live sound collage broadcasts

The first steam whistle was built by Adrian Stephens at the Dewlaps Ironwork, Methyr Tydfil, Wales in 1833.  It was attached to a steam boiler in order to signal that the boiler was getting low on water.  A steam whistle was subsequently attached to every boiler, train, ship, and factory engine.  Steam power fueled the Industrial Revolution - the sound of the steam whistle was ubiquitous.  It heralded the coming of goods and post by land and sea, called students to school, and signaled the end of the day at the factory or mine.

The use of steam power began to diminish at the turn of the 20thcentury in response to advances in the refinement and use of petroleum as an energy source.  Steamboats and steam locomotives are novelties and antiques, and rare is the factory that still utilizes steam power. This edition of Special Collections showcases the sound of the steam whistle, and through its’ voice presents a sonic archaeology of Western industrial history.


Broadcast date: November 22nd 2016
KCHUNG Los Angeles 1630AM

SPECIAL COLLECTIONS is a broadcast project by Sam Rowell.
Each edition is mixed live on the air.