Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


North Hall, 1915-1972


North Hall, located on the Medford campus until destroyed by fire in 1972, was the site of the first continuous radio broadcast in the world. Originally built by Harold J. Power, A1914, who received permission from Tufts to locate a private radio research laboratory on the Hill, the building became home to the American Radio and Research Corporation (AMRAD).Power's construction also included a 304 foot antenna. Additions were made to the building as needed, extending the rear of the structure toward Boston Avenue.

Under the call numbers 1XE, Power broadcast various recorded concerts through a microphone of his own design for three hours in the evening of March 18, 1916.This event marked America's first continuos radio broadcast. After World War I, the station began broadcasting daily, changing its call letters to WGI in 1922. AMRAD claimed that between May 1921 and July 1922, a number of radio firsts took place in the building, including the first daily broadcasts, radio dance programs, university professor lectures, weather broadcasts, and bedtime stories. Following AMRAD's merger with Magnavox, the company vacated the building.

The structure was briefly used by the Boston Evening Transcript until 1927, when the Department of Electrical Engineering began offering instruction in Radio Engineering, under the supervision of Professor Paul A. DeMars. The building, renamed the Electro-Technical Building was remodeled to provided laboratories, classrooms, offices, and the necessary power supply for the courses. The entire north end of the structure,minus the top floor, was made into a high voltage laboratory, with fire-proof walls, an observation gallery, and a 250,000 volt transformer. As interest diminished, the radio courses were conducted by the Department of Physics. The Department of Electrical Engineering vacated the building, except for the high-voltage laboratory. The antenna had previously been removed.

The Doble Engineering Company, founded by Frank C. Doble, A1911, expanded to fill the building until 1947, when the college reclaimed the space due to a shortage of classroom facilities. After undergoing additional renovations, which included the removal of the high-voltage equipment, the building, under the designation North Hall, housed the departments of education and psychology.

In 1915 a series of photographs of the surrounding area were taken from the top of the building's 304 foot antenna.

North Hall was destroyed by a fire that took place on February 16, 1972.

Source: RNTC2

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  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
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Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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