Profile America for Sunday, Aug. 28.
"We'll be back after this message." Those words, or ones close to them, were heard for the first time on this day 83 years ago, as the first commercial was broadcast on the new medium of radio. Station WEAF in New York City carried that first ad not for soap or automobiles but for a group of apartment buildings in Queens. The cost was $100 for 10 minutes of programming. At the time, there were just 30 stations in the whole country and only 60,000 households had receivers. Now, there are nearly 11,000 stations. The average household has about six radios, and some $19.5 billion is spent on radio advertising each year. Find these and more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau on the Web at http://www.census.gov.
Sources: 440 International Calendar of Events; Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970, p. 796; Statistical Abstract of the United States 2004-2005, t. 1120, http://www.census.gov/prod/www/statistical-abstract-04.html
Profile America is produced by the Public Information Office of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments ready to air on a monthly CD or on Internet at http://www.census.gov (look under the "Newsroom" button).