According to our local newspaper, the first radio commercial was a 10-minute ad for the Queensboro Realty Company.

It hit the airwaves on August 28, 1922, in New York City (WEAF), and cost $100.

The ten-minute spot was an effort to educate the listening audience about the novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne by the Queensboro Corporation, which happened to have just opened a new "Hawthorne Court" apartment complex in Queens.

The text of the commercial, as read by Mr. Blackwell from the Queensboro Corporation, began as follows:

"I wish to thank those within the sound of my voice for the broadcasting opportunity afforded to me to urge this vast radio audience to seek the recreation and the daily comfort of a home far removed from the congested part of the city, right at the boundaries of God's great outdoors, and within a few minutes by subway from the business section of Manhattan. This sort of residential environment strongly influenced Hawthorne, America's greatest writer of fiction. He analyzed with charming keenness the social spirit of those who had thus happily selected their homes, and he painted the people inhabiting those homes with good-natured relish."

Upon hearing about the new commercial trend, Lee De Forest demanded to know: "What have you done with my child? You have sent him out on the street... to collect money from all and sundry... [and] made of him... a stench in the nostrils of the gods of the ionosphere."

Which, I suppose, only goes to show.

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