Owning and Maintaining a Vintage Radio

by PS on December 3, 2011

in Articles

Owning a vintage radio can often be a labor of love, with constant care and attention needed to ensure that it both stays working and that it looks as it should. Many are put off when looking at these forms of antique as they search for decoration for their home, but they shouldn’t be – the ownership of a vintage radio is highly pleasurable, with the maintenance being relatively easy if done correctly.

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Repair and restoration
As with most items, there are generally two ways in which one can repair or restore a vintage radio – either personally or through the services of a professional in the trade. Both of these have their advantages and disadvantages however…
Repairing a radio personally can be a tricky task depending on the problem, as can restoring one. There are many parts inside the outer shell that could have been there for a number of years, all of which have to be placed back exactly. If the job is a simple one, such as cleaning the different mechanisms or polishing up the outside, then it is completely feasible for the amateur to complete these themselves. However, if the radio id not working or needs major renovation work, a professional is the best bet.
Getting a vintage radio repaired by a professional is not as expensive as many would believe, when it is considered that are experts in a very niche craft. Obviously they have to cover their costs and make a living, but other than that they should not charge anything extra.
Probably the two most common problems that vintage radio technicians see are radios damaged by years of neglect and radios that do not emit sound, for one reason or another. This lack of sound could be due to water damage, wire damage or rust – all of which a skilled professional can remedy easily and without too much cost to the owner.

Parts are a constant source of stress for everyone who owns a vintage item, whether it be a vintage radio or a Model T Ford. Luckily for those with these radios there are still a good number of original parts that can be bought or sourced from now defunct machines, which means that the radio can retain all of its authenticity both inside and outside.
When an original part can’t be found, there are many parts from more modern radios that will still work in a vintage radio. It is also possible to have the parts specially made by skilled workers – many of whom could be recommended by the person repairing the radio.
In fact, for any parts and accessories it is best to consult someone in the know before searching. This is because the market is quiet narrow and therefore they will be able to tell the owner exactly where to go and how much to pay. For a small commission they might even find the item for the owner.

Basic Maintenance
One way to ensure that a vintage radio does not suffer any problems in the future is to regularly perform maintenance on it, which can be done in a few ways.
The easiest part of this maintenance is to ensure that it is kept clean, mainly from dust and other air particles. These could find their way inside the radio and cause problems. They only need dusting as any other piece of electrical equipment would, meaning it is a simple job that can be incorporated in to the housework.
The other major way to maintain a vintage radio – and most certainly the most pleasurable – is to make sure that it is used occasionally. This will keep all the parts in good order and ensure that they do not stick or rust, as they could if they are not ever used. After all, the reason it was bought was to hear the sounds that come from it, so it would be a waste to never listen to this purchase.



A Brief History Of The Transistor Radio

by PS on December 3, 2011

in Articles


The transistor radio is a device that was commonly used up until the mid-1970s, due to the fact that it was portable and allowed the owner to listen to it wherever they went. They were probably the biggest factor in changing the listening habits of a generation of music lovers, as billion were manufactured in order to fulfill the world’s desire to listen to their favorite station while on the go.

The first transistor is widely acknowledged to have been developed in 1947 by Bell Laboratories, but there is some confusion regarding who actually developed the first radio incorporating this feature. The most likely candidate for this honor is a company called Intermetall, who demonstrated a model that was superior to tube radios at the 1953 Dusseldorf Radio Fair in Germany. This was just a prototype however, and was never mass produced.

The first commercially available transistor radio was created by two companies working in partnership with each other – Texas Instruments and Industrial Development Engineering Associates. They called their product the Regency TR-1, and it was released in November 1954. After just one year the product had sold over 100,000 units, making it a huge success for the business and heralding the arrival of a whole new industry to the world.

There was no significant competition for the Regency TR-1 until the following year, when Raytheon released the 8-TP-1 to the market. This used four more transistors than the Regency TR-1 and therefore represented a huge leap in the sound quality that was available to buyers. After this a huge number of companies began to get in to the market, including many that are still worldwide brands to the present day.

