Forums :: Resources :: Features :: Photo Gallery :: Vintage Radio Shows :: Archives
Support This Site: Contributors :: Advertise


It is currently Feb Mon 24, 2020 10:07 am


All times are UTC [ DST ]





Post New Topic Post Reply  [ 82 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Father of Radio
PostPosted: May Fri 27, 2016 11:28 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 33
Location: Fayetteville, AR 72703
I just obtained a significant historical inscribed copy of Lee de Forest's autobiography Father of Radio. The inscription reads ""From Lee de Forest to "Dick" Stoddart the lone survivor who listened in on the "Greatest Bobble" in radio history Nov. 1916-the Hughes-Wilson election! With my Regards & Best Wishes. Dec. 12,51" I am sure that I figured out what the "Greatest Bobble" refers to. de Forest's station went off the air around 11:00 PM election night and mistakenly declared Hughes the winner to the estimated 7,000 people who listened in. I am not sure what de Forest means by referring to Richard R. Stoddart as the lone Survivor? I did some research on the internet and have discovered that Stoddart went to work for de Forest when he was 14, and was 16 at the time of the broadcast. I am wondering if Stoddart was the last member of the technical staff who worked the transmission alive when de Forest inscribed the book?

Stoddart was a pioneer of aerial communications, worked for NBC in the early thirties, and accompanied Howard Hughes on his record breaking flight around the world. During WWII he did communications work for the government.

I am keen on researching this, and would greatly appreciate any opinions, or information.......Eric


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Father of Radio
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2016 1:40 am 
Member

Joined: Aug Sun 01, 2010 1:12 am
Posts: 8434
Location: Minnesota
Not a fan of DeForest. Tesla, Marconi, and Armstrong would be my choices. DeForest was more of a "marketer" before anyone knew what the term meant. He did get his Audion tube to somewhat work but was never really sure how. But I think it was his undeserved self promotion that really turned me off to the guy.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Father of Radio
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2016 1:48 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 18784
Location: Albuquerque, NM 87123
de Forest was mostly a showman. His engineering skills are often questioned as he never really had a clear understanding of how radio actually works. Later in life he tried to bill himself as the Grandfather of Television. That takes a lot of guts, especially with so many around who were infinitely more qualified.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Father of Radio
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2016 2:19 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 33
Location: Fayetteville, AR 72703
I share some of your sediments, but de Forest did score some firsts including this Presidential election, four years before KDKA. He certainly was a self promoter!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Father of Radio
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2016 2:20 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Nov Sat 26, 2011 4:09 am
Posts: 9658
Location: Texas. USA
ggregg wrote:
...Tesla, Marconi, and Armstrong would be my choices. ...
Including Tesla on a list of early radio is a bit like having the Catholic Church on the list of early heliocentric supporters. Tesla didn't believe Maxwell waves even existed and, if they did, were a waste product to be minimized.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Father of Radio
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2016 2:35 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Mon 18, 2010 2:13 am
Posts: 20120
Location: Dayton Ohio
decovision wrote:
I share some of your sediments, but de Forest did score some firsts including this Presidential election, four years before KDKA. He certainly was a self promoter!


This is the first time I've heard of this. Who was his audience?

I do know Charles Herrold who opened the Herrold College of Wireless and Engineering was broadcasting on his Arc Phone transmitter (basically a modulated Poulsen Arc) in San Jose a few years earlier in 1912. His students and their friends and family were his audience.

-Steve

_________________
Radio Interests
-Zenith
-Sparton
-Pre-War FM
Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Father of Radio
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2016 2:44 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 33
Location: Fayetteville, AR 72703
The date of Nov. 1916 was inscribed in my book. Google de Forest Radio Broadcast Presidential 1916 Election de Forest and you will get some hits......

There were about 7,000 people in the New York area listening to the election


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Father of Radio
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2016 2:56 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: May Wed 18, 2011 2:40 am
Posts: 4364
Location: Littleton, MA
Reading de Forest's autobiography really does give you an insight into the man. His self-promotion is just amazing. The facts are probably bent to match de Forest's self-hagiography, so I wouldn't put much trust in them, but his personality certainly comes through. A very unpleasant man.

_________________
Steve Byan https://www.byan-roper.org/steve/steve-at-play/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Father of Radio
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2016 2:59 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Mon 18, 2010 2:13 am
Posts: 20120
Location: Dayton Ohio
decovision wrote:
The date of Nov. 1916 was inscribed in my book. Google de Forest Radio Broadcast Presidential 1916 Election de Forest and you will get some hits......

There were about 7,000 people in the New York area listening to the election


Hmm, learn something new everyday, though, not being much of a fan of the guy, maybe I did and just passed it over? :lol:

-Steve

_________________
Radio Interests
-Zenith
-Sparton
-Pre-War FM
Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Father of Radio
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2016 3:03 am 
Member

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 33
Location: Fayetteville, AR 72703
It is interesting that in his book, de Forest makes only a very passing mention of the election. Perhaps declaring the wrong man the winner didn't sit well with him?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Father of Radio
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2016 4:37 am 
Member

Joined: Mar Wed 16, 2011 10:44 pm
Posts: 1122
Location: Peekskill, NY
Deforest's home "riverlure" still stands in the riverdale section of the bronx, NY.

Visible from space via google maps.

