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Amanda Labrado U.S.

History Industrialization Project 11/05/09

Industrialization: The Radio

On November 2nd in 1920 around 6 P.M., the world’s 1st broadcast by a commercial radio station was heard. KDKA from Pittsburgh was reporting the Harding-Cox election returns. Their broadcast became a milestone in radio history, for even though not many people heard it, KDKA inspired many people to buy radios and inspired even more to create new radio stations. By 1922 six hundred new radios stations had emerged and by 1930 60% of American families owned radios. The Invention of the radio changed how we communicate and created a medium through which we can stay informed and entertain ourselves; However, although many people are unfamiliar with what AM and FM mean, it is important to know that it took more than 20 years to achieve the radio with which we entertain ourselves. The invention of the radio can be credited to a number of scientists and inventors including Nikola Tesla, Lee DeForester, James Clerk Maxwell, Heinrich Hertz, Edwin Armstrong, and Guglielmo Marconi.Each of these men contributed a milestone discovery that led to the invention of the radio and may have contributed to other electronics we are familiar with today. Maxwell’s mathematical radio-wave theorem, formulated in 1864, predicted that radio waves existed; Hertz tested Maxwell’s theory in 1886 and proved that “waves traveled in straight lines and could be reflected by a metal sheet”. Then, in 1896 Marconi began experimenting with wireless signals at his home in Bologna, Italy and succeeded in conveying wireless signals over an expanse of a mile and a half. Around the same time Marconi was attempting to transmit signals over vast distances, Tesla was attempting to achieve the same outcome. Nikola Tesla created the Tesla Coil in 1891, and with it he could send and receive strong radio signals, but in 1895 his lab was destroyed by a fire preventing him from achieving the same discovery Marconi would a year later-the ability to transmit a signal long distance. After Marconi created a radio system in 1896, Lee DeForest improved it with Amplitudemodulation or A.M. in 1906. Finally, Frequency-modulated radio came to be in 1933 thanks to Edwin Howard Armstrong. At first, the invention of F.M. band was controversial because every A.M. station would have to switch to F.M. which would be expensive. Yet, today F.M. is the more broadly used band rather than A.M. because of its sound clarity. The invention of the radio allowed ships at sea to communicate with people on shore which improved the safety of a ship’s passengers by allowing them to call for help. It also allowed Robert E. Peary, The arctic explorer, to send a radio telegraph saying “I found the pole”. Furthermore, During the 1st world war, the U.S. controlled the airwaves to prevent enemies from using it. Radio finally became an entertainment business in the 1920’s, when music, operas, news, and other programs such as talk shows and educational presentations. The creation of the transistor radio by Bell Labs in 1947 allowed teens to take their radio everywhere, in turn creating a new pop culture that only teens could associate themselves with called rock and roll. The radio also allowed families to come together more frequently as a family in their living rooms to listen to programs they all enjoyed. Without the radio, Life would be different. We would not have communication we would not be as informed of other countries whereabouts as we are today.

Without the technology the radio was invented with we wouldn’t have T.V.’s. Furthermore, if we didn’t have radios we would not be able to communicate with ships at sea and know that our shipments are safe and that the crew is well. Also, world communication would not be able to relate to each other as well because we wouldn’t share a common interest as we do with the radio. In addition the radio allows us to stay informed about the whereabouts of our country and keep ourselves safe from attacks and natural disasters.

Works Cited for Industrialization proj. "Guglielmo Marconi: The Invention of Radio." The Orchid Grower: A Juvenile Science Adventure Novel. Web. 05 Nov. 2009. <>. "History of Radio - Who invented the Radio." Buzzle Web Portal: Intelligent Life on the Web. Web. 05 Nov. 2009. <>. "History of Radio." History web pages. Web. 05 Nov. 2009. <>. "The History of Radio." Inventors. Web. 05 Nov. 2009. <>. "KDKA - *." KDKA - Homepage. Web. 05 Nov. 2009. <>. "NEWS :: Invention Of The Radio." Prom hair style dos easy formal hairstyles dress 2007 picture mural prom. Web. 05 Nov. 2009. <>. "Tesla - Master of Lightning: Who Invented Radio?" PBS. Web. 05 Nov. 2009. <>. "Untitled." American Studies @ The University of Virginia. Web. 05 Nov. 2009. <>.

"Who Invented the Radio? - Life123." Life123 - Answers at the Speed of Life. Web. 05 Nov. 2009. <>.