One massive impact of the transistor radio on the United States was the emergence of far more Japanese products being available to buy. One of the biggest players that Japan exported was that of Sony, who – in 1955 – became the first company in the world to build a whole transistor radio. Previously companies had purchased the transistors to go in to their products. Sony didn’t crack the American market until their third release in 1957 however, with the introduction of the TR-63…

The TR-63 has an interesting story behind it, as Sony marketed it as the world’s first pocket sized radio. This is a matter for debate however, as many believe that Sony had special shirts made for their salesmen with oversized pockets, in order to make the buyer think that the radio was pocket sized. However underhand the marketing tactics may have been, it didn’t affect the American appetite for Japanese radios though – by 1959 the United States was home to over 6 million Japanese transistor radios.

With transistor radios firmly cemented in the national consciousness, companies began having to adapt to draw customers to their product. One way that many did this was through the production of novelty radios, which often looked quirky and a lot different from the traditional model. Companies from outside the radio market also tapped in to the craze, producing novelty radios that bore their trademark or slogan on them. This realization of the power of radio really cemented their popularity amongst the whole nation.

The market for transistor radios remained steady throughout the 1960s, but when the 1970s came around companies were starting to offer alternatives and the design became out of fashion and slightly redundant. Boom boxes and other portable music devices moved in on the transistor radios’ territory and by the end of 1970 the last American maker of these radios ceased production.

There are still places in the world where transistor radios are made, with the most notable being China. They are now, however, only sold in quantity in poorer countries, as the rise of digital radio and MP3 players has made the need for them diminish.



A person will collect a relic from the past to admire its rare beauty, which holds a higher value today mostly because it will never be seen again. Vintage radios have its own place in the world of collectibles because radio was considered to be one of the most important inventions in the past. The same goes for vintage cars and telephones. It is no surprise that any item from the past will require a higher amount of maintenance than newer, streamlined ones. This is particularly true as time passes by and technology continues to improve the quality and durability of the stuff we use. Repairing vintage radios is a necessary task for anyone who wants to collect these delicate rarities, so knowing what to repair and the proper steps to take is crucial.

Everything on your vintage radio could work as good as new, but trying to turn up the sound on your vintage radio could create a loud buzzing sound. Sometimes you may only have to repair certain parts of the radio like the amplifier or receiver and other times the entire radio collapses. Whatever the problem is, you will have to decide if you want to repair the radio yourself or have a professional take up the task for you.

Repair it yourself
Fixing old radios does not require a course or expert knowledge on old-fashioned electronics. Older radios are made in a design simpler to that of their modern, advanced counterparts. The replacement parts of vintage radios can still be found along with the service manuals. A large variety of information on vintage radio restoration is available through sources like clubs and websites. You can also find vintage radio repair books from public libraries, bookstores, and online stores. Obtaining one of these books should be all of the information you need without having to go anywhere else. If you are struggling through your repairs, you might want to consider whether spending weeks and weeks trying to do it yourself for free is better than just sending it to a shop and getting it repaired much sooner.
Learning the skills to fix vintage radios can turn into an enjoyable experience. You will learn about the technology in the 20th century, which may help you appreciate the work that was required to create these radios.

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Get a professional to repair it
Numerous services can be found online that offer radio repair. You do not have to find a vintage radio specialist to help you: you can just look in the classifieds or talk to a general electronics repair shop.
Although it is not necessary, becoming a member of a vintage radio enthusiast club will greatly assist your efforts. Some clubs provide publications that list ads for local shops and online services.

