America's First 'Wireless Newspaper' Killed Catalina's Carrier Pigeons

If you lived on the small Southern California island of Catalina at the turn of the century, news was hard to come by. The island had a rather unreliable carrier pigeon system and copies of the L.A. Times wouldn't arrive by boat until around 1:30 in the afternoon. News was slow moving. But all that changed on March 25, … » 3/03/14 6:00pm 3/03/14 6:00pm

This Was the TV of the Future in 1933

Television was hardly a reliable broadcast medium in the early 1930s. But that didn't stop companies from speculating about TV designs of the future. Like this Marconi-brand "radio set of 1960." » 12/13/13 4:36pm 12/13/13 4:36pm

Did the 'War of the Worlds' Radio Broadcast Really Cause Mass Panic?

Tonight, PBS airs a documentary about Orson Welles' infamous 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast and the resulting hysteria that swept America. The only problem? Many scholars contend that the program didn't actually cause mass panic at all. » 10/29/13 2:00pm 10/29/13 2:00pm

The First In-Flight Movies Had a Live Orchestra

Soaring through the clouds in 1925, passengers on an Imperial Airways flight traveling over Germany were treated to a brand new novelty—one of the first in-flight movies. Even more astounding? The film had live orchestral accompaniment. But not in the way you're probably thinking. » 9/19/13 1:55pm 9/19/13 1:55pm

The First Radio Nerds Were A Bunch of Trolls

Today, there's a lot of scaremongering in the media surrounding online trolling. When people are being terrible to each other, there's often this knee-jerk reaction to blame the technology rather than acknowledge that human beings have always been just plain horrible. Case in point: the radio trolls of 1910. » 9/16/13 6:00pm 9/16/13 6:00pm

Hello Frisco! A 1924 Map of The First Coast-to-Coast Radio Broadcast

America got a little bit smaller on the night of February 8, 1924. Or at least it felt that way. From a banquet hall at the Congress Hotel in Chicago one man could be heard simultaneously in New York, Jacksonville, Denver, San Francisco, and even Havana, Cuba (which was no longer technically controlled by the U.S. but… » 8/26/13 2:21pm 8/26/13 2:21pm