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William Francis Goodreau was born September 14th, 1901 4 to Frank and Catharine. Frank was a Journeyman Bricklayer and Catharine was a homemaker. He had 6 siblings in 1910, 4 brothers and 2 sisters. His father was born in France and his mother in New York 5. William married Virginia Pearson on October 25th, 1923 7. They lived in her fathers boarding house at 68 Charles Field street in Providence with Virginia's father Harry, Mother Sophia, Virginia's sister Dorothay and 12 boarders 6. His occupation was listed as Radio Work 6. Williams radio work seems to have started when he as hospitalized in 1920 for an unknown illness that seems to have kept him bed ridden. It was there that he was introduced to radio by Troop 5 in Providence 8.

In 1928 William wins the $100 prize for his article in Radio News titled "An RF Short-Wave Broadcast Receiver" Also in 1928 9 Williams listed occupation changes to Publicity Man and continues in 1930 10, 1933 11, and 1935 12. In 1937 13 William is the owner of a Art Craft Studio and still lives at 68 Charles Field street in Providence with his in-laws.

William changes careers in 1939 14 and becomes a greeting card manufacturer. Mr Goodreau makes a major career change in 1940 according to the 1940 censue where his occupation is listed as a Propritor of used cars sales 15. Jumping careers again he is listed as a printer in 1941 and his home is now in North Attleboro, MA 16. In 1942 he is still listed as a printer but now living at 734 Westminster in Providence.

No new listing is found until his California death certificate on June 27th, 1966 17.

No matter what Mr Goodreau did his main interest was designing and building new receiving sets and seeing how many distant stations he could tune in. He did not own a radio company or sell his sets. He did write for magazines 1. In a letter to “Radio In The Home” in January of 1924 he wrote in a letter to the editor:

"I am a radio experimenter ; have been confined to bed for the last three years, having been ill seven years, but I design and construct radio sets, not for sale, but for my own pleasure. I drill all panels, etc., while flat on my back, and I sure do have a lot of fun. I build all kinds of sets, including the Grimes as described in one of your past issues. Also tried regeneration with Grimes, and my advice is DON'T DO IT. For a living I write for magazines. "If you are interested in this receiver please let me know and I will be glad to write an article on this set, or should you desire I will give you all the dope on it and you can build it and describe it to your readers. I have several sets now, including a reflex, but this one is my best for distance.” 1


He wrote a lot of articles for the magazine “Radio In The Home”. I have found a total of 8 articles which are included on this page. Although he did not ever sell his sets, other companies used his articles to sell the parts needed to build. You will notice the ads included on this page with parts called out that can be used for Mr Goodreau’s sets.

In one article Mr Goodreau goes on a “Special Mission” for “Radio In The Home” to test a portable set he designed. The set is promoted as being for the vacationist. In his testing Mr Goodreau states:

"During tests of this receiver, I have heard on antenna alone or ground alone, Station KDKA, which is over 600 miles from Providence, R. I., where the set was tested. With antenna and ground together, have heard Station WTAM at Cleveland, Ohio, and Station WDAP at Chicago. The music was clear, but not as loud as it would be on a full-size receiver.” 2



By September of 1924, “Radio In The Home” describes Mr Goodreau like this:






Troop 5 with their radio setup for patients
at Rhode Island Hospital
This is where an aling Mr Goodreau was introduced to radio.
Wireless Age November, 1922.

ONE OF THE MOST REMARKABLE MEN IN RADIO 3

This is W. Francis Goodreau. Contributing Editor "Radio In The Home." Mr. Goodreau as been bedridden for years. He does all of his studying, experimenting and set building flat on his back, and in spite of his physical handicap has worked himself up among the ranks of America's most popular and successful radio writers.



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Radio in the home
December, 1924

Click to enlarge
Radio in the home,
November, 1924

Click to enlarge
Radio in the home
March, 1924

Click to enlarge
Radio in the home
September, 1923


ARTICLES


January 1924

An Ideal Circuit
For The Ducoit Plug

March 1924

Goodreau Answers Questions
About His Famous Circuit

April 1924

Goodreau's Spider
Web Portable Set

May 1924

A Favorite Circuit,
Simplified

July 1924

Radio Frequency and
the Goodreau Split Variometer

September 1924

Building Radio Sets
That Work

October 1924

How Far Will This Set Receive?

December 1924

Another Favorite Circuit Simplified



1 An Ideal Circuit For the Ducoit Plug, January, 1924

2 Goodreau's Spiderweb Portable Set, April, 1924

3 Building Radio Sets That Work, September, 1924

4 William Francis Goodreau 1935 Census Card

5 1910 US Census

6 1930 US Census

7 Providence Marriage Records, 1921-1923

8 What Radio Means To Me, Radio Broadcast, January 1924

9 1928 Providence Street Directory

10 1930 Providence Street Directory

11 1933 Providence Street Directory

12 1935 Providence Street Directory

13 1937 Providence Street Directory

14 1939 Providence Street Directory

15 1940 US Censue

16 1941 Providence Street Directory

17 California Death Notice