California collector stops by to share a piece of history with The Pampa News

Collector of broadcasting and communications items, Jay Arnold of Sonoma, Calif. stopped by The Pampa News on Monday afternoon to show the staff a small piece of our own history. 

Arnold has been collecting broadcast communication items for a number of years and he was once a radio personality and DJ himself. He and his friend Doug from Reno, Nev. were enjoying a road trip throughout the area visiting now de-funct radio stations and newspapers when he stopped by The Pampa News. The item he brought was an old radio with KPDN lettering across the top. KPDN is The Pampa Daily News’ former radio station that has been off the air since the late 80s.

“There were three different styles of this radio made. The most common one was kind of an ivory white with red lettering. They usually would read sports, news or music (along the side),” Arnold said.

“This one (radio he brought in on Monday) caught my eye because I am a big collector of Mutual Radio, a defunct network that was around for the better part of 60 years until 1999.”

Arnold explained that other (third) style of radio made had big plastic letters that were puffed out on the sides.

While he was in Texas, he also stopped by the Texas Museum of Broadcasting and Communcations. 

“He has two of these radios on display and they are both black, he doesn’t have the ivory ones. In my collection, I have seven or eight of these - and this is the only black one I have,” Arnold shared with The Pampa News. 

He pulled the face of the radio off to show the inside mechanics. 

“They were all built the same (on the inside). It’s held by clips (face). There are four tubes and a few capacitors. There is a screw that you turn and you can turn it to another frequency, but it doesn’t get you very far. It’s only 1290 to 1390 (frequencies). 

“It turns on, so it does power up and make noise. But since 1340 is off the air here, we don’t know if it (will actually pick up a station). I tried looking for a place where we could pull off and plug it in where there’s a 1340 (frequency) and I haven’t been able to,” Arnold said. 

He explained that for a long while before the digital age of media that the FCC did not allow newspapers to own a radio or TV. Which is likely why The Pampa News does not have one of these radios in our possession. 

“These were made mostly as a thank-you gift for sales people to give to their clients,” Arnold said.

Arnold has said that he plans to donate the radio to the Texas Museum of Broadcasting and Communications in Kilgore, Texas.

The Pampa News would like to thank Jay and Doug for stopping by to show us this piece of our history. If you would like more information on the history of KPDN, you can go online to read the article written by myself at https://bit.ly/30sMMSQ.

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