March 2018 Luncheon Meeting

Friday, March 16, 2018

Worlds First Radio Broadcast

James E. O’Neal

A look back in time to 1906 at what may be considered to be the first radio broadcast, the technology employed, as well as the events leading up to this event.

This is a closeup look at the fabled “world’s first radio broadcast” event on Dec. 24, 1906. James has done a lot of research on this broadcast in preparation for a commemorative article in 2006. He has discovered many things about this event that do not appear in the history books. Interesting aspects are Fessenden’s methodology for producing a carrier wave and amplitude-modulated it in an era before the vacuum tube or solid-state devices were available. He will share a number of pictures–some never seen in print or on the Internet before–that provide additional insight into what wireless transmission operations looked like more than 100 years ago.

James E. O’Neal has been involved in broadcasting for more than half a century, beginning with part-time employment at a hometown radio station during his high school years, and continuing on that basis in both radio and television operations throughout his high school and college years. Following graduation from the University of Arkansas in 1969, he embarked on a full-time broadcast engineering career that spanned nearly 37 years, with more than three decades at U.S. Government television operations, including the United States Information Agency’s Television and Film service, WORLDNET Television and VOA-TV.

James enjoys researching and writing about broadcasting history and persons making important contributions in this field. He also enjoys collecting and restoring both consumer radio and television items and commercial broadcasting equipment. He holds both commercial and amateur radio licenses and has earned SBE Professional Broadcast Engineer Life Certification. James serves as a member of the board of directors of the Early Television Foundation, and has previously served in the same capacity at the National Capital Museum of Radio and Television.

You can register for the meeting below.

If you have ideas for luncheon programs, please contact Martin Doczkat at

Networking starts at 11:45 AM with Lunch beginning at 12:30 PM

Parking Changes:

The Holiday Inn has recently installed gates on the parking garages. Parking for the meeting is still free. Please take a ticket on your way in. You will need this ticket along with a validation ticket you will get at the meeting that will be used as the payment on your way out of the garage.

Luncheon meetings are open only to AFCCE members and their guests. The cost of the luncheon is $55.00 per person or $65.00 for reservations not received prior to the deadline.

Please RSVP online with the form below by 5 pm Monday, March 12th. To RSVP directly to John Reiser by phone at (703) 780-4824, or email

All reservations requests and online payments will be confirmed by an email message or phone call. If you do not receive a confirmation email please email to verify it was received.

Meeting Location
Holiday Inn at Key Bridge
1900 North Fort Myer Drive
Arlington, VA 22209

Driving Directions: The Holiday Inn provides free parking however, they have recently installed gates on the parking garage. You will need to take a ticket on the way into the garage and get it validated at the meeting.

Metro: The Holiday Inn is two blocks north of the Rosslyn Metro Station – Orange, Blue and Silver lines. Exit the station through the “back door” (up the stairs) and turn right onto North Fort Myer Drive.
Map & Directions

Lunch Menu

If you have special dietary requirements or allergies, please send a separate email to

Main Course (Select one choice for all attendees in the form below)
Roast Top Round Sirloin
Stir-Fry Vegetables (Vegan)

Tossed Salad
German Chocolate Cake