History of Radio
The early history of radio is the history of technology that produced radio
instruments that use radio waves. Within the timeline of radio, many people contributed theory and inventions in what became
radio. Radio development began as "wireless telegraphy". Later radio history increasingly involves matters
of programming and content.
Radio-telegraphy is the sending by radio waves the same dot-dash message (morse code) used in a telegraph.
Long ago transmitters were called spark-gap machines. It was developed mainly for ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship communication.
This was a way of communicating between two points, however, it was not public radio broadcasting as we know it today.
Wireless signals proved effective in communication for rescue work when a sea disaster occurred. A number
of ocean liners installed wireless equipment. In 1899 the United States Army established wireless communications with a lightship
off Fire Island, New York. Two years later the Navy adopted a wireless system. Up to then, the Navy had been using visual
signaling and homing pigeons for communication.
The radio became a very important part of daily life in the United States during the 1930’s. In 1930,
about 12 million US households owned a radio, but by 1939, that number had increased to 28 million. Radios were an important
part of households during this time as the radio offered news, entertainment, family togetherness and it sustained a link
with a larger community.