Where technology brought us 

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B.J. Palmer kept busy

B. J. Palmer
B.J. Palmer's life defied easy definition. He was a leader in the field of chiropractic, a broadcasting pioneer, author and adventurer.

The son of D.D. Palmer, who developed the theory of chiropractic practice, B.J. Palmer turned his father's school into the Palmer College of Chiropractic in 1905.

In 1922 he bought a small, amatuer radio station, WOC, and moved it to Brady Street. ``Wonders of Chiropractic'' broadcast from the Palmer College grounds, and on a clear night the signal could be heard as far as New York City.

The Palmer broadcasting empire would also include WHO radio in Des Moines. Both WOC and WHO would employ a young sports announcer who would move on to Hollywood and the White House -- Ronald Reagan.

Dr. Palmer founded one of the first television stations west of the Mississippi when WOC-TV went on the air from its Davenport facilities.

During his career Dr. Palmer futhered the work of his father. He wrote virtually an entire library on general and technical aspects of the chiropractic profession. He was director of the B.J. Palmer Chiropractic Clinic.

He was a world traveler. His collection of art and antiquities included a mummy, shrunken heads, Persian rugs and Chinese statues. In all, the collection included more than 2,000 art objects, archeological and ethnological pieces and natural history specimaens.

Dr. Palmer died in 1961.

Copyright 1999, Moline Dispatch Publishing Co.