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This page is dedicated to the radio and wireless schools in Rhode Island.




Rhode Island Radio School was established in 1919 1 by Frank Sullivan after his return from the service 3. Mr Sullivan was a wireless operator for the Marconi Wireless Company back in 1910. 2, he also authored a column in “The Providence News” called Amateur Wireless from December 31st, 1921 4 until March 13th, 1922 5. On March 14th, 1922 6, the title of the column switched to “Radio Sparks”. That column ran until at least February 4th 1924 7. After that point the copies of “The Providence News” are not available for a long period of time. The next available issue of “The Providence News” was April 25th 1924 and the radio column in that issue did not list Mr Sullivan as the author.

In the 1920 “New England Business Directory” the Providence Radio School was located in room 613 in a building at 511 Westminster St in Providence 9. A January 24th, 1922 ad 10 in “The Providence News” shows it had expanded to two rooms. In 1923 the directory listing for Frank Sullivan shows the school at 214 Butler Exchange 14. In 1954 the name changed to the Rhode Island Radio and Electronics School 11. It was eventually absorbed into the technology division of Johnson and Wales College in 1986. 13. Johnson and Wales is now a University.

On March 14th, 1961, the state department of the American Legion set up the J Frank Sullivan memorial Scholarship 12. This was a 2-year Scholarship to the Rhode Island Radio School. It was open to all male high school students in the State of Rhode Island. I did find reference to this scholarship being given to an individual that went into the Rhode Island School of Electronics (Formally the Rhode Island Radio School) in 1981 8. A January 24th, 1922 ad 10 in “The Providence News” shows it had expanded to two rooms.






Providence Journal, December 1, 1920


Providence News, January 5, 1921


Providence Journal
March 13, 1921


Providence News, June 7, 1921


Providence News, January 20, 1922


Providence News, January 24, 1922


Providence News, May 14, 1922


Providence News, March 26, 1922


Providence News, October 7, 1923


Providence News, October 21, 1923


Providence News, March 9, 1924


Providence News, November 16, 1924


Newport Daily News, September, 1956


Newport Daily News, September 3, 1968





New England Radio and Telegraph School was founded in 1919 by Robert E Davis. Davis was a early wireless enthusiast who eventually grouped into what is now a world wide ham organization. He doncucted the school untill the wide popularity of commercial radio diminished the early interest in home-assembled receiving sets. 15



Providence Journal, October 8, 1922


Providence Journal, September 3, 1922


Providence Journal, November 10, 1922


Providence Journal, December 21, 1923


Providence Journal, April 13, 1924


Providence Journal, May 25, 1924


Providence Journal, June 6, 1924


Providence Journal, June 12, 1924



1 New Englands Oldest School Closes, July 20, 1987

2 Veteran Wireless Oporators News, Broadcast Engineering October, 1936

3 Newport Mercury, June 1969

4 Providence News, December 31st, 1921

5 Providence News, March 13th, 1922

6 Providence News, March 15th, 1922

7 Providence News, February 4th, 1924

8 Newport Daily News Thursday March 13, 1980

9 1920 New England Business Directory

10 Providence News, January 24th, 1922

11 RISE Training

12 “The Daily News”, Newport Rhode Island, March 14th, 1961

13 Absorption of "Rhode Island School of Electronics"

14 1923 Providence Directory

15 1923 Providence Journal, January 16, 1954