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International Shortwave Station KGEI - San Francisco, California - 1939-1994

International Broadcast Station KGEI was established by General Electric Company in 1939, a high frequency (HF) short wave station known initially as W6XBE. Its 20 kW transmitter was an advanced technological display located at the Golden Gate International Exposition, held on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay in 1939 and 1940. After the Exposition's closed, the studio was moved to the Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill. The transmitter was relocated to a 50-acre site three miles east of Belmont, shared with KPO (eventually KNBC, now KNBR), where a more powerful 50 kW transmitter was installed.

KGEI became a crucial resource of the U.S. government during World War II, as it was initially the only U.S. shortwave station heard in the Pacific. It was a key facility in the radio operations of the Office of War Information, which was the genesis of the Voice of America. After the war, General Electric continued to operate KGEI as a private shortwave station until 1960, when the Far East Broadcasting Corporation purchased the station. They operated it as a private and religious cultural station serving Latin America until 1994.

Original KGEI 20 kW Transmitter Photographs:

KGEI Studio in the Fairmont Hotel, 1942:

KGEI Transmitter in Belmont, 1942:

KGEI Programs 1940's and 1950's:

KGEI - Far East Broadcasting Company Years: