The dawn of radio

Stacey Vanek Smith Nov 3, 2006
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The dawn of radio

Stacey Vanek Smith Nov 3, 2006
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: For a look back at this week in business history, we open the Marketplace Vault. Oh, look what we have here, our favorite thing in the whole world: a radio.


STACEY VANEK-SMITH: This week back in 1920, Pittsburgh radio station KDKA broadcast the results of the presidential race between Warren G. Harding and James Cox.

It was the nation’s first major public news broadcast.

Broadcast: The Republican ticket of Harding and Coolidge is running well ahead of Cox and Roosevelt. At the present time, Harding has collected more than 16 million votes, against some 9 million for the Democrat.

The station asked listeners to send in postcards to confirm they’d picked up the signal.

Evidently, they did. Americans spent $10 million on radios the following year, and by 1922 about 500 stations were broadcasting programs.

I’m Stacey Vanek-Smith.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.