First Broadcast by Ham Radio Operator

Today in 1909, Einar Dessau of Denmark used a shortwave transmitter to converse with a government radio post about six miles away in what is believed to have been the first broadcast by a ‘ham’ radio operator.

Susan Douglas in Inventing American Broadcasting on the emergence in the U.S of a “grass-roots network of boys and young men,” amateur radio operators, between 1906 and 1912: “To the amateurs, the ether was neither the rightful province of the military nor a resource a private fiurm could appropriate and monopolize. The ether was, instead, an exciting new frontier in which men and boys could congragate, compete, test their mettle, and be privy to a range of new information… This realm… belonged to ‘the people.’ Thinking about the ether this way, and acting on such ideas on a daily basis, was a critical step in the transformation of wireless into radio broadcasting.”

From the forward (by Jack Binn) to The Radio Boys First Wireless (1922): “Don’t be discouraged because Edison came before you. There is still plenty of opportunity for you to become a new Edison, and no science offers the possibilities in this respect as does radio communications.”

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