chapter  7
17 Pages

Radio Activity and Its Fallout: Radio

BySteven Starker

Broadcasting history began with a group of dedicated young physicists, sometimes characterized as "crackpot" inventors and lone tinkerers, who followed their esoteric technical interests despite public ridicule or indifference. An Italian youth, Guglielmo Marconi, read about the "Hertzian waves" while vacationing in the Alps and decided to continue the work in his own home. Lee DeForest, another radio pioneer, wrote his doctoral thesis on "Hertzian Waves." In 1907, DeForest patented a new device for detecting weak radio signals. Thanks to DeForest, a radio revolution was getting under way; he had discovered "an invisible Empire of the Air." A substantial radio audience had been created, and it was to grow by leaps and bounds. Voices were raised, as well, about the effects of all those soap operas on adults. Human consciousness was now to be bombarded with the inevitable diet of sensuality and violence through yet another sensory channel, undoubtedly with evil consequences.