Some interesting recollections about high-power radio transmissions causing toasters to sing and the like.

Date: Sat, 09 Jun 2001 09:21:51 -0000
From: (spam-protected)
To: (spam-protected)
Subject: Singing Toasters – Just for Starters!

Back in the middle 1930s, Cincinnati’s clear channel radio station WLW broadcast at hi-power – 500,000 watts, ten times today’s standard – and measured its DAYTIME audience to include Hawaii and Scotland. (Mrs. Simpson, the future Duchess of Windsor, listened for a little touch of home and sent fan mail.)

People who then lived around WLW’s Mason, Ohio, transmitter received WLW programs over electric toasters, light bulbs, vacuum sweepers, electric AND gas stoves, clocks, COAL (!) furnaces, water and gas pipes and right up out of kitchen and bathroom drains! (Shades of Stephen King’s IT!) One woman – personally known to me three decades later – listened to WLW out of the kitchen drain all day, but the signals always stopped just before her husband came home from work. He merely assumed that his young wife was going nuts, but the real explanation was that WLW changed its directional antenna array at night.

During World War Two the transmitter was retuned to shortwave and became known as WLWO (WLW Overseas), broadcasting programs especially to Nazi-occupied Europe. After the War it became the anchor transmitter for Voice of America broadcasts to the Iron Curtain countries.

George Wagner (spam-protected) (spam-protected)

— In (spam-protected) (spam-protected) wrote:

A year or more ago during a discussion of odd EMF effects, etc , I mention that as a teen I remembered that one Summer my family rented an isolated camp. That camp had an old style toaster in it and on quiet nights you could clearly hear a local radio station from the toaster.How ??? beats me ! Resonating wires sounds good but I think it’s an oversimplification.


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