At the time of the broadcast, communication for a wide range was commonly conveyed by dots and dashes using the International Morse radio telegraph code.
The vacuum tubes that would be used for voice transmission did not exist yet. Transmissions by code were much slower than by voice. Harry Saunders, previously an operator at Western Union, advertised the play by play football at Texas University using a commercial telegraph to notify the public that there would be a list of abbreviations that was being prepared.
When they heard about the news, 275 then-licensed amateur radio operators in the state requested a copy of the list. Thus, WTAW transmitted the broadcast through those amateur radios, and what had started out as a point-to-point broadcast reached many listeners in the state.
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