Prior to the invention of television the radio was used

Radios on display at the North Thompson Museum in Barriere. (NT Museum photo)

By Debbie Hernandez

North Thompson Museum Summer Student

Prior to television, the radio was used as the source for information and entertainment.

Some of those early electric radios are on display at The North Thompson Museum & Archives in Barriere.

A number of early radio shows that people tuned into included the Lone Ranger, Hockey Night in Canada, Cisco Kid, Hop Along Cassidy, and Laura Limited (which would only come on for 15 minutes in the morning.)

In 1937, the British Columbia Department of Education investigated the use of radio broadcasts in the schools. The general purpose was to stimulate learning and provide material such as music, science, and literature that could be difficult to obtain or too specialized for all teachers. As a result of these concerns, rural schools were the first consideration because of their isolation. The broadcasts were 30 minute’s long per day from 25 weeks.

One of the Darlington School teachers decided that the students could benefit from the daily school radio broadcasts and help them raise money by selling raffle tickets so that the school could buy a radio. In 1951 The School Radio Calendar listed such topics as “From Eastern Europe, It’s Greek To Us, Folk Songs from Canada, and Cowbells and Combines”.

When the radios quit, or a new one was purchased the radio cabinet was repurposed into a cabinet.

Source: Exploring Our Roots, and North Thompson Museum and Archives

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