Friday, January 24, 2014

A Short History Of Radio From The FCC

You may or may not be aware that the FCC has a little PDF history of radio. I was not wowed. What's interesting about their version of radio history is both who is there (white males) and who is not there (everyone else) . Let's start by taking a peek here: http://www.fcc.gov/omd/history/radio/documents/short_history.pdf.

We can sit back and argue about who matters and who doesn't in the great landscape of radio history. But that FCC history pdf is only 3 pages. So if you had to condense radio history down to three pages and jump all the way up to cell phones Who would you include?  I'm tempted to cover the fundamentals and.or the game-changing people. The FCC included Fessenden.. whose voice transmission accomplishments are apocryphal, and three different people involved in the first wireless aviation experiments. I have to ask myself questions: Is the first radio network more or less important than the first solid state component?

I include the highlights and low lights below. YMy list includes a number of pre-radio innovators and some other novelties. You'll all surely think of other names or approaches for a better 3-page summary of radio history. I am all ears.


INCLUDED PROMINENTLY

INCLUDED NOT-SO-PROMINENTLY
Frederick Baldwin & John McCurdy

EXCLUDED TOTALLY:
James Clerk Maxwell John Ambrose Fleming 
Sir William Crookes John Stone
Thomas Edison Heinrich Geissler
Heinrich Lenz
 
Archie Frederick Collins
Karl Ferdinand Braun
Joseph Henry Michael Faraday
Alexander S. Popov Samuel Morse
Andre-Marie Ampere David Edward Hughes
Hans Christian Orsted Alessandro Volta
Francesco Zantedeschi William Henry Ward
Alexander Graham Bell Charles Sumner Tainter
James Dewar Jagadish Chandra Bose
Charles David Herrold Adolf Slaby & Georg von Arco
Greenleaf Whittier Pickard Temistocle Calzecchi-Onesti