Can you imagine a world without the radio? How weird, right? If you are studying inventions that kids may find interesting, then explore these free resources about the history of the radio.
The manner in which radio works is quite fascinating. It makes me think of how God is. He transmits information to us via the Bible, yet we can physically see how he does it – he just does.
That is how radio waves work, except on a much smaller and different scale, of course. I am a little weird about using that analogy but it is good to relate it to something your kids can understand.
Of course, radio is known to have gradually improved in programming and content but before then was the idea.
We can’t really talk about the invention of the radio because it wasn’t an invention that was spontaneous, nor was it a gradual progression – initially.
In the 1820s, a man named Hans Christian Ørsted found the relationship between magnetism and electricity in an experiment. Basically, a wire with a current deflected a magnetized compass needle.
More experiments resulted in electromagnetic induction, then the theory of electromagnetic waves was described by James Clerk Maxwell in 1873. Next, German scientist Heinrich Herts actually proved the existence of radio waves (unseen) occurring in nature.
The invention of the radio:
Gugliemo Marconi, a young Italian, in 1895 has been credited with inventing “the wireless telegraph” using radio waves to transmit Morse Code. The instrument he used eventually became known as the radio.
How radio works:
Radio works by changing sounds or signals into radio waves. These waves travel through air, space, and solid objects. Then the radio receiver changes the waves back into sound (whether it be music or words).
Quite incredible, right?!
By the 1920s, the very first radio station started broadcasting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The rest was literally, history.
Within two years, hundreds of radio stations were started.
The era between the 1920s and 1950s was known as the Golden Age of Radio. There was a boom in radio transmissions that entertained the masses with comedies, dramas, variety shows, game shows, and popular music shows.
The invention of the television in the 1950s caused the radio craze to fade slightly. However, it remained a pop-culture staple as stereophonic broadcasting was introduced in the 1960s.
Between the 1980s and almost the 2000s, Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) was approved by the FCC, and it was capable of providing compact disc-quality sound without any interference due to distance.
Now, over 100+ years later we still are avidly enjoying radio over satellite and internet from anywhere in the world.
In fact, according to Statista.com, in 2019 the average U.S. consumer spent 102 minutes with radio content per day.
And according to the Nielsen 2019 Audio Today Report, AM/FM radio’s reach is superior to any other medium, connecting with 92 percent of Americans every week. Radio reaches more people every week than television, smartphones, or PCs.
I love facts!
Explore these free resources about the history of the radio – an awesome invention:
The History of Radio Technology | ThoughtCo.
10 Important Firsts In The History of Radio | Live About
The Invention of the Radio | minesoft
History of the Radio: From Inception to Modern Day | Tech Wholesale
Radio – Purpose and More | Public.WSU.edu
Who Invented Radio? | Public.WSU.edu
When was the Radio Invented | Public.WSU.edu
— Who Invented Radio? — | PBS.org
The Development of Radio | PBS.org
How was RadioInvented? | Fun Kids Live
Radio Facts for Kids | Kids.Kiddle
History of Radio | Academic Kids
Introduction to Radio | BKids
History of Radio | Academic Kids
Radio Facts for Kids | KidzSearch.com
History of Radio – Kids Work! | Know It All
Radio Fun Facts!! | RadioDirect
Let’s Talk about Radio Worksheet | ESL Printables
Radio Programme Project 1 Worksheet | ESL Printables
Important Radio Facts | MediaTracks
Videos for your kids to watch about the history of radio:
Who Invented Radio? Marconi VS Tesla | OpenMind
History of Radio – Inventions & DIscoveries | Quixot Kids
Guglielmo Marconi – The Inventor of the Radio | Da Vinci TV
Inventions and inventors are crucial parts of world history. Learn more about famous inventors with this resource notebook from DailySkillBuilding.com.
Explore more about other inventions and inventors with your homeschoolers:
Since radio is the top reaching platform in the United States, it is crucial for us to teach our children about it. What airs on the radio is important and very beneficial for hearing local and international news.
Let’s also teach our children that much of the information we receive from the radio can be subjective rather than objective, making it extremely important we raise critical thinkers and humans who can make their own conclusions instead of trusting everything they hear.
Regardless of this warning, radio remains an extremely valuable tool for listeners and advertisers alike around the world.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!