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KSFO Staff Photo, 1942

The identities of most of the people are not known (can you help?)

Shown in the black-and-white photo are staff members of KSFO in San Francisco, standing in front of the station’s brand-new transmitter plant, located on Islais Creek in the southeast part of the city.

(click thumbnail)
Photos courtesy of Penny Wilkes and Art Leberman

The Blaw-Knox tower on the roof of the building is for the station’s 5 kW AM signal on 560 kHz. The four sets of transmission lines moving off to the left are for KWID, the 100 kW shortwave station that KSFO owner Wesley I. Dumm built in 1942 at the request of the government. Its curtain antennas were supported by wooden poles off to the left of the photo. Its signals were heard throughout the Pacific during World War II, making the station a critical link for war news and government information. The station eventually became part of the Voice of America after the war.

The identities of most of the people are not known (can you help?), but they are wearing picture ID cards, probably a wartime security measure.

The KSFO transmitter building is still in use, as seen in the recent photo. There is now a rendering plant where the shortwave antennas were located.

John Schneider is a lifelong radio history researcher. Write the author at [email protected]. This is one in a series of photo features from his collection. Find more under the Columns/Roots of Radio tabs at