Exhibits At the Museum

This Day in History

      December 2014
Today: July 23, 2014
Fessenden's Brant Rock station, circa 1906

December 24, 1906

Fessenden Successfully Broadcasts Voice Program

Dr. Reginald Fessenden at Brant Rock, Mass. successfully broadcasted speech and music, utilizing a 42 kHz radio frequency Alexanderson alternator which produced about 1kW of power and was built by General Electric Company. Modulation was accomplished by means of a microphone which was water-cooled and connected in the antenna circuit. Clear reception was obtained at many locations including ships located hundreds of miles out in the Atlantic Ocean.

Although Fessenden's work made voice radio possible, it would take 10 years and the First World War before it became commonplace. Throughout this period, radio was still seen primarily as point-to-point communication between transmitting stations--a sort of wireless telephone.