The radio in the 1920's.

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The Roaring 20's

During the 1920's, also known as "The Roaring 20's", Radio Broadcasting became one of America's favorite sources of entertainment. During this time period most Americans depended on radio for their source of communication, since television was not yet invented. The invention of radio had a major impact on Americans. Radio stations transmitted a variety of shows and programs that entertained many people through out the nation.

"In the 1920's the Westinghouse engineer, Frank Conrad, received a license for what is regarded as the first true station, KDKA Pittsburgh, PA. KDKA broadcast scheduled music programs, sports, and the 1920 presidential election. By 1924 the radio listeners numbered twenty-million." (Academic American Encyclopedia) Two years later in 1922 AT&T inaugurated their first radio station, WEAF, in New York City. (Academic American Encyclopedia)"WEAF broadcasted the first paid commercial announcement, a ten-minute speech on the behalf of the Queensboroush Corporation, and a real-estate concert."

(Academic American Encyclopedia) AT&T's radio station, WEAF, had become the first to broadcast a sponsored program in in October 1922. (

Companies like Westinghouse, General Electric, and AT&T all started inaugurating their own radio stations, there were fifteen to twenty radio stations owned by General Electric, AT&T, or Westinghouse. Churches, schools, newspapers, and department stores also owned one or two stations. ( Westinghouse, General Electric, and AT&T agreed to share the important broadcasting patents that each had developed. Later, AT&T sold its radio station, WEAF, to Radio Corporation of America (RCA). The station later became the most powerful company of America. (

Before 1923, all programs broadcasted by radio stations were only broadcasted as one-timers. The idea of a program series hadn't been developed yet. Materials from studios were limited to talks. Radio stations broadcast was mainly sports like baseball, football, polo, and boxing because newscasts had not been performed. Stations were only on air for four to five hours a day, never any longer. All programs were amateur except for one; "Stunts" pick ups of music groups. ( By 1923 there was a major advance in the program field. "During the 1923-26 period, lager stations had developed definite program forms. The program for ran for thirty to sixty minutes and had a definite opening and closing." ( Program types in general use included well-developed music, variety shows, concert music, and talks. A number of stations presented an early type of variety shows, usually for one or two hours. (

Between 1926-30, most network programs were at least thirty minutes in length. The most popular network program forms were musical. They included orchestral groups and concert music. Networks started using different types of material each week. For example one-week musical programs, next week a debate then another week a dramatization, and so on. ( By 1929 comedy came toto many networks. One of the most popular shows was " The Amos 'n' Andy Combination". The show appeared on air five times a week for fifteen minutes. Newscasts had also come along. Most networks featured news from Washington and others broadcasted news about other events in American society. (

The 1920's was a time which radio advanced. Listening to sports, musical concerts, and newscast on the radio became a regular past time for Americans in that time period. Maybe, that's why the 20's were called the "Roaring 20's".