History of The Radio
The theoretical basis of the propagation of electromagnetic waves was first described in 1873 by James Clerk Maxwell in his paper to the Royal Society A dynamical theory of the electromagnetic field, which followed his work between 1861 and 1865.
In 1878 David E. Hughes was the first to transmit and receive radio waves when he noticed that his induction balance caused noise in the receiver of his homemade telephone. He demonstrated his discovery to the Royal Society in 1880 but was told it was merely induction.
It was Heinrich Rudolf Hertz who, between 1886 and 1888, first validated Maxwell's theory through experiment, demonstrating that radio radiation had all the properties of waves (now called Hertzian waves), and discovering that the electromagnetic equations could be reformulated into a partial differential equation called the wave equation.
Invention and History
The identity of the original inventor of radio, at the time called wireless telegraphy, is contentious. Claims have been made that Nathan Stubblefield invented radio before either Nikola Tesla or Guglielmo Marconi, but his device seems to have worked by induction transmission rather than radio transmission.
In 1893 in St. Louis, Missouri, Tesla made the first public demonstration of
radio communication. Addressing the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and the
National Electric Light Association, he described and demonstrated in detail the
principles of radio communication. The apparatus that he used contained all the
elements that were incorporated into radio systems before the development of the
vacuum tube. He initially used magnetic receivers, unlike the coherers used by Marconi and other early experimenters.
In 1894 British physicist Sir Oliver Lodge demonstrated the possibility of
signaling using radio waves using a detecting device called a coherer, a tube filled with iron filings which had been invented by Temistocle Calzecchi-Onesti at Fermo in Italy in 1884. Edouard Branly of France and Alexander Popov of Russia later produced improved versions of the coherer. Popov, who was the first to develop a practical communication system based on the coherer, is usually considered by his own countrymen to have been the inventor of radio. The Indian physicist, Jagdish Chandra Bose,
demonstrated publicly the use of radio waves in November of 1894 in Calcutta,
but he was not interested in patenting his work.
In 1895, Guglielmo Marconi sent a telegraph message without wires, but he didn't send voice over the airwaves; Reginald Fessenden, in 1900, accomplished that and made a weak transmission. On Christmas Eve, 1906, using his heterodyne principle, Reginald Fessenden transmitted the first radio broadcast in history from Brant Rock, Massachusetts. Ships at sea heard a broadcast that included Fessenden playing the song "O Holy Night" on the violin and reading a passage from the Bible.
In 1896 Marconi was awarded what is sometimes recognized as the world's first patent for radio with British Patent 12039, Improvements in transmitting electrical impulses and signals and in apparatus there-for. In 1897 he established the world's first radio station on the Isle of Wight, England. The same year in the U.S., some key developments in radio's early history were created and patented by Tesla. The U.S. Patent Office reversed its decision in 1904, awarding Marconi a patent for the invention of radio, possibly influenced by Marconi's financial backers in the States, who included Thomas Edison and Andrew Carnegie. Some believe this was done to allow the U.S. government to avoid having to pay the royalties that were being claimed by Tesla for use of his patents.
In 1909, Marconi, with Karl Ferdinand Braun, was also awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for "contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy". However, Tesla's patent (number 645576) was reinstated in 1943 by the U.S. Supreme Court, shortly after his death. This decision was based on the fact that prior art existed before the establishment of Marconi's patent. Some believe the decision was made for financial reasons, to allow the U.S. government to avoid having to pay damages that were being claimed by the Marconi Company for use of its patents during World War I (ignoring the prior art).
Marconi opened the world's first "wireless" factory in Hall Street, Chelmsford, England in 1898, employing around 50 people. Around 1900, Tesla opened the Wardenclyffe Tower facility and advertised services. By 1903, the tower structure neared completion. Various theories exist on how Tesla intended to achieve the goals of this wireless system (reportedly, a 200 kW system). Tesla claimed that Wardenclyffe, as part of a World System of transmitters, would have allowed secure multichannel transceiving of information, universal navigation, time synchronization, and a global location system.
The next great invention was the vacuum tube detector, invented by a team of Westinghouse engineers.
On Christmas Eve, 1906, Reginald Fessenden (using his heterodyne principle) transmitted the first radio audio broadcast in history from Brant Rock, Massachusetts. Ships at sea heard a broadcast that included Fessenden playing O Holy Night on the violin and reading a passage from the Bible. The world's first radio news program was broadcast August 31, 1920 by station 8MK in Detroit, Michigan. The world's first regular wireless broadcasts for entertainment commenced in 1922 from the Marconi Research Centre at Writtle near Chelmsford, England.
