American inventor and broadcast pioneer Lee de Forest was the first to transmit music over the airwaves when he played Eugenia Farrar’s "I Love You Truly" in an unpublicized test from his laboratory in 1907. In 1909, a broadcast supporting women's suffrage by de Forest's mother-in-law, Harriot Stanton Blatch, may have been the first public speech by radio.
De Forest also famously invented the Audion vacuum tube, which made possible live radio broadcasting. It became the key component of all radio, telephone, radar and television systems before the invention of the transistor in 1947.
November 2, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the first commercial radio broadcast. To celebrate this special anniversary, we’re shining a spotlight on 100 key moments in radio's history.
We hope you’ll join us in celebrating your favorite radio memories throughout 2020. Use the hashtag #Radio100 across social media to share these moments with the world. Here’s to 100 wonderful years of radio, and to at least 100 more!