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Radio

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120px-Magnadine radio receiver

A radio receiver from 1931.

Radio is a medium of communication that uses electromagnetic waves to transmit sounds from a broadcasting station to receiving units known as radio sets or simply radios.

Radio was invented in 1896 by Thomas Edison, and at first it was considered an oddity. By 1900 there were only five broadcasting stations in the Confederation of North America: three in New York City, one in Burgoyne, and one in Michigan City. By the time Governor-General Clifton Burgen gave a radio address in 1902, there were broadcasting stations in six cities, and by the time of the 1908 Grand Council elections on February 15, 1908, the entire C.N.A. stayed up to listen to the election returns, in the first Nova Scotia to Manitoba hookup. By 1910 one in nine households in the C.N.A. had a radio, and the cost of the sets had declined in price over the decade from NA£200 to NA£10 for the least expensive model. Radios were also in use in the United States of Mexico by then, but only the wealthy could afford the receivers.

By 1922 the most popular radio program in the C.N.A. was the Galloway Playhouse, sponsored by North American Motors. Galloway Playhouse was broadcast at 5:00 P.M. on Monday nights, and presented plays drawn from contemporary and classic novels. On the evening of December 25, 1922, Galloway Playhouse presented a dramatisation of The Christmas of the Magi by Charles Dickens, which was followed by N.A.M. President Owen Galloway's famous Galloway Plan speech. The audience for the play and speech, which was broadcast on vitavision as well as radio, is estimated at 60 million.


Sobel's source for the history of radio in the C.N.A. is John Flaherty's The Sound and the Fury: Radio in the C.N.A. (London, 1965).

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