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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Airport now called Felts Field announces plan to install electric lights to allow nighttime landings

The Parkwater municipal aviation field (now Felts Field) announced that it would soon be electrically lighted, to enable pilots to land safely at night, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on May 19, 1920. The newspaper also reported that the Spokane Boy Scouts were arranging to purchase “field radio” equipment that would allow scouts to “intercept wireless messages.” (Spokesman-Review archives)
The Parkwater municipal aviation field (now Felts Field) announced that it would soon be electrically lighted, to enable pilots to land safely at night, the Spokane Daily Chronicle reported on May 19, 1920. The newspaper also reported that the Spokane Boy Scouts were arranging to purchase “field radio” equipment that would allow scouts to “intercept wireless messages.” (Spokesman-Review archives)

Developments in two exciting modern technologies, aviation and radio, were in the news.

The Parkwater municipal aviation field (now Felts Field) announced that it would soon be electrically lighted, to enable pilots to land safely at night.

“Our plan is to put eight spotlights upon the top of the hangar, to flood the field with light,” said the head of the United States Aircraft Corp. “On the ends of the field and on each side, there will be lights planted in the ground in such a manner that they will not obstruct landing. They will shine straight into the air. They will defend the outlines of the field.”

They would be powered by a gasoline generator, which would also be used to run the company’s lathes and machine shops. When the shop was completed, workers would have the ability to make any repairs, and “build an entire machine if it is so desired.”

In radio news, Spokane Boy Scouts were arranging to purchase “field radio” equipment that would allow scouts to “intercept wireless messages now being sent out regularly from New York City by radio stations.” The senders were “war service radio operators who had learned wireless telegraphy when they were Boy Scouts.”

Messages were being sent out every evening at 9 p.m., and scout troops as far away as the Pacific coast were able to receive them.

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