Broadcast radio turns 100

Post ImageIt was on December 24th, 1906 that Canadian inventor Reginald Fessenden produced the world’s first public radio broadcast. When you consider how many technologies have met their deaths in recent decades, it’s amazing that radio is still so prevalent today (Via Engadget):

On Dec. 24, 1906, Fessenden fired up his transmitting station at Brant Rock, Mass., a small village about 50 kilometres from Boston. Together with his wife Helen, a secretary and a small crew, Fessenden started his broadcast at 9:00 p.m. with a brief speech, followed by a Edison phonograph recording of Handel’s “Largo.”

Apparently Fessenden earned over 500 patents during his lifetime, had a U.S. Navy destroyer named after him, and was paid $2.5 million by the U.S. Radio Trust in 1928 for his contribution to radio technology.

Kind of odd that I’ve never heard of him before! As broadcast journalism professor Len Arminio says:

“Fessenden was a true Canadian genius,” said Arminio. “He got lost in the historic shuffle, and that’s too bad.”

Happy Birthday broadcast radio!

Read: Canoe

2 thoughts on “Broadcast radio turns 100

  1. The guy in Canada that invented the aircraft black box used to live down the road from me until he died recently.

    I think England, Canada & the US all claim to have each had the inventor of various technologies or first XYZ use of a technology (TV, radio) – I think it’s all in the details of the specificity of claim made, i.e. they are probably mostly valid claims but they aren’t necessarily for exactly the same use, thingy, widget, interpretation…

    Anyway happy turkey day…

  2. Yeah that’s true. And in a lot of cases, there was probably some healthy competition going on that further mixed up the details (such as with Edison and Tesla).

    Happy Holidays!

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