The History of the Radio

  • Marconi

    Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor and electrical engineer, was known for the long-distance radio transmission and radio telegraph. In December of 1894, Marconi showed his parents his new invention and how it was coming along, and they immediately supported him and helped him with more supplies. In 1895, he sent and received the first radio signal and has gone down in history for inventing the radio.
  • Transatlantic Signal

    Transatlantic Signal
    On this date, Marconi sent the first wireless transatlantic signal. The signal started in Bristol Channel, Flat Holm Island and was sent to Lavernock Point in Penarth. The message read "Are you ready?"
  • Refinemeants

    Between 1904 and 1914, the radio went through many changes and refinements. The diode and triode vacuum tubes were invented. These devices helped transmission and reception of voice and music.
  • Lee de Forest

    Lee de Forest
    Lee de Forest is an American inventor, self-described as the "Father of Radio" He came up with the idea of strengthening the audio frequency output. He invented the audion tube, which supplied amplifier.
  • Radio Transmission from and Airplane

    Radio Transmission from and Airplane
    Captain H.M. Horton and Colonel C.C. Culver were both apart of the Air Service. They met up at Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn, New York. The two went up in an airplane and it was marked as the first radio transmission from an airplane.
  • KDKA

    In 1920, the big hit radio station, KDKA was invented by Frank Conrad. Soon in the future, Uncle Charlie's came around, which were personal radio stations that anyone could make. These radio stations then took up a lot of people's time, but KDKA still stood tall.
  • Crystal Sets

    Crystal Sets
    Before vacuum tubes, crystal sets were the most commonly used receiver. It is seen as a hobby in the form of um-amplified radios. Soon, most people could build their own crystal set, and then they were later replaced with new gadgets.
  • BBC

    The most famous broadcasting station, the British Broadcasting Company, or BBC, was created. Marconi was actually one of the founding members. The broadcasts began locally in London, but soon traveled to the US as well.
  • Commercials

    Radios and TVs were at an ongoing battle. One of the things radios had going for them was commercials. With a TV, you can skip or fast forward through commercials, but with radios, you can't. In 1922, radio station, WEAF, aired a 10 minute "commercial" for an apartment complex.
  • FRC

    In 1927, the FRC was established. This was made in order to organize licensing of transmitters; AKA, regulate who can have a radio network. It also assigned radio station frequencies, W being for the East of the Mississippi River and K being for West of it.
  • Big Hit!

    Big Hit!
    Around the 30's and 40's, radios really took off. There was a war going on and people were suffering from the Great Depression as well. But the radio was an escape for all the sadness of what was going on in the world. It was also a Family Medium, so it was something everyone could enjoy.
  • Loss and Music

    Loss and Music
    Radios and radio stations lost a lot of money in the late 30's due to most advertisers going to TV. But radio soon gained it's listeners back with music! Seen as people only had three ways to listen to music back then (records, jukebox, and live concerts) this was a huge step.
  • Trasistor

    In 1947, the transistor was invented by John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley. A transistor radio is a small portable radio that uses transistor-based circuitry. They soon became the most popular electronic communication device.
  • Freeform & Progressive Rock

    Freeform & Progressive Rock
    Freeform and Progressive Rock radio stations played selections of an album with an appropriate introduction. Freeform stations provided freedom to disc jokeys. They were able to play significant music and make significant social commentary and humor.
  • Modern

    The 20th century held new electronic devices that replaced the radio. Things like Spotify, Youtube, Pandora, and iHear Radio came along. iTunes and Apple also came out with iPods and iPhones which could play music on them. The radio may still be here today, but so many other devices are being used more.