By: Nu Yang
It’s hard to imagine that people used to receive their news by carrier pigeons, but before 1903, that was the case with the residents of Avalon, located on the small Southern California island of Catalina. According to the website Gizmodo, if island residents wanted to know what was going on with the rest of the world, they had to rely on the carrier pigeon system and copies of the Los Angeles Times arriving by boat.
That all changed when Catalina received the country’s first “wireless newspaper” on March 25, 1903. Named The Wireless and published by the Times, the newspaper printed the latest news sent wirelessly from Los Angeles via Morse Code. The Early Radio History website reported that a summary of the Times’ news was telegraphed every morning to a wireless station on the coast, where it was transmitted throughout the island. Then, the Avalon editor added his local items before getting the paper out. In addition to world news, The Wireless included local island happenings, tourist information, and sporting and social events.