Take up radio repair as a hobby or profession
If you’ve gotten pretty good at repairing radios, you could make it a hobby or make money from it. Vintage radios are still in widespread use by both collectors and professionals. These radios come with step-by-step service manuals, and in coordination with your knowledge on how radios work, you could become successful starting your own repair service.
Most collectors know that vintage items are rare and should be left as untouched as possible. They also know that restoration and maintenance is essential to boost the value of these items, much like polish makes wood furniture more attractive. Radios of the past had undeniable significance as a medium to connect with others around the world. You could repair the radio yourself and appreciate its value even more or find a reliable, affordable service to do it for you. Either way, you should get your radio to function as well as it did when it was first made.



Why Own A Vintage Radio?

by PS on December 3, 2011

in Articles

Radio is the oldest of all the broadcasting mediums, first popularized in the 1920s as a way of entertaining those in the home. The original idea of the radio was for it to be used to broadcast Morse code to faraway people; however – as is the way with many technologies – its use to entertain the masses was soon discovered.
Many people in the United States and around the world still maintain an affinity with these machines and there is a roaring trade still going on, with collectors and dealers alike keeping the vintage radio market ticking over in a healthy way. There are a huge amount of reasons for their appeal, meaning it is no wonder they continue to be so popular.

Sound Quality
We may be in the age of the digital radio, with its superior sound and ease of tuning, but there are many people out there who still prefer the crackle as the dial searches manually through the frequencies. Then, the realization that a radio station has been found and that the fine tuning has to begin, moving left and right but fractions of a millimeter to perfect the sound – a nostalgic skill indeed.

Then the sound itself is seen by many as magical, mainly due to all of its imperfections and slight distortions. Many believe that this is the real character of the radio, as they huddle around it trying to make out some occasionally imperceptible sound emanating from the ancient mechanism hidden within.
The sound also lends itself well to the type of music that was often played in the heyday of this device. While many modern radio listeners have songs playing with thumping bass and loud lyrics, the music played in the pre-war era was more sedate, with more instruments and softer vocals. This means that there is no need to hear every last inch of the track in order to enjoy it.

Although this subtitle says “features”, many believe that it is the actual lack of features that make vintage radios so special. They represent the purest type of radio, with no additional perks and add-ons that can take away from the fact that the radio is used for one thing – the listening to of broadcasts and music.
A lot of modern radios have knobs and buttons to do a variety of things, ranging from giving weather forecasts to – on some models – playing computer games. Surely if the reason for buying the radio is to listen to it, there is no need for these types of different features?

Decoration and Design
Modern radio sets tend to follow a bland formula when it comes to their design, with blacks and other dark colors being used in a box like shape, meaning that each one looks generally similar to the next. This is not so with vintage radios, which come in a range of shapes, colors and sizes for the potential owner to pick from.
The fact that they are so unique makes them the perfect addition to most rooms in the house. Specific models can be matched with any surrounding as well, meaning that they will never look a touch out of place. There is even the option to decide on size – a large one could be the centerpiece to any room, while a smaller one could provide an interesting side addition to a mantel piece or work top.

When they are placed in full view of visitors, many often find that they provide an excellent topic of conversation for guests to talk about. They are not found in every house across the country, so many will be fascinated by their inclusion in someone’s lounge or kitchen.
As can be seen, there are a huge amount of different aspects that make the vintage radio a hugely attractive prospect for anyone who loves the fields of music or broadcasting. Whether young or old, they represent the way that media first started and are a must for anyone who has the money and space to purchase one for their own home or workplace.



Vintage radios are interesting collectible items because of their unique, rare design. Although these machines may not be worth much today, collectors seek them for their historical worth. Some people grew up in certain periods of time that they want to capture by owning one of these radios. Others enjoy retro things and enjoy the old-fashioned look that a vintage radio brings to a house, which serves as a reminder of simpler times. For whatever reason one may have for owning a vintage radio, know the time and research that you should devote to buy an old-fashioned item. Also know about its maintenance and repair since it is just as important as knowing its meaning.

