KHQ received a license to transmit from the rooftop of the Peyton Building on 2 October 1925 and officially signed on from there on 30 October 1925, when KHQ first broadcast in Spokane from studios in the Davenport Hotel. In August 1928, KHQ moved both its studio from the Davenport Hotel and transmitting facilties from the Peyton Building to the Standard Stock Exchange Building across the street from the Davenport. The Standard Stock Exchange building was later referred to as Radio Central Building. This building was also referred to as the Eilers building.
The transmitting facility was installed by Brott Laboratories of Seattle.
The original FCC application for KHQ after the move to Spokane dated September 1925 states that the transmitter was installed at 739 Peyton Building and that it was a homemade composite VT telephone type.
Its specs were listed as follows:
Total tubes - eight 250 watt type tubes
Plate voltage - 1800 volts
Two oscillators - 150 milliamperes each
Two modulators - 75 milliamperes each
Filament voltage - 14 volts
Filament current - 48 amperes
This differs from the transmitter that was described in the last application for KHQ in Seattle.
The specs for the transmitter changed somewhat in subsequent license applications. Obviously, technicians made slight adjustments to the transmitter.
The antenna in September 1925 was described as a "T" type. It was said to be 175 feet above the ground. The horizontal length was 100 feet and the vertical length was 75 feet. The ground connection length was 100 feet and the counterpoise was 100 65-foot lengths of wire. Two 12/27 wires spaced 8 feet apart were used for the aerial, which were strung between two wooden towers. (NOTE: the the Spokesman Review article describing the towers said they were made of steel. See below.)
The antenna system in subsequent applications was described as an "ell" type and the dimensions were similar to what was described in the original application.
KHQ in the Peyton Building
The following is an account by Carl Partlow (1907-1987) of KHQ's transmitter plant in the Peyton Building.
"As I remember the early days of starting of KHQ the transmitter and all equipment was located in the Peyton Building, Post and Riverside at the there was an entrance on both Riverside and Sprague, no entrance on the west center.
"The transmitter was located in the first room at the top of the stairs from the Riverside entrance. The transmitter was powered by rooms full of batteries (car) adjoining the transmitter room to the south. The high voltage was brought in to the transmitter by means of a lead covered cable with the positive conductor in the center. The transmitter was made of a material somewhat like Masonite approx. 2' X 2' and rather high with a knife switch located near the top of the face of the xmtr for off and one the air.
"The first operator of that station was Art Stimson. One day he lightning hit the antenna coming down to the xmtr. shorting he HV [high voltage] our as it heated it had a warming effect and when Art had a chance he went out the door and Louie Wasmer was unable to find Art for another two weeks. This putting the station in a bind financially with all those borrowed batteries."
According to Richardson in Puget Sounds, the equipment shown in the above photo was installed right after KHQ moved to Spokane. If true, it would have been installed in the Peyton Building. (Click on the image for a larger view.)
COMMENT: When KHQ transmitted from the Peyton Building, Carl Partlow was a young man and by 1935 worked at C. & C. Radio Service, a downtown Spokane radio parts and service store which may have conducted business with KHQ. Additionally, Partlow became acquainted with radio technicians of the time through his business contacts. Therefore, even though Partlow did not work at KHQ, it is quite possible that he had an intimate knowledge of KHQ's transmitting plant.
NEWSPAPER ARTICLES DESCRIBING FACILITIES
Below you will find transcriptions of newspaper articles written in 1925 describing the facilities in detail.
From a Spokane Chronicle article appearing in sometime in 1925, we learn that a broadcasting facility was being built in the Peyton Building as well as other interesting tidbits.
NEW RADIO STATION TODAY
Final Touches Made Yesterday on KHQ Installed at Peyton Building.
SEEK PROGRAM CONTRACT
Hotel and Stores May Put Programs on Air - Longer Wave Length Planned.
Final touches on the 1000-watt radio broadcasting station, in the process of erection in the Peyton Building by the Inland Empire Broadcasting association, were put on yesterday by F. J. Brott, of the Brott laboratories, Seattle, one of the best known radio engineers on the Coast.
Has Late Equipment
Louis Wasmer, president of the association, expected the aerials and power transmitting apparatus to be in shape for tests by Mr. Brott some time today. The same amplification equipment is being installed on all the later San Francisco and Seattle stations. It is said by Brott to be the most perfect for all ranges of vibration.
A novelty in the make-up of the Spokane station is the use of a Willard battery source of power, capable of giving 1600 volts plate supply. The elimination of the usual motor generator hum, which proves so troublesome when that source of power is used, is accomplished by this move, Mr. Brott stated, giving a clean carrier wave.
Program broadcasting is not scheduled to start for some time, according to F. A. Buhlert, director. Several big contracts with Spokane hotels and stores for putting their programs on the ether are under consideration, said Mr. Muhlert. ((Editor's comment: Yes, his surname was spelled to different ways in the original article.))
May Increase Wave
The station, which will be known as KHQ, will have a temporary wave length of 273 meters. The association hopes to change this to a longer wave length in the immediate future. O. R. Redfern, supervisor for the seventh district, is to be here today, and will give the first formal inspection, Mr. Buhlert said.
In the Spokesman-Review on 30 October 1925, we learn some more details about the Peyton Building transmitter plant.
KHQ radio broadcasts here
Spokane has finally hit the air waves as Louis Wasmer premiered his 1,000-watt KHQ Radio today. Listeners will be thrilled to know the station broadcasts entirely with storage battery energy, the latest in machinery. The station has twin 70-foot metal signal towers atop the Peyton Building, held firm by one-half mile of cables. Those towers are topped by 90-foot antennae. These towers will send good news about Spokane throughout the Northwest.
In honor of KHQ's first broadcast, stations in Seattle went silent for one hour, prompting citizens to tune in Spokane. Local radio personality Frank Buhlert was heard as far away as St. Paul, where his voice resonated with crystal clarity. The studios are located in the stylish Davenport Hotel's fourth floor. Wasmer plans to let area communities send talented musicians to the station to promote their towns.
HISTORICAL PEYTON BUILDING STILL STANDING
The Peyton Building is still standing and been placed on the National Register of Historical Places. However, the towers were removed many years ago.
COMMENT: Although we have some pictures of the Peyton Building and possibly of the some of the transmitting equipment, we have no pictures or even drawings of the towers or aerials.
Main entrance of the Peyton Building.
The Peyton Building is visible on the right side of the picture.
Street view of the Peyton Building.
View of the Peyton Building including its west facing facades on the annex.
- FCC license files as transcribed by Xen Scott in about 1980.
- KHQ Radio Broadcasting Station Licenses and License Applications from 1922 to 1930. Federal Communications Commission. Washington, DC. From the National Archives, College Park, Maryland.
- "KHQ Dedicates New Station." Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. 8 August 1928.
- "KHQ Radio Broadcasts Here." Spokesman-Review. Spokane, Washington. 30 October 1925.
- "New Radio Station Today." Spokane Chronicle. Spokane, Washington. 1925 (date and month not available).
- Partlow, Carl. A circa 1980 handwritten account of KHQ's transmitter plant which was to have appeared in the Early Days of Spokane Radio.
- Richardson, David. Puget Sounds.
KHQ 1100 - 30 October 1925 - 1 kW
KHQ 760 - 21 April 1927 - 1 kW
KHQ 810 - 1 June 1927 - 1 kW