History of Telegraphy (04:51)
In the mid-1800s, the telegraph, with its dots and dashes, made it possible to move messages in ways that were previously unheard of—as if by magic. Marconi is the first to build a wireless radio communication device.
History of Radio (02:46)
Marconi's invention revolutionizes communication, but its reliance on Morse code limits its use as a medium for mass communication. In the 1920s, the vacuum tube enables voices to be transmitted across long distances. David Sarnoff is the first, true radio visionary.
Radio Broadcasting (03:07)
As a hobby, Americans build radio receivers to pick up whatever they can from the airwaves. Programming is one of the problems facing broadcasters in the 1920s. Frank Conrad's KDKA is the world’s first commercial radio station.
Power of Radio (04:17)
Radio networks form in the late 1920s, bringing up-to-date news and events into the nation's living rooms. Radio brings people out of isolation and gives them the world through the eyes of such personalities as FDR and Edward R. Murrow.
Radio: Commercial Medium (05:12)
Radio fulfills its role as a cultural and educational medium from its first appearance. Commercial radio started in 1922, and by 1930, radio is making a lot of money. To attract large audiences, broadcasters develop entertainment programming instead of cultural and educational programming.
Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" (02:01)
When Orson Welles' broadcast of "War of the World" causes half of American to panic out of fear of real invasion, the power of radio reveals its dangerous side.
Advent of Television (03:33)
Radio's dominance of the airwaves continues through the 1940s until the appearance of television. From the 1950s onward, television is on a rocket ride, taking all the radio stars, performers, and entertainment along with it. Radio becomes a shell of its former self.
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