National Radio Day
Every Day I get an email listing all the observed National Days, like National Chocolate Pecan Day, National Gopher Day, National Bow Day, National Aviation Day. Most of them I do not pay much attention too, unless they pertain to my world of Agriculture, or in the case of today being National Radio Day. It was not until late in the 19th Century that it became clear that wireless communication was possible.
There is not one person that can be credited with inventing the radio in the late 1800's. Rather there were several inventors that had a critical role. The research of German Heinrich Hertz proved electricity could be transmitted wirelessly. Nikola Tesla provided the radio with the Tesla coil. Tesla also contributed by inventing alternating current. Guglielmo Marconi invented the first commercially available wireless communication, the Marconi Wireless.
Another big contributor was American Lee de Forest who was born in Iowa in 1873. He was the chief scientist for the first radio firm, American Wireless Telephone and Telegraph. His invention the Audion vacuum tube made live broadcasting possible. The first wireless radio served a role in the military and public service before music and entertainment. I believe the internet and email was developed for the military too.
Radio ownership grew from two stations out of five homes in 1938 to over 15,000 licensed broadcast radio stations at the end of 2012 according to FCC statistics. It was in 1999 that the first satellite broadcast occurred. Some have speculated that the era of radio would end with cell phones and laptop computers. Instead, these new technologies have enhanced radio. For example you can listen to KDHL anywhere in the world on your laptop computer. Just go to our web site kdhlradio.com. You can listen to KDHL on your cell phone too by downloading our free app.
Isn't technology wonderful. However, it can be intimidating too. It's been a lot for this senior citizen to learn! This is a picture we have on the wall at KDHL studios. It is Harry Truman when he stopped in Faribault on his Whistle Stop Tour in 1948. Notice the KDHL microphone he was using!