Vintage radios were used as entertainment beginning in the 1920s and the popularity of owning one increased with the advent of popular music like jazz and rock ‘n’ roll. The age that makes a radio antique is generally 50 years. Since the radio was a rapidly changing innovation, the design and construction have evolved considerably throughout these antique times. As a result, there are numerous types of vintage radios such as homemade sets, crystal sets, superheterodyne receivers, tabletop wood radios, foxhole radios, and experimental post-war car radios to name a handful. Selecting one that works for you is simply a matter of taste and interest, so you can save time having to conduct in-depth research on the history and functions of each radio. However, knowing that each radio has its own unique qualities to it is helpful. For instance, crystal sets were basic sets with no battery or amplification that mainly lower-income individuals used. Tuned Radio Frequency sets were the most widely used class of early radio. Foxhole sets were built by people who could not access traditional radios during World War II. This was a crude set made of materials like a razor blade, a lighting flex, a tin can, and some wire.

There are many stores and websites that sell vintage radios and also sell information on the history of these machines. Sorting through all the variety is confusing at first, so know the basics of vintage radios first. Then you will need to find a reputable seller who sells authentic vintage radios that are not fake or too rundown. There are some bits and parts that will make a vintage radio difficult to work, which will require restoration, but the radio should not be completely useless. Communities devoted to vintage radios have plenty of information on restoration in addition to swap meets, repair clinics, mailing lists, and other membership features. Once you have found the right sellers, sorting through the selections should become necessary and fun.

Vintage radios are important reminders of our past and how much has changed since then. Browsing through the gallery of traditional and exceptional styles is a treasure for people who have grown up in the era or just admire all that it had to offer. Anyone who wants to share this collecting passion should first learn about the types of radios, maintenance, and repair, and then find a seller who will help them make the most of their experience.


Collecting And Selling Vintage Radios

by PS on November 30, 2011

in Articles

The hobby of vintage radio collecting is a surprisingly popular one around the world, with many people wanting to capture the essence of days gone by through these pieces of history. With the millions of different types of radios produced over the last century, there is certainly no shortage of selection for an enthusiast to choose from – that is if they can wrestle them away from other avid collectors of this genre.

Some of the most valuable radios to collect – both in terms of price and in terms of historical significance – are the earliest transistor radios, especially if they are one of the more unpopular models – which therefore makes them rarer. The first transistor was the Regency TR-1, meaning every serious collector should have one, but radios such as the Sony TR-55 may be more valuable, as they sold poorly in the United States.

Collectors can go back even further than transistor radios however and find example of a much earlier technology – radios that utilized vacuum tubes to create their sound. These are far rarer to find, therefore meaning that their desirability among collectors is high. This will force the price up and make them the preserve of dedicated collectors only.
For those looking to diversify a collection of radios, many were made in the 1950s and 1960s for novelty purposes. Many different companies used them to advertise their goods, leading to a lot of distinctive and fun designs, such as the Charlie the Tuna radio, which was actually made in the shape of a tuna fish. There were other novelty uses too, such as the Jimmy Carter radio and radios that were based on popular television series, with the most notable being the Mork radio.

Another very collectable type of radio is the sort that has triangle shaped frequency dials. These were included to allow people to instantly tune in to the frequencies of 640kc and 1240kc, which were used for emergency planning. Although common before 1964, radios made after this time are often a desirable collector’s piece. This is because the CONELRAD system was abolished in this year, making the triangular dials obsolete.

When it comes to the collecting of radios, there is a certain amount of personal taste involved. The most dedicated collectors don’t pay attention to the monetary value of their radios, but buy them because they like the way they look or what they represent. This is undoubtedly the best way to collect radios – after all, having a hobby is for pleasure and not for profit.
There are some that eventually do take their hobby to the next level however, and enter in to the world of dealing in vintage radios. If they are confident regarding their knowledge of the subject and have good business acumen, they should be able to make a good living.

One significant change that people going in to the vintage radio business need to adapt to is that they now must buy the radios with the best profit margin, and not the ones that they like the most. This could mean spending lots of money on radios that do not have much aesthetic value but are encased with huge amounts of history. Collecting and running a business are activities far removed from each other.

