BW – EP76: Over There—The War for Radio’s Airwaves (1912 – 1922)

Posted on

In Breaking Walls Episode 76, we pick up our story on the history of American dramatic radio after the sinking of the Titanic in April of 1912.

The time between 1912 and 1922 saw three competing interests battle for control of the wireless airwaves as wireless telegraphy transitioned into radio broadcasting. These three interests were big private business, individual HAM radio operators, and the US Government.

• How the Titanic’s Sinking changed Guglielmo Marconi’s business
• The Radio Act of 1912 – What it portended
• Charles Herrold and KCBS San Francisco
• Lee Deforest sells out to AT&T
• Edwin Howard Armstrong invents regeneration, and later the superheterodyne receiver
• War comes to Europe
• The Navy takes over wireless
• How World War I caused radio technology to boom
• AT&T, Westinghouse, General Electric, and the newly formed RCA make a deal
• David Sarnoff’s Rise to power
• KDKA and the birth of regular broadcasting

Other Clips:

The WallBreakers:
Subscribe to Breaking Walls everywhere you get your podcasts.

To support the show:

Special thanks to our Sponsor The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society
The reading material for today’s episode was:
Inventing American Broadcasting 1899-1922 by Susan J. Douglas
Empire of the Air by Tom Lewis
A Pictorial History of Radio’s First 75 Years by B. Eric Rhoads
Hello Everybody! The Dawn of American Radio by Anthony Rudel &
The Network by Scott Woolley

A Special Thank you to:
Rebecca Shield

and Nancy Pop who’s website is –

WallBreakers Links:
Patreon –
Social Media – @TheWallBreakers
Online Store –