radio broadcast
experiments began in the early 1900s and became practical by 1920.  Amateur radio enthusiasts all across the
country could obtain experimental licenses to broadcast at very limited

The first
commercial broadcasting station in the U.S. was KDKA in East Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania.  The first licensed
broadcast was the results of the 1920 Presidential election between Warren
Harding and James Cox.

In North
Carolina three men, trained in electronics, who worked for General Electric,
Westinghouse, and Southern Bell created a partnership and started the state’s
first commercial station, WBT, from downtown Charlotte in April 1922.

Brevard had
plenty of early licensed radio operators. 
In the 1930s the first Radio Club, The Transylvania Brass Pounders, was
established.  George Bromfield was the
President, members included Clarence Bowen, Frank Bridges, Lewis Hamlin, Alfred
Hampton, Byron Olney, C.K. Osborn, Bill Perkins, John Sledge, and Howard

For about 40 year WPNF was located on the Asheville Hwy., near the current Ingles.
Joan, Josephine, and Johnsee Lee give a live performance

 at WPNF in 1950.

It was not
until 1950 that Transylvania County had its first commercial radio station
though.  WPNF, Wonderful Pisgah National
Forest, “the friendly voice of Brevard and Transylvania County” began broadcasting
on 1240 AM on July 6, 1950.  The station
was owned by Pisgah Broadcasting and initially had six employees.  Ed Anderson was the company’s president, John
Eversman vice president, and John Anderson secretary.  The company was affiliated with the Mutual
Broadcasting system which provided network programming.  It was on the air between 6 a.m. (7 a.m. on
Sundays) and midnight. 

Judy Canova, Ed Anderson, and Adelaide Silversteen Van Wey

outside the WPNF station.

programming featured farm leaders, local ministers, and civic leaders.  Every Saturday morning Librarian Elizabeth
Kapp reviewed new books, presented the Bookmobile schedule and discussed
library activities.

WPNF, which
could also be heard in neighboring counties and upstate South Carolina, was the
voice of Brevard and Transylvania County until 1993 when it became WRAQ.  In 1997 Allen and Leah Reese purchased the
station and began operating it as WSQL, White Squirrel radio.  In 2007 a group of local investors bought the
station and moved it to it present West Main St. location.

Photographs and
information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina
Room, Transylvania County Library.  Visit
the NC Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about
our history and see additional photographs. 
For more information, comments or suggestions contact Marcy at
[email protected] or
828-884-3151 X242.

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(828) 884-3151

212 S Gaston St, Brevard, NC 28712