Who invented the radio, and what was it’s impact on the world?
This is a small 1,000 word essay I had to write for school.
The Radio Today, the radio is one of the items most people own or use daily. It’s invention brought great possibilities to the modern world; it has allowed us to communicate from one remote place to another, to broadcast information over hundreds of miles, and even to keep us company when we have nothing else to do but listen to it.
A Little History
The roots of the radio start in the 1860’s, when a Scottish physicist named James Clerk Maxwell predicted the presence of radio waves.
Later in 1886, a german physicist ,Heinrich Hertz, expanded James Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory of light by proving that rapid change in electrical currents could be projected into space in the form of waves similar to heat and light waves. He demonstrated that “waves traveled in straight lines and that they could be reflected by a metal sheet”.
Although most textbooks erroneously describe that Guglielmo Marconi was the “Father of the radio”, the reality is completely different. Marconi just proved to the world that the radio worked, he did not create it. One of the real, uncredited inventors of the radio was Nikola Tesla. Tesla discovered that he could transmit and receive powerful radio signals when his newly invented “Tesla coils” were tuned to resonate at the same frequency. When a coil is adjusted to a signal of a particular frequency, it increases the incoming electrical energy. By 1895, Nikola Tesla was ready to test his invention and send a signal 50 miles to West Point, New York. In that same year, a mysterious building fire consumed Tesla’s lab and turned to ash all of his work. The timing was horrible, at that same time a young Italian inventor named Guglielmo Marconi had been working on a wireless telegraph system. His device only had a two-circuit system, which people said could not transmit “across a pond”. Later, Marconi set up long-distance demonstrations, by using a Tesla oscillator to transmit the signals across the English Channel. Although Marconi’s device is the same as the one Tesla described in his articles and lectures two years prior, Marconi claims never to have read them despite the fact that they were translated in many languages very quickly.
Tesla filed his patent application in 1897 on radio communication, Patent No. 645576. In 1899 he builds a large radio station in Colorado Springs, USA where he started his experiments on the subject.
Marconi files his first patent in the USA in 1900, though it was turned down, he revised his applications over the next three years. But they were repeatedly rejected because of the priority of Tesla and other inventors.
But no patent is truly safe. In 1900, the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company began earning money in the stock markets, which is due primarily to Marconi’s family connections with English aristocracy. British Marconi stock climbed from $3 to $22 per share and the Italian was acclaimed internationally. Thomas Edison and Andrew Carnegie invested in Marconi, and Edison became an engineer of the American Marconi company. On December 12, 1901, Marconi transmitted and received signals across the Atlantic Ocean.