Have you ever wondered about the history of radio? In the 1860’s, a Scottish physicist named James Clerk Maxwell thought radio waves would exist in the future and set the stage for the discovery of the radio.
Then in 1886, a German
physicist named Heinrich Rudolph Hertz found that rapid variations of
electric waves could be shot out into space in the form of radio waves.
Radio waves are still measured in “Hertz.
An Italian inventor named Guglielmo Marconi showed that radio waves could be used for communication. In 1895, Marconi had his first successful test when he sent and received a radio signal in Italy. Later Nikola Tesla was given credit for inventing modern radio.
rescue missions, radio waves were very effective for sending and
receiving signals on and off shore. In 1901, the US Navy started to use
radio for ship to shore communications instead of visual signaling and
homing pigeons. Messages were able to be sent in a few seconds.
President Theodore Roosevelt and King Edward VII even used radio to exchange greetings in 1903.
Since radio was unleashed to the public in the 1900s, radios were selling like crazy. Everybody wanted one. The first commercial radio station in the USA was KDKA AM in Pittsburgh. It was started in 1920. Radioshack stores were started in 1921 to sell radio equipment to consumers. They were named after a little room on a boat that stored radio equipment.
In World War II, the radio was used a lot. Every ship had a radio to connect from the ship to base. Aircraft also had radios, so the aircraft could contact other aircraft, boats, and airbases as well.
There are many different uses for radio than just broadcasting. Radio waves are sent into the sky by weather scientists. Cell phones also use radio waves. Police and fire stations all have radios for communication.
Radio stations now broadcast in AM and FM. FM usually sounds better, and FM stations are usually music. AM is mostly talking and news.
Even though radio technology is over a century old, people will probably keep using it for many different things; maybe some things we haven’t even thought of yet!
Carroll, Justin, Summer McArthur, and Jesse Holmes. "1911-1930: Radio Begins to Grow." The (Unofficial) Page of the History of Radio from 1895-1945. 21 March 2005 <http://126.96.36.199/classes/humanities/amstud/97-98/radio/radihome.htm>.
Carroll, Justin, Summer McArthur, and Jesse Holmes. "1931-1931: From Country to Country." The (Unofficial) Page of the History of Radio from 1895-1945. 21 March 2005 <http://188.8.131.52/classes/humanities/amstud/97-98/radio/radihome.htm>.
Carroll, Justin, Summer McArthur, and Jesse Holmes. "1940-1945: The Trials and Tribvulations of War." The (Unofficial) Page of the History of Radio from 1895-1945. 21 March 2005 <http://184.108.40.206/classes/humanities/amstud/97-98/radio/radihome.htm>.
"The Invention of Radio." About. 21 Mar. 2005 <http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blradio.htm>.
Michael C., and Patrick D.
Schoenherr, Steven E. "Golden Age of Radio 1935-50." Recording Technology History. 21 Mar. 2005 <http://history.acusd.edu/gen/recording/radio2.html>.
Photograph of Heinrich Rudolph Hertz has been released into the public domain under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page>.
Copyrighted image of boy with radio and photograph of radio from "Microsoft Office Online" <http://office.microsoft.com/clipart/default.aspx?lc=en-us&cag=1> (October-March, 2004-2005). Clip art available only to licensed users for non-commercial purposes.