Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Collection (1896-1964)
The history of American broadcasting is the story of the emergence and transformation of the two most important mass communication mediums of the 20th century — radio and television. The magazine Radio Broadcasting chronicles radio’s early adoption by hobbyists and the debates about how the medium should be organized and regulated. Citizen groups believed radio served a vital public service and should remain outside of commercial interests. Electronics corporations, on the other hand, saw the potential to harness the radio medium toward profitable ends. The business interests ultimately won, and American radio became a medium of publicly owned airwaves that were, in fact, controlled by advertising-supported corporations. This same ownership and regulatory model was later applied to television.
Radio Age presented the point of view of the most important corporation in the broadcasting landscape, RCA (Radio Corporation of America), which both manufactured receivers and controlled the NBC network. Radio Age emphasized the new products and research RCA was bringing to market. Television, in particular, received considerable coverage.
The history of broadcasting is also intertwined with the history of the motion picture industry. In the 1920s and 1930s, radio provided an invaluable advertising tool for the Hollywood studios. Additionally, RCA co-founded a major Hollywood studio — RKO (Radio-Keith-Orpheum). The television era cemented the bond between Hollywood and broadcsting even more deeply. As the A.A.P. Catalogue illustrates, old Hollywood movies became a staple of television programming in the 1950s. Many of us continue to tune in and watch them there today.
promote current and future technological developments and major programming events on NBC.
Despite the title’s reference to radio, the emphasis throughout is on the future promise of television. Digitized by the Prelinger Library.