William Francis Goodreau was born September 14th, 1901 4 to Frank and Catharine. Frank was a Journeyman Bricklayer and Catharine was a homemaker. He had 6 siblings in 1910, 4 brothers and 2 sisters. His father was born in France and his mother in New York 5. William married Virginia Pearson on October 25th, 1923 7 when he was 40 years old, Virginia was a nurse. 18 They lived in her fathers boarding house at 68 Charles Field street in Providence with Virginia's father Harry, Mother Sophia, Virginia's sister Dorothay and 12 boarders 6. His occupation was listed as Radio Work 6. Williams radio work seems to have started when he as hospitalized in 1920 for an unknown illness that seems to have kept him bed ridden. It was there that he was introduced to radio by Troop 5 in Providence 8.
In 1928 William wins the $100 prize for his article in Radio News titled "An RF Short-Wave Broadcast Receiver" Also in 1928 9 Williams listed occupation changes to Publicity Man and continues in 1930 10, 1933 11, and 1935 12. In 1937 13 William is the owner of a Art Craft Studio and still lives at 68 Charles Field street in Providence with his in-laws.
William becomes a greeting card manufacturer as we see ads for this starting in 1931 and we see evidence of this through 1939 14.
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November 15, 1931
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November 22, 1931
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August 2, 1934
Mr Goodreau makes a major career change in 1940 according to the 1940 censue where his occupation is listed as a Propritor of used cars sales 15. Jumping careers again he is listed as a printer in 1941 and his home is now in North Attleboro, MA 16. In 1942 he is divorced19 and still listed as a printer but now living at 734 Westminster in Providence. In 1943 William marries again to Penelope Mastropietro20.
In 1948 Mr Goodreau is caught up in an investigation into voter fraud because his, and other signatures, on a primary ballot were questionable. William's claim supported the fraud, in that, he stated he had not signed the ballot due to being confined to a wheel chair21.
No new listing is found until his California death certificate on June 27th, 1966 17.
No matter what Mr Goodreau did his main interest was designing and building new receiving sets and seeing how many distant stations he could tune in. He did not own a radio company or sell his sets. He did write for magazines 1. In a letter to “Radio In The Home" in January of 1924 he wrote in a letter to the editor:
He wrote a lot of articles for the magazine “Radio In The Home". I have found a total of 8 articles which are included on this page. Although he did not ever sell his sets, other companies used his articles to sell the parts needed to build. You will notice the ads included on this page with parts called out that can be used for Mr Goodreau’s sets.
In one article Mr Goodreau goes on a “Special Mission" for “Radio In The Home" to test a portable set he designed. The set is promoted as being for the vacationist. In his testing Mr Goodreau states:
By September of 1924, “Radio In The Home" describes Mr Goodreau like this:
Troop 5 with their radio setup for patients
at Rhode Island Hospital
This is where an aling Mr Goodreau was introduced to radio.
Wireless Age November, 1922.
ONE OF THE MOST REMARKABLE MEN IN RADIO 3
This is W. Francis Goodreau. Contributing Editor "Radio In The Home." Mr. Goodreau as been bedridden for years. He does all of his studying, experimenting and set building flat on his back, and in spite of his physical handicap has worked himself up among the ranks of America's most popular and successful radio writers.
2 Goodreau's Spiderweb Portable Set, April, 1924
3 Building Radio Sets That Work, September, 1924
4 William Francis Goodreau 1935 Census Card
5 1910 US Census
6 1930 US Census
7 Providence Marriage Records, 1921-1923
8 What Radio Means To Me, Radio Broadcast, January 1924
9 1928 Providence Street Directory
10 1930 Providence Street Directory
11 1933 Providence Street Directory
12 1935 Providence Street Directory
13 1937 Providence Street Directory
14 1939 Providence Street Directory
15 1940 US Censue
16 1941 Providence Street Directory
17 California Death Notice
18 Providence Journal October 6, 1923
19 Providence Journal July 10, 1942
20 Providence Journal January 23, 1943
21 Providence Journal September 14, 1948