Mukluk Telegraph

by Gary Smith
(Grand Junction, CO USA)

In 1960, I was the Mukluk editor on KENI radio.

I was 16, and it was my first job.

It was really early Face Book with a twist.
Folks would call in and ask us to send messages to family of friends out in the bush.

Since KENI radio was a 50,000 watt clear channel station, it's signal reached out a long way.

At the time,the station was on the third floor of the 4th ave. theater.

What was also interesting, was that there was a complete other theater about the movie theater and
it was designed to do live radio shows.

Fun days.

A Note from Anchorage Alaska Memories

Gary, very interesting story.

There was just something fascinating about listening to the messages on Mukluk Telegraph. And you're right, the service really was an early form of today's "Facebook."

Family and friends were sending messages to each other by Mukluk Telegraph, but were using a commercial radio station (KENI) instead of Facebook (which of course didn't exists at that time).

My wife's family operated a commercial fishing site at Point Possession across Cook Inlet from Anchorage and every summer they used Mukluk Telegraph to communicate between Anchorage and Point Possession.

Who ever came up with the idea for Mukluk Telegraph at KENI radio, really hit on a unique Alaska need and an easy way to reach people in isolated places. And the show was a hit.

Thank you for sharing your story here on Anchorage

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Mukluk telegraph Memories
by: John Cole

I listened when I was a kid in Anchorage.

I remember hearing messages going out to villages that someone was coming out or coming to town and needed to be picked up.

It was just very interesting.

My Memories of Mukluk Telegraph
by: Richard Mitchell

I grew up in Anchorage and remember listening to the Mukluk Telegraph.

It was a vital communication link to bush areas in the Alaska bush. Many people in far off isolated areas didn't have electricity or phone service and relied heavily on transistor radios for communication with the outside world.

Mukluk Telegraph was a big part of the equation. They were amazing moments in early broadcasting. I was glad to experience it. Richard Mitchell, Sacramento CA

I Remember Mukluk Telegraph
by: Corky Dow

Listened as a kid. It was also used for messages to bring out supplies, and for getting picked up.

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