Intro to Media and Telecom Timeline


First public demonstration of the telegraph


First sent message on the completed telegraph

May 24 1844

What hath God Wrought

First voice broadcasted by Nathan Stubblefield


" can you hear me now?➢ First person to broadcast a human voice using a wireless telephone attached to ground electrodes-

First radio sent and received on the completed telegraph in italy


Marconi's influence

1895 - 1901

1st wireless Morse code from England to France


Us Navy adopted wireless system


Transatlantic message


• Transmitted from England to Newfounland- The letter “S” in 1902. The first successful transatlantic radio-telegraph message.

Lee De forest invented the audio vacuum tube


First Radio Broadcast

December 24 1906

➢ First radio broadcast- Christmas Eve, 1906. “O Holy Night” and a passage from the bible were heard.

Nathan Stubblefield Car phones


Nathan Stubblefield patented a new version of wireless telephone designated to communicate with moving vehicles/stagecoaches.

Broadcasting to ships

January 12 1908

The U.S.S. Ohio was sending out band tunes to other ships and even responding to requests. DeForest considers this the beginning of broadcasting.

Titanic Disaster


Radio Act of 1912

1912 - 1927

➢ Mandated radio equipment for all long-distance vessels after the Titanic tragedy and that the wireless system be managed 24 hours a day.
➢ Auxiliary power must also be available of vessels in case of engine failure.
➢ Each ship’s radio had to have a range of at least 100 miles.
➢ Purged the airwaves of amateur radio users.
➢ Operators had to be licensed and adhere to certain bandwidths.
➢ Large portions of the spectrum were set aside for the Navy.
➢ Radio frequency was/is considered a “Natural Resource”.
➢ Radio stations had to obtain licenses from the Commerce Department

Armstong's influence

1913 - 1954

Edwin Howard Armstrong feedback circut


invented Regenerative or Feedback Circuit that allowed radio broadcasts to have a greater range

Armstong invented superhetrodyne


invented the Superhetrodyne Tuner that allowed radios to tune into different radio stations (1918)

RCA was created


Radio of the 1920s

1920 - 1930

10,000 lincensed amateurs were on the air


Chicago's first radio station


KYW, exclusively opera

over 600 radio stations in US


Four letters were needed


ATT opened WEAF

August 28 1922

WEAF the first commercial radio station in New York

ATT sold WEAF to RCA


for $1 million dollars

NBC created


• First national radio network- NBC in 1926

Network paid affiliates


• Network (at first) paid their affiliates- CBS 1927 paid affiliates $50/hr to carry network programming.

Radio act of 1927


• 1. The creation of a new government commission “The FRC”
• 2. The commission’s mandate to regulare radio in the “public interest”, convenience, and necessity
• Prior to 1927, radio was regulared by the Department of Commerce(natural resource)
• Powers were limited…they were not allowed to deny broadcast licenses to anyone who wanted on
• Too many stations on too few frequencies
• Transferred power to the FRC (federal radio commission later would become fCC)
• Had no authority over advertising…
• The 5 person FRC was given power to grant or deny licenses
• To assign frequencies and power levels for each licensee
• The commission had little or not power over networks

60% of American families had purchased a radio


Golden Age of Radio

1930 - 1940

Jack Benny Show

1932 - 1965

first comedy variety show, used ethnic and minstrel humor

Armstong created FM


is credited with discovering Frequency Modulation (FM) radio

FCC : “W” east of the Mississippi river and “k” to the West of the mississippi


NBC Blue sold became ABC


First Quiz Show


Professor Quiz by CBs

The Guiding Light

1937 - 2009

War of the Worlds

October 30 1938

Armstrong died

January 31 1954

➢ Armstrong was broke and on January 31st 1954 he jumped out of a 13 story window

FCC opened more spectrum space


to help FM sales

Non-duplication rule

January 1967

prohibits stations form simulcasting programming from their AM stations to their FM stations

NPR and PBC created


Album Oriented Rock


new format that built steam in the 70s



➢ Pirate stations are unlicensed radio stations. They were ordered off the air if they want LPFM eligibility.
➢ Effective wattage is only 100 watts. That is a 3.5 mile radius.
➢ By 2007- 810 LPFM stations are on the air.
➢ Half of licenses approved in the first round were right-wing Christian fundamentalist groups