Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Died This Day: Frank Conrad

Conrad (May 4, 1874 - Dec. 11, 1941) was an American electrical engineer whose interest in radiotelephony led to the establishment of the first commercial radio station. Conrad worked for Westinghouse as assistant chief engineer at its East Pittsburgh Works and acquired over 200 patents in his lifetime.

As an amateur, having built a transmitting station on the second floor of the garage behind his home in Wilkinsburg, Pa., when he substituted a phonograph for his microphone, he discovered a large audience of listeners who had built their own crystal radio sets and who, upon hearing the music, wrote or phoned requests for more music and news. When he became swamped with these requests, he decided to broadcast regular, scheduled programs to satisfy his listeners. He coined the term "broadcast." From Today in Science History

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