32¢ Radio Entertains America
Celebrate the Century – 1920s
Issue Date: May 28, 1998
City: Washington, DC
Printed By: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
As early as 1920, Westinghouse employee Frank Conrad attempted to broadcast both live performances and phonograph records from his home in Pittsburgh. Sensing a whole new market, Westinghouse encouraged him to used a more powerful station installed in the Westinghouse plant. Conrad agreed and the station was finished in time for him to broadcast the 1920 presidential election returns. With this, a whole new era in American life began.
America accepted radio with an enthusiasm that had never been seen before. By 1922 there were 30 such stations, and by 1923 there were 556. The number of homes with radios tripled during this same period.
Finally, people could experience events without leaving the comfort of their homes. Music could be enjoyed without purchasing a record or a phonograph; plays and concerts could be attended without ever buying a ticket; news could be heard without a newspaper; and sporting events could be followed without going to the stadium. Radio also led to family bonding, as parents and children gathered around to listen to the latest episode of their favorite serial program. Life, as Americans knew it, was forever changed by this technological wonder.