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Radio And Broadcasting: Where Did It All Begin?

Orham Afatam

Everyday people across Cheyenne turn on an instrument that has been around for almost 100 years. What is that you ask? The radio.

Many people have no idea where the first radio broadcast was born. Since I love and collect radios, and do broadcasting for a living, I thought it might be fun to take a trip back in time and discover radio’s history.

Ranging from news talk, sports, music, alerts and the like, the radio has been a source of information and entertainment for decades. According to history, radio first got started in 1920 by a company called Westinghouse, who applied for what was known as a commercial radio license. The station was KDKA and was the first officially governmental licensed radio station in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Westinghouse had asked Frank Conrad, an engineer, to broadcast music on a regular basis, while the company would sell radios to pay for the service. The election returns of the Harding-Cox presidential race is said to have been the KDKA’s first official broadcast.

Westinghouse was also known to have taken out newspaper ads to help promote the sales of their radios to the public. Pretty soon thousands of radios were purchased, and people all across the country were entertained by music.

A decade or so later, the airwaves were filled with the sounds of big bands, Jack Benny, amateur hours and news broadcasts from around the world. It’s amazing the history of this great tool and the mystery that surrounds the public’s love affair with them. One thing is for sure, without the invention of the radio, our world would definitely be different.

Radio offered the first true means of communicating with the masses and allowed people and world leaders alike to impart valuable information with just the click of a knob.

I still love radio. Means of communication have changed with the advent of cell phones, televisions and Internet, but our love for the old box will never change.

So when you’re all alone, turn your radio on and be alone no more.

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