It was an Italian electrician and inventor Guglielmo Marconi who succeeded in developing both a suitable receiver and an improved spark oscillator, which was connected to an effective antenna to transmit radio waves over significant distances. In 1896, Marconi transmitted signals for a distance greater than 1.6 km.
Within a year of his first demonstration, he transmitted signals from shore to a ship at sea 29 km away. In 1899, he established commercial communication between England and France, and in 1901, he succeeded in sending a simple message across the Atlantic. This was wireless transmission of signals rather than wireless transmission of sound.
On Christmas Eve in 1906, an American, Reginald Fessenden, managed to transmit speech and music over several hundred miles out to sea. Over the next few years, other demonstrations followed in the United States, Britain, and Europe. The combination of continuous signals being sent out from transmitters and more sensitive receivers’ aid the technical basis for wider scale listening, but there was in the years still little appreciation of the medium’s social possibilities.
Radio was thought of private means of point-to-point communication, rather than public means of mass communication. The first significant users of radio coastal, marine, army, and intelligence services were, however, content with this approach. Both British and Germans ere using radio to communicate to naval forces from the outset, and governments were commandeering all wireless stations, seemed to entrench this pattern.
World War I also motivated technical research. In the interwar years, cinema and popular newspapers were already providing larger numbers of people with entertainment and information on a national scale. Individuals were being conceived in large numbers and this meant mass markets for all sorts of consumer goods. So, when the early wireless amateurs demanded something to listen to, companies such as Marconi in Britain and the General Electric Company and Westinghouse in America were keen to produce radio receivers.
The useful function involved in a radio is that you can tune your radio to a radio station by using the control knob on the radio. On a standard radio, there are two bands you can switch to AM and FM. FM stands for frequency modulation, and AM stands for, amplitude modulation. The difference between the two bands is the way they are broadcasted. AM is being amplitude modulation the pitch of the radio waves are based on the amplitude of the wave. So, for example, if the amplitude is the higher, the pitch will be the higher. As for FM, as the waves aren’t based on the amplitude, they are based on the frequency of the waves.
So, the more frequent the waves are, the higher the pitch of the sound will be. A radio works by using an antenna, which intercepts part of the radio waves. A signal voltage across the coil induces a voltage in the coil, the frequency (AM, FM) is then chosen by the variable capacitor. The capacitor in the circuit is only tuned for AM. Then the frequency comes out of the capacitor and into the transistor, which you use to tune your radio to a station on that frequency.