Radio stations in interwar Poland

Radio stations in interwar Poland

The pioneers of radio in Poland were officers - soldiers of Polish origins, who served in units of German, Austrian and Russian armies in the World War I. In the fall of 1918, shortly after the war, these experts started to help out with organizing Polish radio. On November 4, 1918 in Kraków, a field station, previously used by Austrian army, sent first Polish radio signals. Soon, more field stations - this time German, were captured by the Poles in Warsaw and Poznań. Obviously, at first radio was used for military purposes only. Knowledge of Polish experts in this field was well used during the 1920 Polish-Soviet War.

In 1924 radio possibilities in Poland greatly expanded, and no longer were the domain of the army. In October of this year a bill was introduced, by which civilians were allowed to buy, own and run a station.

Polish radio and its expansion

In August 1925, a bid for the organization of the nationwide radio network was completed. The winner - Polskie Radio S.A., with its director Zygmunt Chamiec - on April 18, 1926 started to broadcast regular programs. The first station was located in Warsaw and the equipment was an English station Marconi Wireless. It was soon replaced by a stronger unit, with 10 Kilowatts. Old equipment was moved to Cracow. Later on, Warsaw’s station was expanded. Among others, it achieved five new studios, at Zielna street.

Within next years, Polish Radio S.A. opened new stations in other main cities across the nation. In 1927 in Cracow and Katowice, at the beginning of 1928 in Wilno (see: Polish Radio Wilno), and in mid-1928 in Poznan. In 1930 additional two stations in Lwow (see: Polish Radio Lwow) and Łódź were added. Also, in the same year, a temporary station Warsaw II was organized.

On May 24, 1931, an impressive construction was completed. It was the aerial mast, located at Raszyn, close to Warsaw. With power of 120 kilowatts, it was the strongest transmitter in Europe. At the same time, Polskie Radio strengthened stations in Wilno and Lwów, expanding their power to 16 kilowatts.

The next stations were opened in Toruń (1935), a permanent station Warsaw II (1937) and in Baranowicze (1938, see Polish Radio Baranowicze). The last station that was supposed to start broadcasting in the fall of 1939, at Luck, Volhynia, was almost completed by September 1, 1939—the transmitter was to be brought from Warsaw by October. Unfortunately, the war halted these plans forever.

List of Polish radio stations, summer 1939

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