WLS Family Album was an annual booklet
published by WLS in Chicago.
Sears, Roebuck and Company
was a major
company. To target farmers, Sears bought time on radio
stations, and then decided to form their own station.
Just before the permanent station was ready,
Sears began broadcasts on March 21, 1924 as WBBX with
broadcast test transmissions from its own permanent studios
on April 9, 10 and 11, 1924, using the callsign WES
(for "World's Economy Store"). On April 12, 1924, the
station commenced officially, using the callsign WLS
(for "World's Largest Store"); and on April 19, aired its
National Barn Dance..
Sears originally operated its station at its Chicago
headquarters on Chicago's West Side
where the company's mail order
business was located.
Sears then moved the WLS studios into the Sherman House
hotel in downtown Chicago.
opened the station in 1924 as a service to farmers and
subsequently sold it to the
magazine in 1928. The
station moved to the Prairie Farmer Building on West
Washington in Chicago, where it remained for 32 years.
For a history of WLS click here
high-resolution PDF of the 50 kw transmitter
site in 1938, click on this link