These shared radios were often placed in a central location, such as a community center or a local store, where people could come and listen to news, music, and other broadcasts. In some cases, people would take turns bringing the radio home for a day or two so that they could listen to it in the privacy of their own homes.
The community of Kamiah came together in March, 1923 to purchase a receiver. The contract read:
“We, the undersigned, donate Three Dollars ($3.00) to be used by Jack Dundas and Hubert Renshaw in the purchase and installing of a Radio Receiving Machine. This Machine will be installed in Legion Hall, and belong to the undersigned and to those who wish to donate the same sum later. This fee will entitle me and my family (or if single, the company of one other) to free admission to all concerts.”
Forty-eight other residents sign the document and pitched in $3. The Receiver cost a little more than the $150 they raised. No word on how they made up the difference. That first receiver was terrible and the community got little use out of it. By the time they decided to ditch it, most everyone had begun to buy much less expensive sets of their own.