The British Broadcasting Company, forerunner of the British Broadcasting Corporation, was formed on October 18 1922 by a consortium that – whisper it gently – included the British branch of the USA’s General Electric Company, and Western Electric, part of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company.
With just one room and an antechamber at Magnet House, HQ of GEC in London, the fledgling company would have struggled to accommodate the board of directors, which had seven members, a Lord, a Knight and a Major among them – some things don’t change at the Beeb it appears. Their taxi bill is not known.
Lord Reith was appointed by the company less than two months after it formed, joining a dynamic organisation whose role was to set up a network of transmitters, cooperation between the various companies that already owned individual transmitters being thought the fastest way to master the new technology for the nation. By November 14 the same year stations in London, Birmingham and Manchester were functioning. Today the committee to decide on a policy about stationery would not even have been approved in that same period.
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