Alfred Hubbard, KFQX

Alfred M. Hubbard      

Alfred M. Hubbard was a young radio engineer who was instrumental in establishing KFQX in Seattle.  He was also a key player in its demise. 

In 1924, Hubbard joined with rumrunner Roy Olmsted to form the American Radio Telephone Company, and Hubbard set to work building a 1,000 Watt transmitter which was installed in a spare bedroom of the Olmsted home.  Olmsted's wife Elise became the manager of the station, hosting a nightly program of children’s bedtime stories.  However, prohibition agents were suspicious that Mrs. Olmsted’s broadcasts were really coded messages, sending instructions to the Olmsted rumrunner boats in the Puget Sound. 

In exchange for a job offer to become a prohibition agent, Hubbard, became a secret informant for the agency.  Drawing from Hubbard and other informants plus information collected from wiretaps, Whitney raided Olmsted’s home on November 17, 1924, shutting down the radio station and arresting Olmsted, his wife and fifteen guests. After Olmstead's conviction, KFQX was leased to Birt Fisher who ran the station as KCTL and then KOMO.  In 1927, the KOMO call letters were transfered to a new station, and the old KFQX became KXA.  See elsewhere on this site for the complete story.  (MOHAI photo)