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2CM was an experimental Australian broadcasting station operated by Charles Maclurcan. In 1921, 2CM became the first Australian station to regularly broadcast music and talk. (However, Ernest Fisk (later Sir Ernest) of AWA – Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) did conduct an isolated experiment in which music was broadcast, in 1906).

In some quarters Maclurcan has been called Australia’s leading radio amateur.


In 1921 2CM commenced broadcasting Sunday night classical music concerts on the long wave band (214 kHz.), using seven watts.

First licensed in 1911 as a Morse code station with the call sign XDM, Maclurcan broke numerous long-distance broadcasting records, including an O.0037 watt transmission, that was recorded as being heard in New Zealand and San Francisco. It is believed that he was the only Australian amateur allowed to operate during World War I. At this time, the station was situated at the Maclurcan family’s Wentworth Hotel, in the Church Hill district of the Sydney CBD, but after the war, Maclurcan built a new installation at his home in the Sydney suburb of Strathfield.

2CM was issued with the first broadcasting licence in Australia (Licence No.1, signed by Prime Minister William Morris (Billy) Hughes,) in December 1922. (2SB was later the first station to be officially recognised, on 23 November 1923).

Maclurcan received over 2,000 letters from listeners who had heard his initial transmissions. 2CM was also the first station to publish a program guide. Each day’s broadcasting ended with the invocation: don’t forget to wind up the clock and put out the cat.

2CM was transferred to the short wave band on 21 February 1924.

Charles Maclurcan was President of the Wireless Institute of Australia, immediately following Sir Ernest Fisk. Maclurcan also designed and built the popular Maclurcan radio receiver.

The call sign 2CM is the only one listed by the Federal Government as never to be reissued, in recognition of the pioneering achievements of Charles Maclurcan.[1][2]

See also


  1. ^ Bruce Carty, Australian Radio History, Sydney, 2011.
  2. ^ http://bpadula.tripod.com.au/australshortwave/id34.html[permanent dead link]
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