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WCWS started as a portable station in Providence RI. It was owned by Charles W Selen whos initials it carried. At that time portable stations would move into an area and sell advertising to the locals. When the market got saturated they would move on. The government did not like this practice and wanted stations to settle in one area. Mr Selen, who owned the license got the backing of a wool mill owner in Worcester, Harold D Fouer, changed the call sign to WICC and opened the station in Bridgeport, CT. They went on the air August 2nd 1926, C Harold Campbell, radio engineer. 1

The station must have gone on the air at 249.9 meters because it was reported that WCWS changed frequency from 422.5 meters, November 29th, 1926 2

That being said, there is also a report on May 16th, 1927 of portable staion WCWS, operating out of the Hotel Green in Bridgeport. With this licence it was to operated as WICC at 236.21 vacelength. 3

WCWS is listed twice in the list of U. S. radio stations, 1920-1930

Then to confuse the history even more, the Steveson's Bulletin of Radio Broadcasting Stations, March 1926 list WCWS as operating at 210 meters and 100 watts.

In the same year, The Wonder Radio Log lists WCWS, Providence, RI at the same wavelingth and wattage.

I take this information as proof the 1920's were the wild west of broadcasting, especially when the station was a portable

A couple of interesting facts about Charles W Selen. In 1918, Selen along with Joseph C Gonyan and Thomas Taylor were certified by the State of Rhode Island to incorporate uder the name of Atlantic Film Company for the purpose of producing motion pictures. 4 and there is a programming listing in the January, 26 1924, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania for a radio show on WEAN in Providence with Charles W Selen and Gordon A Brunham. 5



Click to enlarge
Radio Digest March 1928


Click to enlarge
Radio Digest March 1928




WCWS
Providence


1 The Bridgeport Post, 01 Aug 1976, Sun, Page 67

2 Oakland Tribune, 29 Nov 1926, Mon, Page 4

3 The Bridgeport Telegram, 16 May 1927, Mon, Page 4

4 Acts and Resolves Passed by the General Assembly of The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

5 Wilkes-Barre Times Leader from Wilkes-Barre, June 26th, 1924