Whether an interest is taken further is completely up to the individual involved, but one thing that is sure is the fact that vintage radios can be a wonderful hobby to have. To learn more about them there are a number of interesting websites online, as well as many books that talk about the subject in detail.


How To Buy An Antique Radio

by PS on November 30, 2011

in Articles

Antique radios are still very popular throughout the United States, mainly due to their unique sound qualities and the fact that they can look great in virtually any room they are placed in. One problem that many people find when looking for them is that they often are not widely available for sale, meaning that they often either pay over the odds or go home empty handed when looking to make a purchase. It seems that for all the antique radios around, nobody actually wants to sell them – which is testament to just how desirable they are.

Buying online
For those that are initiated in to the modern way of shopping, the internet undoubtedly presents the best opportunity to purchase antique radios, whatever the make, size or color the buyer is looking for. Probably the most popular way to do so would be through the online auction site eBay, which can have hundreds of these radios listed at one time. The buyer then bids how much they wish to pay and waits to see if their bid is the highest.
Aside from auction sites, there are many other sites operating as businesses selling these vintage radios to customers. They can be found simply by searching on a search engine for them. They will usually offer a large range of vintage radios for sale, and even if they don’t have what the customer is looking for, the chances are they will be able to find someone who does.

For those still concerned about buying online – which is understandable if spending a lot of money – always try to pay using either a protected credit card or PayPal. This way, in the unlikely event of the item not being received the buyer will be reimbursed the money paid. Another concern many have is the fact that they can’t inspect the product before buying. This is why buying from a site with a good refund policy is a must – just in case the item is not up to expectations.

Buying from dealers
Buying vintage radios from antique dealers is probably the best way to ensure that the item being bought is of the best quality, as the person selling them will have a good knowledge of how they should be. Additionally, it will allow the buyer to check the radio over for any damage that is apparent, which will settle any nerves regarding spending what could be a large amount of money.

It is the question of money, however, that is probably the biggest drawback to buying from specialist dealers. This is because they are selling the best quality produce, leading to the highest prices. They are also making their living from this, so it is not unreasonable to expect them to try to make as much money as possible.
As with all antiques, those buying a vintage radio from a dealer should always go in with the mindset of expecting to pay a lot less than is advertised. A quick haggle with the dealer can often knock a lot of money from the price.

Buying from house clearances and garage sales
It is often the case that many people find a vintage radio and do not know exactly what it is or how much it is worth. They can then end up trying to sell it at one of these types of sales. This represents a great opportunity for the collector to get themselves a real bargain, often paying hugely under the expected price for a radio.
The main disadvantage of looking for an antique radio in these situations is that there is no guarantee that one will be found. It is a risk going to one just for this purpose so it is probably best to restrict this kind of purchase to when someone happens up on a garage sale in the area they live in.


So you’ve been bitten by the vintage radio bug too! Welcome to the world of appreciators of antique radios, and congratulations on having made up your mind for investing in some money to bring home a charming vintage radio set that would make your house glow up with its glorious lustre, apart from obviously adding an inch or two of pride to your belly. Though no amount is big enough if you are a really die hard vintage radio enthusiast, but it is advisable to keep the first purchase a little mellow, so that you have a real taste of possessing an antique piece before you throw all caution to winds and pour in all your savings to enhance your showcase’s glory.

