On This Day …

Friday, 23rd November, 1923

As with many other firsts in Australia, this one had some competition involved. The first public radio broadcast, 2SB (Sydney Broadcasters Ltd) in Sydney, went to air, beating their rivals, 2FC (Farmer and Company) by two weeks.

Of course, wireless telegraphy technology had already been in place since 1896 with the use of Morse Code signals in England — this is attributed to Guglielmo Marconi. This radio technology gradually took place of Australia’s overland telegraph system which had been in use since 1872, and made communications that much easier for a land with great distances between towns.

On the 23rd of November, 1923, people tuned in with anticipation to hear 2SB’s broadcast of a performance of Le cygne, from Camille Saint-Saens’ Carnaval des animaux. Unfortunately for these early days of radio, listeners had to pay license fees, and of course not everybody could afford that, let alone a radio as well.

But things changed soon enough and some radio stations were funded by the government (which is still funded by the listeners I guess, through taxes) and others funded by advertising. Radio 2SB became 2BL and Radio 2FC eventually became the ABC Radio National.

Radio broadcasts, like every other technology, have come a long way since those early crackling sound streams to what they are today. What do you enjoy most about access to radio stations?

Published in: on 23rd November, 2012 at 10:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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