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Delmar Nicholson

Delmar Nicholson, known as Radio Nick, was one of Orange County's early successful orchid growers. But he is remembered for much more than that. In the mid 1930’s, he helped establish Orlando’s first zoo and, a few years later, served a two-year term on the Orlando City Council. He was also among the founders of Goodwill Industries of Central Florida.

The Orlando native and had been fascinated with radio even before the first commercial station went on the air in 1920. At 21, he studied radio engineering in Philadelphia, where he learned to design and build his own radio receivers. He opened his first Orlando store to sell and repair radios in the 1920’s and went on to manage the radio departments of several appliance and jewelry stores.

Nicholson also had other interests. In 1931, he broadcast a fight on the radio involving three rattlesnakes, a pine snake, a coach whip, an indigo, and a water moccasin and, for several years before World War II, worked at Orlando’s WDBO, Orange County's first radio station.

In 1937, he opened Radio Nick Inc., a factory-authorized dealer for GE, Zenith and RCA Victor. In addition to selling and repairing sets, the store sold and installed public address and office communications systems.

In his later years, Nick and his wife, Alice, lived on an island in Bay Lake in southwest Orange County. Years later, after Walt Disney World had bought the land and named it Treasure Island, it became Discovery Island, a preserve for exotic birds, turtles and other animals. However, it was closed in 1999 after several animal abuse scandals.

Radio Nick, the jack-of-all-trades and master of certainly more than one, died in 1978 at the age of 79.

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1930 - 1941 Other Central Florida Stations (On Air Personality)

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