chapter 4

chapter 4 - Inventions Leading to the Modern Age of Mass...

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1 Inventions Leading to the Modern Age of Mass Media z telegraph: invented in the 1840s, it sent electrical impulses through a cable from a transmitter to a reception point, transmitting Morse code. z Morse code: a system of sending electrical impulses from a transmitter through a cable to a reception point; developed by the American inventor Samuel Morse. z electromagnetic waves: invisible electronic impulses similar to visible light; electricity, magnetism, light, broadcast signals, and heat are part of such waves, which radiate in space at the speed of light, about 186,000 miles per second. z radio waves: a portion of the electromagnetic wave spectrum that was harnessed so that signals could be sent from a transmission point and obtained at a reception point. Marconi Invents Wireless z Telegraphy :wireless telegraphy: the forerunner of radio, a form of voiceless point-to-point communication; it preceded the voice and sound transmissions of one-to-many mass communication that became known as broadcasting. z Italian wireless pioneer Guglielmo Marconi (1897–1937) was a major figure in developing radio. In 1901 he transmitted the first radio signal across the Atlantic Ocean—from England to Newfoundland. Marconi shared the 1909 Nobel Prize for Physics for his contributions to wireless telegraphy, soon required on all seagoing ships and credited with saving more than seven hundred lives when the Titanic sank in 1912.
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2 De Forest Invents Wireless Telephony z wireless telephony: early experiments in wireless voice and music transmissions, which later developed into modern radio. z Inventor Lee De Forest (1873–1961) continued working in his Los Angeles workshop well into the 1950s. His lengthy radio career was marked by incredible innovations, missed opportunities, and poor business practices. In the end, De Forest was upset that radio content had stooped, in his opinion, to such low standards. With a passion for opera, he had hoped radio would be a tool for elite culture. If De Forest were alive today, what might be his reaction to the state of modern radio? z first voice broadcast belongs to Canadian engineer Reginald Fessenden, formerly a chief chemist for Thomas Edison. z On Christmas Eve in 1906, after GE had built Fessenden a powerful transmitter, he gave his first public demonstration, sending a voice through the airwaves from his station at Brant Rock, Massachusetts. z That night, ship operators and amateurs around Brant Rock heard the results: “someone speaking!. ..a woman’s voice rose in song. ...Next someone was heard reading a poem.” Fessenden himself played “O Holy Night” on his violin. Though the fidelity was not all that it might be, listeners were captivated by the voices and notes they heard. No more would sounds be restricted to mere dots and dashes of the Morse code z As a medium for mass communication, radio broadcasts offered the possibility of sending voice and music to thousands of people. z
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chapter 4 - Inventions Leading to the Modern Age of Mass...

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