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The Radio: It’s History And It’s Impact

1122 words - 5 pages

The radio grew in popularity and was as successful as it was because it was able to reach all across the nation, helped the American people interpret the Great Depression, and was a universal place of communication and entertainment. Although the first radio-wave theorem was developed in 1864 by James Clerk Maxwell, it was not until the 1920s and 1930s that the device really gained popularity in the U.S. During the Great Depression, families, advertisers, and even politicians used the radio for purposes such as entertainment, news, and a forum to the American people.1
The radio was the first device to institute mass communication and when first brought to the American people, it did just ...view middle of the document...

Most radio specials did not carry a political bias or motive, unlike newspapers, were able to accurately give the news, and provide a bit of entertainment and pleasure to its listeners.7
The website’s, www.library.thinkquest.org, page on “The Invention of the Radio” summarizes the origin and different inventions of the radio. The page focuses on the numerous add-ons inventions supplemented to the radio and their importance. One can learn from this page, for instance, that the AM function of a radio refers to the height of a shortwave and that the FM function refers to the frequency of such signal. In addition to this, one can learn through this site exactly where the idea of wireless communication and the radio began. An important fact noted from this page is that the first radio-wave theorem, the first sign or indication of the radio, was developed in 1864, nearly sixty years before the beginning of what we today call the radio.8
The website’s, www.personal.psu.edu, page on “The History of Communication Technology: Radio,” also discusses the history, origins, and beginning of the radio but with an emphasis on the device’s social and cultural impact. An interesting fact one can learn from this site is that radio had much of its start over in England, with Europe’s most famous broadcasting station, the BBC, beginning in 1922. In addition, with the explanation of The Radio Act of 1912, one is made aware of the role the radio had in politics as well. The radio had, and still has, a globally social impact on societies all over: a fact this source aids one in realizing.9
The website’s, www.press.uchicago.edu, excerpt from the article, “Radio’s America: The Great Depression and the Rise of Modern Mass Culture,” uses what author Bruce Lenthall deems “the story of the century” to emphasize the impact and major role the radio and its contents had on society. Lenthall introduces the article with a summary and look back at the Mercury Theater on the Air’s broadcast of War of the Worlds. Due to this radio show’s prevalence in the article, one can infer the show played a large role in America’s general interpretations of the radio and its shows. Lenthall makes a good point...

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