Discuss the evolution of radio from the 1920s to the 1940s.

Essay by cjac72College, UndergraduateA, November 2008

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1.Discuss the evolution of radio from the 1920s to the 1940s.

Frank Conrad, an engineer for Westinghouse in Pittsburgh was the first to experiment with the radio as a hobby. As he explored his hobby, he eventually built a transmitter radio in his garage where he started broadcasting recorded music, reporting sport scores, and the showcasing of his son musical abilities according to the textbook. Over a short period of time he attracted an audience of musical fans. Soon after, Westinghouse built a station to enable Conrad’s broadcasting to be heard by more people. This was also a great business deal for Westinghouse because Conrad’s radio broadcasting give the company great exposure through free advertising by being so closely connected to the station. KDKA was the first radio station to sign onto the airwaves and is still the oldest running radio station in the country. KDKA was established in 1920.

RCA, GE, and AT&T followed venture into the radio market after KDKA became a success on the airwaves.

Early radio receivers were large, bulky, and had leaky batteries. The first receivers were not so user friendly. They required patience, a steady hand, and an electronic knowledge base to operate. AT&T was the first to figure out the best solution of generating revenue for the stations. By selling airtime, not only could they receive a larger audience but they could also make a profit. The linkage of radio stations into networks made great economic logic. It was more cost effective for the radio station to come together to produce a single radio program instead of separate. Share the expense as well as share the profits. The first network to come onto the scene was NBC which was a subsidiary of RCA in 1926. NBC had two networks (RCA and AT&T).