Plan to Make Radio Household Utility

David Sarnoff, 1922

David Sarnoff, 1922

Today in 1915*, David Sarnoff, Chief Inspector for The Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America wrote to his superiors: “I have in mind a plan of development which will make radio a ‘household utility’ in the same sense as the piano or phonograph… The idea is to bring music into the home by wireless. The receiver can be designed in the form of a simple ‘Radio Music Box,’ placed on a table in the parlor or living room… The same principle can be extended to numerous other fields as, for example, receiving lectures at home which be made perfectly audible; also events of national importance can be simultaneously announced and received. Baseball scores can be transmitted in the air by the use of one set installed at the Polo Grounds. The same would be true of other cities. This proposition would be especially interesting to farmers and others living in outlying districts removed from cities. By the purchase of a ‘Radio Music Box’ they could enjoy concerts, lectures, music, recitals, etc., which may be going on in the nearest city within their radius. While I have indicated a few of the most probable fields of usefulness for such a device, yet there are numerous other fields to which the principle can be extended….”

*It is not clear whether this was indeed written in 1915, or 1916, or 1920, or even later. But it is clear that by 1916, Lee De Forest and others were broadcasting news and transmitting music over the wireless to multiple recipients.

See also Birth of Public Radio Broadcasting and Commercial Radio Born

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1 Response to Plan to Make Radio Household Utility

  1. Pingback: This Week In Tech History: Think Different | The Story of Information

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