Lester Arthur “Eddie” Benson was literally a part of the radio business in St. Louis at its inception.
In 1920 he was commissioned by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to build a transmitter at its downtown headquarters. In 1922, KSD, the city’s first commercial station, began its experimental broadcasts with this transmitter.
But he had preceded that accomplishment on November 2, 1920, when he and partner William E. Wood teamed to broadcast the results of the Harding-Cox presidential election, using transmitters they had built.
Benson was 20 years old at the time, having entered Washington University to study electrical engineering at 16. His obituary in the local paper said he had first begun broadcasting from the basement of his home when he was only 14 years old.
He put his own station, WEB [later to be WIL] on the air in 1922, eventually running it from his radio store. Two years later he built a transmitter for KFVE [which later became KWK].