Invention Of The Radio

The invention of the radio was one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century

However, the radio invention was, and still is, surrounded in controversy.

At least three inventors lay claim to the invention of the radio. They are Nikola Tesla, Guglielmo Marconi and Alexander Popov. Many people credit the Italian Marconi with the radio invention, but academics and writers (and the US Supreme Court in 1943) are beginning to give the credit to Tesla, a Serbian scientist and inventor (who immigrated to America).

In the early 1890s, Tesla invented a device known as a Tesla coil, which trasmitted high frequency and high voltage current through the air.

Tesla realised that the same concept could apply to radio signal resonations and began experimenting with a radio apparatus. If he had marketed his inventions more effectively (and in some ways more secretively), he would have gained more credit. Problem was that Tesla was a terrible businessman, and allowed others to gain credit for his inventions (including Thomas Edison and Marconi).

In 1895, Marconi, probably having read Tesla’s articles and learned about his technology, modified Tesla’s findings somewhat to produce a crude radio trasmitter and receiver. That year he sent and received a radio signal in Italy. For publicity purposes, he also sent a trasmission across the English Channel.

Further advances were made to the invention of the radio. In 1906 the American Reginald Fessenden transmitted both music and speech through the airwaves.

However, it wasn’t until the sinking of the Titanic that radio transmission really took off. Ships at sea realized the need for communication with land. It was the 1920s when improvements to the invention of the radio finally lead to the introduction of radio stations. In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania the first genuine radio station was set up. Within years, hundreds of others sprang up around the US and Europe.

Also be sure to check out Marconi’s invention for another take on the invention of the radio.