Alton Museum of History & Art’s April 12th, 2013 “Friday Night at the Museum” features   Ron Wilson, Account Executive, of local station WBGZ.  The topic is the ‘History of Radio in Alton’.

Radio owes its development to two other inventions, the telegraph and the telephone, all three technologies are closely related. Radio technology began as "wireless telegraphy".

It all started with the discovery of "radio waves" - electromagnetic waves that have the capacity to transmit music, speech, pictures and other data invisibly through the air. Many devices work by using electromagnetic waves including: radio, microwaves, cordless phones, remote controlled toys, television broadcasts, and more.

Lee Deforest invented space telegraphy, the triode amplifier and the Audio. In the early 1900s, the great requirement for further development of radio was an efficient and delicate detector of electromagnetic radiation. Lee De Forest provided that detector. It made it possible to amplify the radio frequency signal picked up by the antenna before application to the receiver detector; thus, much weaker signals could be utilized than had previously been possible. De Forest was also the person who first used the word "radio".

The result of Lee DeForest's work was the invention of amplitude-modulated or AM radio that allowed for a multitude of radio stations. The earlier spark-gap transmitters did not allow for this.

The entire way that information and audio is being broadcast has been changed over the past few years. Not only have satellites and the Internet made a difference, but even more innovations in getting information from one place to another are developing, often as a combination of more than one technology.

“Friday Nights at the Museum” has proved to be a very popular meeting place for history and art fans.  Everyone has a good time and enjoys the refreshments.  There is a charge of $5.00 for ADULTS and $1.00 for CHILDREN under 12.  Admittance is free with membership.  For information call 462-2763.

John Langley
Cathy Bagby 

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