first contains information on radio history, and at the bottom you will
find photos of various radios over the years.
is under construction.
Stations at Union College Union College in
Schenectady was a premeire place for the study of electrical engineering
in the 20th century. Student radio began there in 1910. The first "wireless
telegraph" was set up there by Howard Olwin Thorne aand Gustave
Huthsteiner. They created a 180 ft. high antenna pole. It had an antenna
225 ft. long and 15 feet wide.
In 1916 a
radio shack was built on the side of the Electrical Engineering Building.
It was registered with the Radio Association of America. In 1917 it
was shut down due to the war but resumed in 1919. The call letters were
2YU. It had the call letters 2XQ for experimental work and 2ADD
in 1920. Wendell King was the chief engineer.
The first regular voice broadcasts
August 20, 1920
- Detroit: 8MK owned by the Detroit News (now WWJ)
began regular nightly broadcasts
October 14, 1920 - Union College, Schenectady: 2ADD
used a 150 watt transmitter and played photographs into a microphone.
It was heard as far away as Hartford, CT. The club promised
to air music every Thursday night for the rest of the academic
year. They did, H.S. Barney department store lend the records
for broadcasts in return for mention on the air. November
- Pittsburgh: KDKA makes its first regular broadcasts.
KDKA is owned by Westinghouse.
February 20, 1922 - Schenectady: WGY, owned by
General Electric goes on the air.
Source: the book "Encyclopedia of Union
College History" by Wayne Somers 2003
you read our page on Ernst F. Alexanderson.
Ernst Alexanderson and Dr.W.R.G.Baker worked out equipment for WGY.
WGY became an experimental lab for Alexanderson.
improvements in radio transmission were made by
Irving Langmuir with his pliotron tube.
We also recommend you also read about Albert
W. Hull. Hull worked on high frequency radio, and created the magnetron.
The magnetron allowed for transmission at microwave frequencies and
lead to radar.
Formation of RCA
The U.S. Navy
initiated efforts during World War 1 to keep vital radio patents in
the hands of U.S. companies alone. They saw this as a matter of national
security. General Electric owned the patents of Ernst F. Alexanderson,
who until that point was the only engineer to create long distance voice
transmission. The Radio Corporation of America was formed in 1919 as
a collaboration of technology between General Electric, Western Electric,
Westinghouse, United Fruit Company, and AT&T.
Below is a passage by Dan
W. Whelan on the Schenectady Amateur Radio Association. Many of SARA's
members included notable GE engineers over the years.
SARA HISTORY - April
1930 From the Schenectady Union Star newspaper Saturday April 5,
"RADIO AMATEURS TO MEET MONDAY"
"The monthly meeting of the Schenectady Amateur Radio Association
will be held at the YMCA Monday at 8 P.M.
A feature o fthe meeting will be a talk by Maurice L. Prescott
of General Electric Company an authority on shortwave propagation.
The talk is titled "Amateur Waves and How to Use Them."
and will be a non-technical discussion covering wave assignments
available for amateur use, how to choose the proper wave, and
when to use it.
A short business session and a surprise programwill complete the
meeting. All interested amateur radio (operators) are invited."
It should be noted that this SARA meeting announcement was located
right next to the newspaper's radio program listings for the premiere
radio station of the region WGY, who produced most of their own
programming live in those days. Radio program listings on that
particular Saturday included several live dramas, a how-to-do-it
show on "building codes", a string trio music program
and major live music shows such as the "General Electric
Symphony Orchestra" at 9 pm and a local remote broadcast
of Saturday night dancing music from the Hotel Ten Eyck from 11
pm to midnight. Oh and right above the SARA meeting announcement
is a article stating "17 in Troy Brewery Case Plead Not Guilty"
which of course was about arrests made by prohibition officers
during a raid on the Fitzgerald Brothers brewery in Troy the summer
before. It should be explained to those who may not be aware of
the history, that all drinking, manufacturing and sale of alcoholic
beverages was illegal due to Federal Prohibition at that time,
something that was eventually repealed. Elsewhere in the paper
there are several large ads for Atwater Kent radios including
one from the H.S. Barney department store on lower State Street
for the Atwater Kent Model 1055 for the price of $121.00 "less
tubes". That was a lot of money and would come to better
than half a months salary for most families back then. The Schenectady
Union Star and the competing Schenectady Gazette were one of the
two major newspapers in Schenectady of that era. Times were certainly
different in 1930!
This article was written
by Daniel W. Whelan, call sign WB2WHD, N2UD
Roy E. Anderson
at General Electric conducted experiments in space communication. His
first work was in listening for Sputnik in 1956. In the 1960's he worked
in an effort to transmitt live television images from the Apollo space
See the video below to learn about his experiments:
is under construction
Video: How a klystron tube works, klystrons were used to generate radio
waves in powerful radar systems as well as TV transmission:
Oven Video: How it works, by one of the inventors Rudy Dehn:
of Radios in our collection:
have more information on radio in the future
Commercial entities must pay for use of photos/graphics/videos in their
No one commercial or public is allow to alter Edison Tech Center photos/graphics/videos.
Educational Use: Students and teachers may use photos and videos
for school. Graphics and photos must retain the Edison Tech Center watermark
or captions and remain unmanipulated except for sizing.
- Videos: We do not email, FTP, or send videos/graphics to anyone
except in DVD form. Payment is needed for this service. See our donate
page for pricing, and our catalogue
for a listing of videos on DVD.
Professional video production companies may get videos in data form
with signed license agreements and payment at commercial rates.