Chapter ONE

In the Beginning …

Genesis to 1920

In these early moments of the 21st century, we tend to be surprised from time to time when we read a current news story about a “broadcast pioneer” or hear a radio interview or see a television program with one of the men or women who were involved at the very beginning of broadcasting. For most people—that is, anyone under 75 years of age—radio seems to have been around forever. For people not yet 40, the same seems to be true for television. Many of us are sometimes startled to learn that the not-too-old-looking gray-headed person we have seen in a TV interview or met in person is a television pioneer.

But when we consider that the first radio station in the United States was licensed by the federal ...

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