The first benefit seen to radio telegraphy was the ability to establish communication between coast radio stations and ships at sea. A company called British Marconi was established to make use of Marconi's and others' patents. This company along with its subsidiary American Marconi, had a stranglehold on ship to shore communication. It operated much the way American Telephone and Telegraph operated until 1983, owning all of its own equipment and refusing to communicate with non-Marconi equipped ships. Many inventions improved the quality of radio, and amateurs experimented with uses of radio, thus the first seeds of broadcasting were planted.
Radio Broadcasting is Born
Charles David Herrold, an electronics instructor in San Jose, California constructed the first broadcasting station. It used the spark gap technology, but modulated the carrier frequency with the human voice, and later music. The station "San Jose Calling" (there were no call letters), was first established in April 1909, and has continued an unbroken lineage to eventually become today's KCBS in San Francisco.
Herrold, the son of a Santa Clara Valley farmer, coined the terms "narrowcasting" and "broadcasting", respectively to identify
transmissions destined for a single receiver such as that on board a ship, and those transmissions destined for a general audience. The term "broadcasting" had been used in farming to define the tossing of seed in all directions. While Charles Herrold did not claim to be the first to transmit the human voice, he did claim to be the first to conduct "broadcasting". To facilitate the spreading of the radio
signal in all directions, he designed omni-directional antennas, which he mounted on the rooftops of various buildings in San Jose.
Herrold also holds the title as the first broadcaster to accept advertising. He exchanged publicity for a local record store for records to play on his station.
Better known than Charles Herrold, Westinghouse in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the Scripps' Detroit News in Detroit, Michigan were mistakenly credited as the first US broadcasters in the early 1920s. Broadcasting was not yet commercially supported; the stations owned by the manufacturers and department stores were established to sell radios and those owned by newspapers to sell newspapers and express the opinions of the owners. Westinghouse was brought into the patent allies group, General Electric, American Telephone and Telegraph, and Radio Corporation of America, and became a part owner of RCA. All radios made by GE and Westinghouse were sold under the RCA label 60% GE and 40% Westinghouse. ATT's Western Electric would build radio transmitters. The patent allies attempted to set up a monopoly, but they failed due to successful competition. Much to the dismay of the patent allies, several of the contracts for inventor's patents held clauses protecting "amateurs" and allowing them to use the patents. Whether the competing manufacturers were really amateurs was ignored by these competitors.
Old-Time Radio (OTR) or the Golden Age of Radio is a term used to refer to radio programs mainly broadcast during the 1920s through the late 1950s. The end of the OTR era was marked by the final CBS broadcasts of Suspense and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar on September 30, 1962.
Although very little radio comedy-drama currently airs on American radio, it continues at full strength on British and Irish stations, and to a lesser degree in Canada. Regular broadcasts of radio plays are also heard in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. In the United States, vintage shows and new audio productions are accessible more on recordings rather than over the air. The audio theatre art form was invented prior to radio, developing in the 1880s and 1890s on early wax recordings. The first examples were recordings of vaudeville sketches, sometimes modified for the medium, but original audio pieces were being created well before Reginald Fessenden first broadcast sound over the radio on Christmas Eve, 1906.
Before the expansion of television in the early 1950s, radio was the most popular home entertainment system across the United States. With the rise of the movie industry, America's appetite for mass entertainment grew. As with films, early radio shows reflected vaudeville origins and usually featured variety shows with music, ethnic humor and often suggestive situations. As the medium matured, sophistication increased. By the mid-1930s radio featured genres and formats popular in other forms of American entertainment -- adventure, comedy, drama, horror, mystery, musical variety, romance, thrillers -- along with farm reports, news, weather, commentary and panel discussion shows.
History of RCA®
RCA was formed in 1919 as a publicly-held company owned in part by AT&T and GE. David Sarnoff was named General Manager. RCA's charter required it be mostly American-owned. RCA took over the assets of American Marconi, and was responsible for marketing GE and Westinghouse's radio equipment. It also acquired the patents of United Fruit and Westinghouse, in exchange for ownership stakes.
In many ways the story of RCA is the story of David Sarnoff. His drive and business acumen led to RCA becoming one of the largest companies in the world, successfully turning it into a conglomerate during their era of their success.
By 1926, RCA had grasped the market for commercial radio, and purchased the WEAF and WCAP radio stations and network from AT&T, merged them with RCA's own attempt at networking, the WJZ New York/WRC Washington chain, and formed the National Broadcasting Company (NBC).
