According to an online article that was written by Gearbox (2011), the radio has become one of our most simple forms of broadcasting and communication. From helping connect soldiers on the front line of battle to entertaining the commuter on their ride to work, the radio is a part of everyday life. The article gives a brief history of radio broadcasting, in addition to how the low cost and simplicity of technology has become very easy to tune in to your favorite station, even though it was not always that way.
The article mentioned that it began in 1887 when a man named Heinrich Hertz discovered radio waves and their ability to transmit code wirelessly. Hertz’s research was followed up by Reginald Fessenden who created the first continuous wave generator, which was inspired by the action of skipping stones across water. The article went on to talk about the dawn of commercial radio and how the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) was established bringing about innovations in high powered radio. he article stated that Frank Conrad an engineer for Westinghouse was the first to begin broadcasting, which he did out of his garage, where he began broadcasting sports, news, and music while at the same time giving “free advertising” spots to people. The article gave a brief description of how Sears Department stores begin to buy into the new technology selling approximately 17 million units between 1925 and 1930 which gave radio the title of “mass media”.
The article went into more detail about how large audience radio stations began selling on-air advertising time helping to generate 27 million dollars a year in 1937. The article further spoke about the first major network that began broadcasting was NBC (1926) and soon after CBS was started as competition. The article then elaborated on how these stations began to hire big names like Jack Benny, George Burns, and Ed Wynn to do on air shows.
The article also stated that the popularity of radio interference started to become a problem, resulting in licenses issued by the government, which was later defined as AM radio, standardized channels, and eradicated portable stations. The article mentioned that during the depression in 1930, spending on radio tripled and the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) was developed to regulate foreign commerce communication by radio.
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