The Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918-1920 disrupted life around the world. And while it generated fear as death rates soared, new technologies and applications played a role in helping people cope with the spread of the disease, including here on the West Coast and the Pacific Rim.
Wireless ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communications were already established, but they expanded rapidly during World War I. The Naval training station at the University of Washington trained cadets in many aspects of service — including a large class in radio communications. During wartime, the Navy was expanding the use of radio throughout its fleet.