In 1929, RCA purchased the Victor Talking Machine Company, then the world's largest manufacturer of phonographs (including the famous "Victrola") and phonograph records (in British English, "gramophone records"). The company then became RCA-Victor. With Victor, RCA acquired New World rights to the famous Nipper trademark. RCA Victor produced many radio-phonographs. The company also created new techniques for adding sound to film.
In 1939, RCA demonstrated the first television system at the New York World's Fair. With the introduction of the NTSC standard, the Federal Communications Commission authorized the start of
commercial television transmission on July 1, 1941. World War II slowed the deployment of television in the US, but RCA began selling television sets almost immediately after the war was over.
Antitrust concerns led to the breakup of the NBC radio networks by the FCC, a breakup affirmed by the United States Supreme Court. On October 12, 1943, the "NBC Blue" radio network was sold to Life Savers candy magnate Edward J. Noble for $8,000,000, and renamed "The Blue Network, Inc". It would become the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) in 1946. The "NBC Red" network retained the NBC name, and RCA retained ownership.
In 1949, RCA-Victor developed and released the first 45 rpm record to the public, answering CBS/Columbia's 33? rpm "LP".
RCA Video-Tape machineIn 1953, RCA's color-TV standard was adopted as the standard for American color TV. RCA cameras and studio gear, particularly of the TK-40/41 series, became standard equipment at many American television network affiliates. Perhaps surprisingly David Sarnoff commented in 1955, "Television will never be a medium of entertainment".
Today, beautiful replicas of old RCA radios and Victrola phonographs can be
found gracing homes and offices everywhere.
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Crosley® Radio History
The year was 1920 - Cincinnati native, Powel Crosley founded the
company that pioneered radio broadcasting and mass-market radio manufacturing.
Dismayed with the $130 price tag for the radio receiver he promised to buy for
his son's birthday, Crosley decided to make his own. Upon successfully
building a working set for only $35, he was quick to spot the mass market
Crosley's idea was a simple one. Design a fully functioning radio, meticulously craft
each unit with obsessive detail and precise accuracy, and of course add a
measure of consideration for the wallet. Because of his creativity, innovation
and ingenuity Crosley was dubbed ‘The Henry Ford of Radio' - and so began
Crosley Radio which was to become the world's largest radio manufacturer.
He's most well-known for the mass production and marketing of radios and the creation of WLW - "The Nation's Station"
and the 500,000 watt tower he constructed that transmitted FDR's fireside chats. Those signals were reported to have been
heard as far away as Australia! By the mid 1900's, he presided over a star-studded radio empire that featured such stars
as Rosemary Clooney, Red Skelton, Jack Benny and more.
A true industrialist, Crosley also became known for a multitude of ventures.
He was infamous for the Crosley - a miniature-sized automobile, fashioned after
the lightweight European cars. The chubby-profiled vehicle promised 50
miles to the gallon and was sold in department stores for just $325. He
got involved in many other ventures including the Shelvador refrigerator, the
Moonbeam airplane, the first car radio - the Roamio, the Icy-Ball
chemical-mechanical ice box and the Go-bi-bi go-kart/stroller, to name a few.
Today, the Crosley philosophy remains virtually unchanged. The Crosley
name lives on with superbly detailed replicas that truly transcend time.
Reintroductions of original vintage radios and turntables feature the newest
technologies graced by unforgettable Crosley stylings. As a leading
manufacturer of vintage wares, the Crosley Collection will excite you with
completely unexpected treasures featuring pleasantly familiar twists. Their
extensive collection of antique replicas are painstakingly rendered after
yesterday's old radios, jukeboxes and phonographs we've all come to know and
This article uses material by permission of The Crosley Radio Corporation.
History of the Television
The German student Paul Gottlieb Nipkow proposed and patented the first electromechanical television system in 1885. Nipkow's spinning disk design is credited with being the first television image rasterizer. However, it wasn't until 1907 that developments in amplification tube technology made the design practical. Meanwhile, Constantin Perskyi had coined the word television in a paper read to the International Electricity Congress at the International World Fair in Paris on August 25, 1900. Perskeyi's paper reviewed the existing electromechanical technologies, mentioning the work of Nipkow and others.
A modern 82" (208 cm) LCD television.From 1907 to 1910, Boris Rosing and his student Vladimir Zworykin demonstrated a television system that used a mechanical mirror-drum scanner in the transmitter and the electronic Braun tube (cathode ray tube) in the receiver. Rosing disappeared during the Bolshevik revolution of 1917, but Zworykin later went to work for RCA to build a purely electronic television, the design of which was eventually found to violate patents by Philo Taylor Farnsworth.
