Technician Ray Stahl
WCAU Radio
circa 1933

Here's the WCAU Model AA Ford Remote Truck along the East River Drive (now Kelly Drive) broadcasting the scull races along the Schuylkill River in the 1930's. At the very bottom of the original photo (not visible above) it says, "location: Falls of the Schuylkill." That is a section of Philadelphia along the Schuylkill River near City Avenue. This is a staged photo. Note the CBS sign laying against the tire.

Technician Ray Stahl is seen operating the remote amplifier sitting on the running board. Note the name on the side of the truck is WCAU Broadcasting & Amplifying Company. Ray came to WCAU from the Bell Telephone Company. He started in February of 1930, and retired in November of 1962. He passed away in April of 1970.

Longtime tech at WCAU Charlie Higgins said, "During my tenure there, Ray was the Audio Maintenance Supervisor. He had been in the Air Corp in WWI but I do not know in what capacity he served."

We have no idea the time frame of this shot, but we do know that it was in the thirties. In fact, it was at least 1932, because in that year, the corporation changed its name from Universal Broadcasting to WCAU Broadcasting. So it's after that date. Since the truck is a 1930 model, we also assume that the truck was bought new and had been repainted in 1932 when the company name changed. By 1934, several pieces of WCAU material in our archives show the corporate name being WCAU Broadcasting Company, Inc. So, we'll call the date of this photo as being 1933 since the truck looks freshly painted.

Does anyone know when they stopped calling it WCAU Broadcasting & Amplifying Company? In fact, we aren't convinced that it was ever officially called that. According to research done by the Broadcast Pioneers, it seems, according to government records and WCAU Radio documents from the thirties, that the official corporate name went from Universal Broadcasting directly to WCAU Broadcasting Company, Inc.

Former long-time tech at WCAU, Charlie Higgins writes...

Also, if I didn't mention it the Model AA Ford Remote Truck shown in one of the pix I sent you is a 1930 model. How do I know? Because I own a 1930 Model A Ford Tudor Sedan. I learned to drive in it, took my driver's test in it, and when I first went to work at WCAU that is what I drove. It was originally my father's car.

An e-mail from Ray Stahl, the technician's son, said:

I just came on your photo of the old WCAU Blue Truck. I remember the truck being parked in our back North Hills, PA. I believe that Dad was going with it to the Sleepy Hollow Ranch in Milford Township for a remote broadcast.... I remember many photos that my mother kept in scrapbooks for Dad.... There were quite a number of photos of the F.D.R. Inauguration in Washington D.C. I remember many happy days visiting with my Dad at 1622 Chestnut Street in Philadelphia.

From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photo originally donated by longtime WCAU technician Charlie Higgins
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