There would be scores of pages on the web, luring you to let your purchase be online. Though there isn’t any issue with that, but nothing matches the experience of gauging all the vintage radio sets on offer personally before bringing one home. And this becomes all the more important for first time buyers, who would need a lot more than a look at the digital photographs of the vintage radio to make their minds up. This makes the antique shop of your town the first stop when you set out to purchase an antique radio set. Make a list of all the relevant shops and stores in your neighbourhood, and some really popular ones in nearby cities. Take a learned friend (if you are lucky enough to have one) along and start the hunt for your first vintage radio set. Do not finalize the purchase on the first visit. You would be playing really smart if you could note down the model number of the sets being offered and check for their status as vintage sets on the Internet. Do this for as many stores and shops as you can and then spend at least a couple of days weighing the pros and cons of the deal in terms of the price, the authenticity, the actual ‘vintage quotient’ of the radio, and any other parameter that appeals to you. Also scavenge through the Yellow Pages for any middle man or agent who could act as a bridge between a needy buyer and a needy seller, two financially attracting poles. There are many families who possess a preserved radio from generations, and wish to part with it. Check the newspapers out for any such advertisements and then strike at the first opportunity. Buying from a vintage radio expert has another benefit. You would get a first hand briefing of the history of the device along with the purchase, and then, it is more about the charm of the device rather than its monetary worth.

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If the offline scheme of things fails to clinch your interest, do not hesitate hitting the World Wide Web, but always keep your caution chips activated. First time buyers of antique radio sets are advised to only rely on information from established websites (and these are generally the most frequently visited ones) and purchase from reliable online stores. While eBaying, make it a point to buy such ‘high authenticity demanding’ products from sellers with an unscathed feedback record. Do not jump in on any buying decision after ascertaining as to which vintage model you want to purchase. In all likelihood, there would be more than one online seller for the same. Find out the best deal and don’t hesitate from negotiating, as a vintage radio would not carry a fixed price.

There is another very interesting strategy that you could utilize to pursue your nascent vintage radio interests, that of forums and discussion boards regarding the same. You can easily find a populous community of people with similar interests as you, and can discuss all your queries and doubts once you subscribe. There would be many vintage radio connoisseurs out there who would be more than willing to guide you in selecting the model and the right price for it. Even otherwise, the healthy information and though exchange you would undertake at such a community would be worth its weight in gold.

Last, but certainly not the least, there are several written resources in the form of books and magazines aimed at serving the interests of vintage radio lovers like you. Check out your library for a good radio lover’s guide and you could well find all the information you need right under one hard cover.




Did the news of an old radio similar to the one you gave away in scrap selling out for something like $750 in the previous week’s antique auction take the flooring from beneath your feet? Welcome to the world of vintage radios, where no price is enough for the seller and no price is cheap enough for the buyer. Most of the buying and selling receipts betray any pattern of uniformity, and it ultimately boils down to the perceived worth of the antique radio set. It is not uncommon for functioning new age radio sets to sell at a fraction of the price of a much older and even dysfunctional vintage radio. This doesn't mean that there are absolutely zero factors governing the price of a vintage radio set, just that there is a great deal of subjectivity involved. Nonetheless, this article attempts to take the veil off these factors, and discuss how the prices are affected through these factors.


It’s pretty logical, really. The historically populous areas have a good number of vintage radio sets circulating through. Take for instance the United States and some scarcely populated economically backward and recently liberated nation for comparison. More resourceful people from about a century back means that a vintage radio set would not be too hard to get your hands upon, but the same can’t be said for a historically poor nation, whose people might not have been resourceful enough to include a radio set in their lifestyles a few decades back. In such a country, the value of a vintage set would be on the higher side, as an enthusiastic collector would not mind going the extra mile to add a rare article to his collection. This lack of availability, complemented by a willingness of spenders to really dig their hands deep inside their pockets adds a lot to the value of vintage radio set. This is evident even at an intra country level. For instance, the West Coast of the U.S. is not the ideal place to be living in if you are a vintage radio set collector.


