Before there was television and before there was the internet, the world marveled at a new form of entertainment that allowed broadcasters to reach families both in their homes and in their cars. That entertainment, of course, came from the radio, which would prove to be one of the greatest inventions of the early 20th century. Do you claim to be a radio expert? Do you think you can pass a quiz on the history of the radio? Here's your chance to find out!
The rise of the radio changed everything, particularly in the lives of Americans. By the end of the 1920s and early 1930s, radios were in homes all over the country. People no longer needed to go to a concert hall to hear music, and they no longer needed to pick up a newspaper to hear the news. Instead, they just had to flip on the radio and all of those things were brought right to their doorstep.
Do you know where the radio came from, and what its earliest uses were? How many of the early radio personalities do you remember, the ones who changed talk radio and broadcasting in general? Get started with this quiz and put your radio knowledge to the test!
Heinrich Hertz put into practice a theory proposed by James Clark Maxwell. During the experiment, Hertz discovered the frequency of electromagnetic waves, named the hertz in his honor.
Nikola Tesla was born during a lightning storm, a sign of his future. He would go on to become one of the most important inventors in history.
Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian inventor. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work on the wireless telegraphy, which set up the future of radio.
In 1912, 700 people were saved when the Titanic sunk thanks to radio operators who summoned nearby vessels. Sadly, the ship closest to the wreck never received the signal, which would have helped save more lives.
Leading into WWI, the U.S. government took control of all radios, both private and commercial. It then began training radio operators to help with the war effort.
Westinghouse, a radio manufacturer, developed the idea for KDKA. The company teamed up with Frank Conrad, a prominent ham operator during the time.
The 1920 presidential election pitted two men from Ohio, a popular swing state, against one another. Warren Harding came away with a victory for the Republican Party.
The first ever radio ad was from a real estate developer. They were trying to rent apartments.
Even with the rise of television, most Americans still listen to the radio. That makes radio ads an effective selling tool, even today.
NBC stands for National Broadcasting Company. It made its first official broadcast on November 15, 1926.
RCA was an electronics company. The company was integrated into General Electric in 1986 after several years of failed projects.
The 1927 Rose Bowl pitted Alabama against Stanford in a game that ended in a 7-7 tie. This was the first of many major cultural broadcasts by NBC.
The Radio Act of 1927 gave the FRC the ability to give and take licenses from broadcasters. In 1934, the FRC was replaced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
For his work as an electronic engineer, Edwin Armstrong received several awards and honors. One of the most significant was being the first recipient of the Institute of Radio Engineers' Medal of Honor.
Named the British Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC was founded in 1922 by John Reith. That makes it the oldest national broadcasting organization in the world.
In 1926, newspapers in Britain were called to join the General Strike. The strike was meant to aid miners who were being forced to take less money from mine owners.
During the General Strike in Britain, newspapers were reduced to a few pages of bullet-point news. Radios, on the other hand, were just gaining their footing as a news source.
Most countries with access to radio technology used it for propaganda during the war. However, Adolf Hitler, the leader of Germany, famously took control of all radios in Germany to create one state message.
Britain was the one nation left defending Western Europe during the early years of WWII. Facing constant attacks by Germany, Winston Churchill inspired his people to continue fighting off the German invasion.
In radio, broadcasting comes from an agricultural term. It means the scattering of seeds.
The Regency TR-1 went on sale in 1954. Consumers enjoyed the small size of these radios.
Around 150,000 Regency TR-1s were sold. However, their quality of performance was lacking.
I.D.E.A teamed up with Texas Instruments to create the Regency TR-1. Some of the parts in the original design by Texas Instruments were cut because of their cost, which was one of the reasons the radio's performance suffered.
Motorola comes from merging "motor" and "ola" together. "Ola" comes from the word "Victrola," which was a product with an internal horn.
The "seek" option was first created by Becker. It allowed drivers to search for a station without manually operating the radio during every station change.
Transistor radios helped eliminate vacuum tubes. This cut the amount of space and power required for the radio.
Ford teamed up with Motorola to create the first 8-track tape player for a car. It came in response to Philips' compact cassette tapes released in 1964.
Orson Welles had a successful career first in radio and later in film. His most famous film was also his first film, Citizen Kane.
Today we know that "The War of the Worlds" was just a radio drama. However, when Orson Welles first read the drama over airways, listeners thought Earth was threatened by a real Martian invasion.
Many people consider the Cuban Missile Crisis the closest the world has come to a nuclear holocaust. Luckily, the catastrophe was avoided.
Father Coughlin originally used the radio for religious sermons. However, by the mid-1930s, he was pushing his political agenda and heavily criticizing President Franklin Roosevelt. He was forced off the air in 1939.
Sister Aimee was one of the earliest media celebrities. She helped pioneer what would become talk radio.
Barry Gray's first ever caller was Woody Herman, a famous lead musician. Herman had been talking to Gray while Gray was working, so Gray put the phone up to the microphone so that listeners could hear the conversation.
Fred Allen oversaw The Fred Allen Show with his wife, Portland Hoffa. The show ran for 17 years from, 1932 until 1949.
Paul Harvey was most known for his The Rest of the Story segments. He was on the national airways for more than 50 years.