Radio paved the way for many technological advancements.
It is very easy in our very modern world where everything, such as entertainment, news and other informational content is just a few clicks away. In fact, the roots of information broadcast and making it public was laid by a massively impactful technology that is still actively used – radio.
For most of us, we are now confined to using the radio in the car when we are out and about without even thinking how old, reliable, and fundamental that technology is.
If you’ll look back at its history, you’ll realize how intense and eventful it is and that it took dozens of great minds to make the radio signal travel great distances.
In the following post, to help us all garner a greater appreciation for radio, we’re going to highlight some of the key ways radio has impacted humanity and look at some radio broadcasting facts that were key in the technology development.
When It All Began
There were several different inventors around in 1895 who could send electrical signals covering long distances. Guglielmo Marconi, however, is the name most associate with its invention.
Even if Tesla received a patent for his almighty radio later in 1943. Before it was used for entertainment purposes, radiotelegraphy was proving its worth in other ways in shipping. For instance, 711 survivors were saved when the Titanic crashed and sunk because other ships received its distress signals.
Full audio came to radios a little later, when the first commercial radio station opened in 1919 in The Netherlands. The rest of the world followed suit and stations were popping up everywhere during the 20s and 30s. This was ideal for delivering education, as college lectures and textbooks were previously the only way you could learn new things. Radio changed that by bringing education into people’s homes.
As a Social Medium
Before social media, the original social medium was radio. During the high points in its history, that is the 20s to 50s, more shows were broadcasted every week than ever before and it brought people together, whether it was to just listen and dance to music, listen to something funny, or a sports event broadcast.
During the Great Depression is a fine example of this, because even when people were very poor, they could still afford this form of entertainment.
It also had a profound impact on the music industry, as it meant people had access to a greater variety of music throughout the country and across the world. Much of the fame and popularity that recording artists such as Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald was down to the exposure they gained through the radio.
Even today, one of the best things about radio is that there are a wide variety of stations, often focused on one genre or even period, that not only allows the artists themselves to get exposure but allows listeners to enjoy their favorite types of music.
Radio became essential during World War II, as it was used to inform citizens about what was happening in the efforts of the Allied Forces. Interestingly It was both feared and loved in equal measures because the authorities used radio to promote their propaganda and scaremonger.
This in turn motivated people to set up their own pirate radio stations and broadcasts.
So, although television and the internet are now the main sources of entertainment and communication, it is important to realize that none of these other mediums would have been possible if the radio hadn’t been invented.
It paved the way for many of the technological advancements we see today and its fascinating that even though the internet has really brought us closer together, radio is still used, and people still engage with it and listen to it regularly. It leaves us wondering if the internet will maintain its popularity, prevalence, and relevance in the same way.