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WGST Radio Photographs

WGST Radio Photographs

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Descriptive Summary

Title: WGST Radio Photographs
Identification: VAM330
Date: 1953-1956 and undated
Size/Quantity: 0.2 linear feet (one half-size document case)
Language: This collection is written in English.
Creator: WGST (Radio station : Atlanta, Ga.).
Repository: Archives & Records Management, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology
Abstract:The photographs document the radio station primarily in the 1950s. The collection includes images of individuals, the studios and buildings, and radio equipment as well as photographs of some of the station's special events.

Biographical/Historical Note

In 1922 the Atlanta Constitution founded a radio station in response to its rival newspaper's station, WSB, which was owned by the Atlanta Journal. Clark Howell, newspaper editor and owner of the Constitution, offered the station to Georgia Tech in 1923 as a gift, which President Marion L. Brittain accepted on behalf of the state. The license was allowed to expire in 1924, but in the following year, a new license was granted with the call letters WGST, standing for the Georgia School of Technology. After several legal battles, the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia took over operations from 1946 to 1973, when the station was bought by the Meredith Corporation.

For the first five years of its operation, the WGST studio was located on the third floor of the Electrical Engineering Building. The Southern Broadcasting Company (SBC) signed a 20-year lease to take control of the operations in 1930 and moved the radio station studio to the Ansley Hotel, but in 1941, the Board of Regents sought to void the contract. They accused SBC of unethical financial transactions. Governor Eugene Talmadge tapped theater owners Arthur Lucas and William K. Jenkins to take over operations of WGST. SBC contested this turn of events to the Federal Communications Commission. Consequently, the State Attorney General became involved in the legal battle over the control of operations of the state-owned radio station. The Board of Regents proposed that Georgia Tech would take over operations of the radio station, but they were contractually obligated to SBC until 1950. The FCC refused to renew the license unless the Board of Regents broke the SBC contract.

As a result, the Board of Regents assumed control of operations in 1946. In 1950, WGST became an American Broadcasting Company (ABC) affiliate. By 1973 the Board of Regents declared WGST surplus property and offered it up for sale. It had always been a commercial station with no student input or support, but it could not continue to compete with the other Atlanta radio stations. (Georgia Tech had its own student station, WREK.) At five million dollars, the highest bidder was the Meredith Corporation of Des Moines, Iowa. Much opposition to the sale of the radio station came from the governor, legislators, and alumni, but the Board of Regents approved the sale and in the following year, operations were turned over to the Meredith Corporation.

Scope and Content Note

The photographs in this collection include a variety of images documenting WGST radio station. The majority of the photographs are undated. All photographs are gelatin silver prints, with several negatives. Little deterioration has occurred in this collection.

Series 1 contains photographs of individuals and groups, mostly unidentified students. Series 2 includes photographs of building interiors and exteriors relating to WGST. Series 3 documents events associated with WGST, and Series 4 contains miscellaneous photographs.


Arranged into four series:

SERIES 1. Individuals and groups

SERIES 2. Buildings and grounds

SERIES 3. Events

SERIES 4. Miscellaneous photographs

Index Terms

College radio stations.
Piedmont Park (Atlanta, Ga.).
Radio stations--Georgia--Atlanta.
Smith, Kate, 1907-1986
WGST (Radio station : Atlanta, Ga.).

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Please cite [Image Number, Item Title], WGST (Radio station : Atlanta, Ga.) photographs (VAM330), Archives, Library and Information Center, Georgia Institute of Technology.


Accession #1985.0806 (old number: 85-08-06) for materials originally processed as VAM008; accession #1999.0501 for materials added to original collection in October 2007.

Processing Information

Jody Lloyd processed these photographs in 2000. Updates and corrections to the finding aid made by Jody Lloyd Thompson and Christine de Catanzaro in October 2007.

Revisions to Finding Aid

February 2006:
  • Finding aid converted from Encoded Archival Description Version 1.0 to Version 2002. October 2007: Six photographs from accession #1995.0501 added to the collection. Finding aid updated and original manuscript number changed from VAM008 to VAM330. April 2010: Finding aid initially imported into Archivists' Toolkit. March 2013: Second import into Archivists' Toolkit.

  • Restrictions

    Restrictions: Access


    Restrictions: Use

    All photographs in this collection are subject to approval before publication may be permitted. Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.

    Other Finding Aids

    A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.

    Container List

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    SERIES 1: Individuals and groups

    Box: 1
    VAM 330-1: Individuals in a grocery store, unidentified
    VAM 330-1a-c: Individuals in a grocery store, unidentified
    VAM 330-2: Individuals in a grocery store, et. al.
    VAM 330-2a-d: Individuals in grocery, et. al.
    VAM 330-3: Group playing instruments and singing, unidentified
    VAM 330-4-1, 2: Male, unidentified
    VAM 330-4a: Male, unidentified
    VAM 330-5: Group photograph-pictured: Joe Patrick, Bob Siegriest, Lt. Col. Bill Paris, Capt. Glen Heard, Col. Bud Davey, Dobbins AFB, 7 April 1954
    VAM 330-6: Two men with cow, unidentified
    VAM 330-7-1, 2: Group photograph (mail-in contest)
    VAM 330-7a-1, 2: Group photograph (mail-in contest)
    VAM 330-8: Male, unidentified
    VAM 330-9-1, 2: Male near WGST microphone, unidentified
    VAM 330-10-1-3: Male, unidentified
    VAM 330-11: Male, unidentified
    VAM 330-12: Male in manager's office, unidentified
    VAM 330-35: Two women-pictured: Frances Paxton, Virginia Paxton with transmitter tubes
    VAM 330-35a: Two men-pictured: William A. Schudt, Jr. and William B. Lodge with sound-sight transmitter

    SERIES 2: Buildings and grounds

    Box: 1
    VAM 330-13: Air conditioning plant
    VAM 330-14: Announcer's booth (Studio C)
    VAM 330-15: Conference room
    VAM 330-16: Employee lounge
    VAM 330-17: Equipment room
    VAM 330-18: Manager's office (east end)
    VAM 330-18a: Manager's office (east end)
    VAM 330-19: Master control room
    VAM 330-20: News studio
    VAM 330-21: Operations manager's office
    VAM 330-22: Reception room
    VAM 330-23: Standby emergency generating plant
    VAM 330-24: Studio A
    VAM 330-25: Studio B
    VAM 330-26: Studio C
    VAM 330-27: Unidentified room
    VAM 330-28: Photograph of Grant Field with WGST on scoreboard, 1953

    SERIES 3: Events

    Box: 1
    VAM 330-29-1-6: Easter Egg Hunt, Piedmont Park, 1 April 1956
    VAM 330-29a-1-6: Easter Egg Hunt, Piedmont Park, 1 April 1956
    VAM 330-29b-1-6: Easter Egg Hunt, et. al.
    VAM 330-29c-1-6: Easter Egg Hunt, et. al.

    SERIES 4: Miscellaneous photographs

    Box: 1
    VAM 330-30-1-4: Billboard, Kate Smith
    VAM 330-31: Street scene, 1953
    VAM 330-32-1-11: Microphone (WGST)
    VAM 330-33: WGST van/truck
    VAM 330-34: WGST original equipment
    VAM 330-34a: WGST original equipment
    VAM 330-34b: WGST original equipment
    VAM 330-36: WGST neon sign


    Negative BoxNegatives