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The heart of tech

This article was published on June 3, 2015

Listen: this story about America’s first radio station shows early adopters never change

Listen: this story about America’s first radio station shows early adopters never change
Mic Wright
Story by

Mic Wright

Reporter, TNW

Mic Wright is a journalist specialising in technology, music and popular culture. He lives in Dublin. He is on Twitter at @brokenbottleboy. Mic Wright is a journalist specialising in technology, music and popular culture. He lives in Dublin. He is on Twitter at @brokenbottleboy.

We’re used to people experimenting with new ways of broadcasting their lives now, be it on Periscope, boiled down to looping bursts on Vine or through Snapchat stories.

The latest episode of the Roman Mars’ 99% Invisible podcast features a story by Radio Diaries on radio pioneer Frank Conrad, which shows early adopters were no different a hundred years ago.

After beginning to experiment with the technology in 1913, Conrad set up one of America’s first radio stations in his garage in 1919. The schedule featured him selecting phonograph records, broadcasting baseball scores and even roping in family members to play piano solos.

It’s a fascinating story and one that shows how amateurs experimenting with new technology can often be way ahead of the ‘experts’ when it comes to exploring its potential.

99% Invisible

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Image credit: Corbis-Bettmann/Explore History PA