A mechanically scanned analogue television system was first demonstrated in London in February 1924 by John Logie Baird with an image of Felix the Cat and a moving picture by Baird on October 30, 1925. In 1928 Baird's company (Baird Television Development Company / Cinema Television) broadcast the first transatlantic Television signal, between London and New York, and the first shore to ship transmission. He also demonstrated an electromechanical colour, infrared (dubbed "Noctovision"), and stereoscopic television, using additional lenses, disks and filters. In parallel he developed a video disk recording system dubbed "Phonovision"; a number of the Phonovision recordings, dating back to 1927, still exist. In 1929 he became involved in the first experimental electromechanical television service in Germany. In 1931 he made the first live transmission, of the Epsom Derby. In 1932 he demonstrated ultra-short wave television. Baird's system was tested by the BBC, who later discontinued its use in 1937 in favor of purely electronic television.
In the U. S. Ernst Alexanderson demonstrated a mechanically scanned television broadcasting system in 1927.
Although the discoveries of Nipkow, Rosing, Baird and others were extraordinary, little of their technology is used in modern television. By 1934, all electromechanical television systems were outmoded.
A.A. Campbell-Swinton wrote a letter to Nature on the 18 June 1908 describing his concept of electronic television using the cathode ray tube, which had been invented in 1897 by the German physicist and Nobel prize winner Karl Ferdinand Braun. He proposed using an electron beam in both the camera and the receiver, which could be steered electronically to produce moving pictures. He lectured on the subject in 1911 and displayed circuit diagrams, but no one, including Swinton, knew how to realize the design. Although his system was never built, the cathode ray tube did come to be used to display images in almost all television sets and computer monitors until the invention of the LCD panel.
A fully electronic system was first demonstrated by Philo Taylor Farnsworth in the autumn of 1927. Farnsworth, a Mormon farm boy from Rigby, Idaho, first envisioned his system at age 14. He discussed the idea with his high school chemistry teacher, who could think of no reason why it would not work (Farnsworth would later credit this teacher, Justin Tolman, as providing key insights into his invention). He continued to pursue the idea at Brigham Young Academy (now Brigham Young University). At age 21, he demonstrated a working system at his own laboratory in San Francisco. His breakthrough freed television from reliance on spinning discs and other mechanical parts. All modern picture tube televisions descend directly from his design.
Vladimir Zworykin is also sometimes cited as the father of electronic television because of his invention of the iconoscope in 1923 and his invention of the kinescope in 1929. His design was one of the first to demonstrate a television system with all the features of modern picture tubes. His previous work with Rosing on electromechanical television gave him key insights into how to produce such a system, but his (and RCA's) claim to being its original inventor was largely invalidated by three facts: a) Zworykin's 1923 patent presented an incomplete design, incapable of working in its given form (it was not until 1933 that Zworykin achieved a working implementation), b) the 1923 patent application was not granted until 1938, and not until it had been seriously revised, and c) courts eventually found that RCA was in violation of the television design patented by Philo Taylor Farnsworth, whose lab Zworykin had visited while working on his designs for RCA.
The controversy over whether it was first Farnsworth or Zworykin who invented modern television is still hotly debated today. Some of this debate stems from the fact that while Farnsworth appears to have gotten there first, it was RCA that first marketed working television sets, and it was RCA employees who first wrote the history of television. Even though Farnsworth eventually won the legal battle over this issue, he was never able to fully capitalize financially on his invention.
Most television researchers appreciated the value of color image transmission, with an early patent application in Russia in 1889 for a mechanically-scanned color system showing how early the importance of color was realized. John Logie Baird demonstrated color transmission in 1928.
Guillermo González Camarena (1917–1965), invented the an early color televsion transmission system. He received patents for color television systems in 1940 (U.S. Patent 1942 (2296019), 1960 and 1962. The 1942 patent was for a mechanically scanned color filter adapter for an existing monochrome electronic transmission system.
In August 31, 1946 he sent his first color transmission from his lab in the offices of The Mexican League of Radio Experiments in Lucerna St. #1, in Mexico City. The video signal was transmitted at a frequency of 115 MHz. and the audio in the 40 metre band.
Color television became available in the U.S. on December 30 of 1953, backed by the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) network. The government approved the color broadcast system proposed by CBS, but when RCA came up with a subcarrier system that made it possible to view color broadcasts in black and white on unmodified old black and white TV sets, CBS dropped their own proposal and used the new one (see NTSC).
The first publicly announced experimental TV broadcast of a program using RCA's "compatible color" system was an episode of Kukla, Fran and Ollie on August 30, 1953. NBC was the first network to have a regularly scheduled color program on the air (Bonanza, starting in 1959). The networks slowly reformed into the color standard, and all three broadcast networks were airing full color schedules by the 1966–67 broadcast season.