I want to see it in person at some point, not sure who owns it these days.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Father of Radio
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2016 11:36 am 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Feb Thu 17, 2011 11:27 pm
Posts: 13505
Location: Long Island, N.Y.
Flipperhome wrote:
ggregg wrote:
...Tesla, Marconi, and Armstrong would be my choices. ...
Including Tesla on a list of early radio is a bit like having the Catholic Church on the list of early heliocentric supporters. Tesla didn't believe Maxwell waves even existed and, if they did, were a waste product to be minimized.

I too would put Tesla on my list. He may have not focused on radio, but his contributions in the field of electronics are undeniable. I also like the fact it wasn't all about money with him. He was a true visionary who just wanted to share his discoveries with the world and nothing more. Marconi, DeForest, and Armstrong were egomaniacs who's ultimate goal was fame and fortune.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Father of Radio
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2016 1:09 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Nov Sat 26, 2011 4:09 am
Posts: 9658
Location: Texas. USA
decojoe67 wrote:
Flipperhome wrote:
ggregg wrote:
...Tesla, Marconi, and Armstrong would be my choices. ...
Including Tesla on a list of early radio is a bit like having the Catholic Church on the list of early heliocentric supporters. Tesla didn't believe Maxwell waves even existed and, if they did, were a waste product to be minimized.

I too would put Tesla on my list. He may have not focused on radio, but his contributions in the field of electronics are undeniable. I also like the fact it wasn't all about money with him. He was a true visionary who just wanted to share his discoveries with the world and nothing more. Marconi, DeForest, and Armstrong were egomaniacs who's ultimate goal was fame and fortune.
If the topic were "Father of AC Power" I would agree... but it's not. It's "Father of Radio" and, near as I can tell, to his dying days he believed 'radio waves' (and Maxwell's equations) were a delusional myth (along with quantum mechanics and relativity).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Father of Radio
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2016 3:47 pm 
Member

Joined: Jan Sat 01, 2011 9:10 pm
Posts: 348
Location: Temple, GA
Didn't Tesla invent and demonstrate a remote controlled boat? It was contolled by radio waves.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Father of Radio
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2016 3:59 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Feb Thu 17, 2011 11:27 pm
Posts: 13505
Location: Long Island, N.Y.
otherzenithguy wrote:
Didn't Tesla invent and demonstrate a remote controlled boat? It was contolled by radio waves.

Very good point. He did invent the first radio controlled device. I personally feel Tesla was most certainly a piece of the puzzle in radio development. He may have been a bit of an odd duck, but what true genius isn't? They're visionaries who see beyond what the average person has the ability to see.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Father of Radio
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2016 8:03 pm 
Member

Joined: Jun Sun 15, 2014 11:04 pm
Posts: 1209
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
I believe Tesla should be credited with a lot more than he has been. His geniatic mind created the formulas for determining the resonance of tank circuits. With that knowledge, he created a remotely controlled water craft, which he demonstrated often enough to prove he truly had control of it. He therefore was the first person to fully understand the complex variables of frequency tuning, before De Forest, Armstrong and Marconi (the Russians claim that Alexander Popov was really the first one to use a vacuum tube to create radio waves). Unfortunately, he never got to the point of creating sustained oscillations before anyone else. He was only able to create bursts of radio waves before the triode enabled sustained or continuous radio wave generation.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Father of Radio
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2016 10:21 pm 
Member

Joined: Mar Wed 16, 2011 10:44 pm
Posts: 1122
Location: Peekskill, NY
DeForest anointed himself with the title 'father of radio' and went so far to mail a letter to himself
with that phrase as the address.

It was returned to sender, no such address. Or so, if you believe the Ken Burns documentary.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Father of Radio
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2016 10:55 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 893
Location: Utah 84065
No single person deserves the title of "Father of Radio."
Tesla was indeed a great contributor. He pioneered the concept of driving an apparently open circuit with a "single wire" (such as the so-called Marconi antenna). Tesla understood the resonance principle of the antenna long before Marconi came along.
Marconi was a great contributor also. Tesla may have invented some of the components, but Marconi's aim was to communicate over great distances, which he did in fact accomplish (Tesla was more interested in transmitting power than intelligence).
DeForest was a great contributor also, with the invention of the 3-element vacuum tube. This invention is why he called himself the "Father of Radio."
Armstrong put the 3-element tube to work with his invention of feedback/regeneration.
All of these people, and many more, were the true "Fathers of Radio."

_________________
www.duanesradios.info


Last edited by Duane B on May Sun 29, 2016 4:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Father of Radio
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2016 11:17 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 34042
Location: SoCal, 91387
Duane B wrote:
No single person deserves the title of "Father of Radio."

All of these people, and many more, were the true "Fathers of Radio."

Agreed. Take any one of them out of the progress of early radio and it's doubtful that things would have continued as they did in the technology, or at least at the same speed.

And why judge them on personality insofar as their contribution to the science goes? You may not want to have a beer with one of them, but it doesn't take away from their development of radio.

1916 election, eh? Wow, a hundred years ago exactly, and they blew who the winner was, just as in 1948 when a newspaper declared that Tom Dewey won. :wink:

_________________
\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\He Who Dies With The Most Radios Wins//////////////////


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Father of Radio
PostPosted: May Sat 28, 2016 11:37 pm 
Member
User avatar

Joined: Jan Mon 18, 2010 2:13 am
Posts: 20120
Location: Dayton Ohio
Delete as it may be construed as political, even though it was just a humorous observation.

-Steve

_________________
Radio Interests
-Zenith
-Sparton
-Pre-War FM
Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


Top
 Profile  
 
Post New Topic Post Reply  [ 82 posts ]  Moderator: sofaslug Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests



Search for:
Jump to:  






























-->


Privacy Policy :: Powered by phpBB