This Day in History
December 24, 1791
Charles Babbage is Born
Charles Babbage is born in Teignmouth, Devonshire. He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1811 and received his MA in 1817. In 1816 Babbage was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1820 he played a prominent role in the foundation of the Royal Ast.
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 Atlanticat sea
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.