European color television was developed somewhat later and was hindered by a continuing division on technical standards. Having decided to adopt a higher-definition 625-line system for monochrome transmissions, with a lower frame rate but with a higher overall bandwidth, Europeans could not directly adopt the U.S. color standard, which was widely perceived as wanting anyway, because of its tint control problems. There was no urgency either, since there were still few sets overall and no commercial motivations, European television broadcasters being state-owned at the time.
As a consequence, although work on various color encoding systems started already in the 1950s, with the first SECAM patent being registered in 1956, many years had passed till the first broadcasts actually started in 1967. Unsatisfied with the performance of NTSC and of initial SECAM implementations, the Germans decided to create PAL (phase alternating line) at the beginning of the 1960s, staying closer to NTSC but borrowing some ideas from SECAM. The French continued with SECAM, notably involving Russians in the development.
The first color broadcast in Europe was by BBC2 in the UK in the summer of 1967, using PAL. Germans did their first broadcast in September (PAL), while the French in October (SECAM). PAL was eventually adopted by West Germany, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, much of Africa, Asia and South America, and most Western European countries except France.
Apart for France and Luxembourg, SECAM was adopted by Soviet Union, much of Eastern Europe, much of Africa and of the Middle East. Both systems broadcast on UHF frequencies, the VHF being used for legacy black & white, 405 lines in UK or 819 lines in France, till the beginning of the eighties.
The first long distance public television broadcast was from Washington, DC to New York City and occurred on April 7, 1927. The image shown was of then Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover. The first analogue service was WGY, Schenectady, New York inaugurated on May 11, 1928. The first British Television Play, "The Man with the Flower in his Mouth", was transmitted in July 1930. CBS's New York City station began broadcasting the first regular seven days a week television schedule in the U. S. on July 21, 1931. The first broadcast included Mayor James J. Walker, Kate Smith, and George Gershwin. The first all-electronic television service was started in Los Angeles, CA by Don Lee Broadcasting. Their start date was December 23, 1931 on W6XAO—later KTSL. Originally, mechanical equipment was used, but in June of 1936 a 300-line all-electronic service was started.
In Germany, regular service started on March 22, 1935, and one year later, the Berlin Summer Olympic Games were televised to places in Berlin and Hamburg.
In 1932 the BBC launched a service using Baird's 30-line system and these transmissions continued until 11 September 1935. On November 2, 1936 the BBC began broadcasting a dual-system service, alternating on a weekly basis between Marconi-EMI's high-resolution (405 lines per picture) service and Baird's improved 240-line standard from Alexandra Palace in London. Six months later, the corporation decided that Marconi-EMI's electronic picture gave the superior picture, and adopted that as their standard. This service is described as "the world's first regular high-definition public television service", since a regular television service had been broadcast earlier on a 180-line standard in Germany. The outbreak of the Second World War caused the service to be suspended. TV transmissions only resumed from Alexandra Palace in 1946.
The first regular television transmissions in Canada began in 1952 when the CBC put two stations on the air, one in Montreal, Quebec on September 6, and another in Toronto, Ontario two days later.
The first live transcontinental television broadcast took place in San Francisco, California from the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference on September 4, 1951. In 1958, the CBC completed the longest television network in the world, from Sydney, Nova Scotia to Victoria, British Columbia. Reportedly, the first continuous live broadcast of a breaking news story in the world was conducted by the CBC during the Springhill Mining Disaster which began on October 23 of that year.
Programming is broadcast on television stations (sometimes called channels). At first, terrestrial broadcasting was the only way television could be distributed. Because bandwidth was limited, government regulation was normal. In the U.S., the Federal Communications Commission allowed stations to broadcast advertisements, but insisted on public service programming commitments as a requirement for a license. By contrast, the United Kingdom chose a different route, imposing a television licence fee on owners of television reception equipment, to fund the BBC, which had public service as part of its Royal Charter. Development of cable and satellite means of distribution in the 1970s pushed businessmen to target channels towards a certain audience, and enabled the rise of subscription-based television channels, such as HBO and Sky. Practically every country in the world now has developed at least one television channel. Television has grown up all over the world, enabling every country to share aspects of their culture and society with others.
By the late 1980s, 98% of all homes in the U.S. had at least one TV set. On average, Americans watch four hours of television per day. An estimated two-thirds of Americans got most of their news about the world from TV, and nearly half got all of their news from TV. These figures are now estimated to be significantly higher.
This article is licensed under the "GNU Free Documentation License". It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Television".