Radio Development and Monopoly

March 31, 1924
Entire Report

“The question of monopoly in radio communication must be squarely met. It is not conceivable that the American people will allow this new born system of communication to fall exclusively into the power of any individual, group or combination. It would be in principle the same as though the entire press of the country were so control ed. The effect would be identical whether this control arose under a patent monopoly or under any other form of combination. I believe it is safe to say irrespective of claims under patent rights on apparatus that broadcasting will not cease and neither will our public policy allow it to become monopolized”—Secretary of Commerce Hoover.

Development of Radio

Radio communication falls into two broad groups—telegraphic communication by the use of the Morse code and telephonic broadcasting. Practical telegraphic communication without wires may be said to date from 1896 when Marconi lodged his application for the first British patent for wireless telegraphy. The first paid radiogram was transmitted from the Marconi station at Needles, Isle of Wight, on June 3,1898.

The telephonic method of communication may be said to date from 1901 when Prof. R. A. Fessenden, made application for a United States patent on wireless improvements “relating more especially to the transmission and reproduction of words or other audible signals.” Radio telephony did not become commercially practicable, however, until communication over long distances was made possible by the development of the modern three-element vacuum tube, capable of handling considerable power. The first license for a broadcasting station was issued in September 1921, and the radio has come into general public use only during the last two and a half years.

The following summary shows the extent of radio development in the United States during the last twelve years:

1912 1924
485 American ships equipped for transmission of telegraphic messages. 2,723 American ships equipped with radio.
123 land stations. 790 land stations.
1 trans-oceanic station. 12 trans-oc
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