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Australia Radio Dial 1931

Media Release
Radio Heritage Foundation
Australia Radio Dial 1931

Some 6.3 million Australian radio listeners had just 55 radio stations they could tune to in 1931, a year when there was 30 per cent unemployment and the Sydney Harbor Bridge was still being built.

The Radio Heritage Foundation [] has released a snap shot of the nation’s radio dial that year, not only listing long gone but still familiar radio calls of the era, but including rare art work from many of the stations themselves.

Sydney was the clear leader in the radio stakes, with powerful 2BL and 2FC owned by the national broadcasting service, the most powerful commercial station [2GB] and the two next most powerful private stations in the Commonwealth [2KY and 2UW] all serving the 1.3 million Sydney listeners.

As darkness fell, popular radio serials, music, talks and sports personalities from these Sydney stations were heard deep inside NSW and far into Queensland, Victoria and South Australia, as people in small towns and lonely stations together shared this new form of entertainment.

Barely a decade after the ending of the Great War when radio was still unknown, local enthusiasts, small groups of businessmen, churches, trade unions and the new national broadcaster were busy testing the edges of this new technology.

Says the Radio Heritage Foundation, it’s important to name the names, to remember the people and companies that are now fading fast from living memory. It’s also fun to see that these days can be remembered in color, as art work from the period was very colorful.

The ‘Australia Radio Dial 1931’ is part of a series relating radio broadcasting to the popular culture of the times. They paint the broad picture, and often lead into more detailed memories about individual stations, programs and personalities.

Other Australian radio heritage content at includes the Long Lost Australian Radio Stars series, Australia’s Early Radio Pioneers from the 1920’s, Australian Radio Clubs [remember ‘Jason & The Argonauts?’] and several ANZAC salutes to the Australian Army Amenities Service stations across the SW Pacific and Asia in WWII.

[The Radio Heritage Foundation is a registered non-profit organization supported entirely by volunteers. It carries out research and publishing into the connections between radio broadcasting and popular culture across the entire Pacific. Donations of memorabilia, memories and funds are always welcome. Volunteers always needed. Contact details are at Media contact: David Ricquish. Email:]
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