The Amazing History of Radio

A Quick History of the Radio


The discover of radio waves may have impacted civilization more than any other. With this discovery, people could communicate almost instantly with people all around the world. Who knows? Perhaps someday we will even find out that we have been communicating with aliens from other worlds, but nobody has actual proof that they have received our old radio shows or broadcasts because nobody can prove they have sent any back. Maybe we’re just not listening the right way.

Radio in the 1800’s

James Maxwell announced the theory of elctro-magnetic waves in 1873. Even before that, Samuel Morse devised a scheme called Morse Code. At first, it was only used with telegraphs, but it later became used with radio communications. It took until 1898 for wireless telegraphy – or radio – to get used for the first time in naval maneuvers. The year of 1899 saw the first radio signal between Britain and France.

Radio in the 1900’s

Well, just about everything happened in the 20th century to advance the use of radio for communication. For example, the first radio signal was sent across the Atlantic in 1901. By 1920, crystal sets became popular.

Radio was used in both world wars, but advances in radio communication after WWII made space exploration possible because that is how astronauts communicated with earth and each other.  During the 30’s and 40’s, radios became common appliances in homes. After WWII, radio exploded into the medium we know today. Of course, TVs also became popular, but they never replaced radios entirely.

Radio Today

Did you know that the wireless signal from your router is actually a radio signal? Additionally, typical TV sets may be slowly getting phased out by the Internet, but that doesn’t replace radio. It actually makes radio signals more important. The big difference may be satellite radio broadcasts from companies like Sirius. However, since consumers have to pay to receive XM radio, AM and FM are still quite popular.


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