It is very interesting to trace the undercurrents of tastes and trends in the vintage radio market. As if out of the blues, an invisible force seems to change the public orientation of one particular breed of antique radios to the other, every once in a while. No better example than the most recent hot cookie of the bakery, the Catalin cabinet radios. Whereas the same circuitry sans the Catalin cabinet accounts for a measly 25$ odd, the Catalin endowed set catapults itself to towering heights of a four figure sum like 1200$ on the price scales. On similar lines, the ‘firsts’ of any category make for priced possessions. Be it a first of its kind transistor used in the construction, or a standalone design, out of the league radio sets are invariably priced at hefty amounts. It is a matter of the degree of uniqueness about the radio set. Take into a consideration a radio damaged in the Second World War with some military anecdotes about itself, and it's anybody’s guess that any price tag would be justified for the same.


The radio you intend to purchase would carry a price tag that speaks of all that has gone into it, from replaced tubes and capacitors to several hours of expert engineering. It might have reached its present owner from any other part of the world; this adds to the intrigue around the radio set and gives ample license to the owner for setting his desired price without attracting ridicule. If you intend to part with your great grandfather’s dysfunctional radio set from the pre World War age, give a deep though to spending some amount on getting it restored to a working condition. A functional radio set is quite a few rungs of the ladder higher than the non functional counterparts. Some brave hearts play masterstrokes by acquiring old and bruised radio sets from scrap dealers across the country, investing some amount on their restoration and then selling them at scaled up prices to recover their investments and multiples in the form of profits. This further accentuates the fact that it is worth the effort to have your old radio set brushed up in order to enhance the possibility of attracting some really impressive profits from the same.




Marconi’s Impact On Radio

by PS on November 30, 2011

in Articles

Guglielmo Marconi is widely regarded by many to be the pioneer of radio, and therefore a man that has contributed an immeasurable amount to society in the 100 years since his initial experiments. Born in Bologna, Italy, most of his work was conducted in the United Kingdom, where he settled for a large part of his life.

Throughout his early years, Marconi was fascinated by the sciences and in particular physics, which he studied rigorously. He followed the developments of Hertz and Tesla closely and briefly studied the topic under the tutelage of Augusto Righi at Bologna University.

His first experimentation came when he started to investigate the possibility of wireless telegraphy using radio waves, which he conducting in the attic of his home. Although he did not discover any new principles, what he did do in these early experiments was to build on many already existing theories and improve them greatly, culminating in the creation of his first system that could transmit radio waves. While in Italy he managed to send these signals up to 1.5 miles, but became frustrated with the lack of support he received so moved to England at the age of 21.

When he arrived in England Marconi soon received significant attention from the scientific community there, which allowed him to pursue his goals far more easily than he had in his homeland. By 1897 Marconi had successfully broadcast Morse code over a distance of 3.3 miles, as well as broadcast radio signals over the sea, from South Wales to an island nearby.
Marconi’s next big test was to attempt to broadcast his signal across the Atlantic, which represented a far greater distance than he had ever covered before. He began this quest by taking ships further and further from the British coast and conducting experiments before, in 1902, Marconi achieved the feat that he had been striving for. A broadcast from the Marconi station in Nova Scotia was received in the United Kingdom. Shortly after, President Roosevelt sent a message across the Atlantic to King Edward VII, thereby making the first transatlantic broadcast to originate in the USA.

Marconi then saw that his invention could turn in to a viable business opportunity, establishing bases either side of the Atlantic from which to talk to ships making the journey. Although this proved to be unreliable, it was an important step for nautical safety, as it allowed people on the ship to communicate many issues to those on dry land. In fact, Marconi’s employees even managed to facilitate some of the survivors from the Titanic using this system.

After this Marconi started to diversify his radio business in to the manufacture of radio equipment. He opened a factory in Chelmsford, England where much of the Marconi produce was made. It was from this location that the first entertainment radio broadcasts emanated from in 1920, until permanent broadcasts started just outside of Chelmsford in 1922.
Marconi’s later years were shrouded in darkness, as he joined Mussolini’s Fascist Party in Italy and was promoted to a high rank. He eventually died in 1937, up on which he was granted a state funeral. As a mark of respect for the amount he had contributed towards radio, stations around the world observed a two minute silence in his honor.