The Era of Radio Begins, 1922

“In future ages historians will scan the record to determine when radio transmission became general and popular and will fix the date not far from 1922.”

“This is the era of radio,” wrote Addison Sheldon in the June 1922 issue of The Nebraska Teacher. Sheldon was the superintendent of the Nebraska State Historical Society (today’s History Nebraska), and he looked at events with an eye toward history.

“In future ages historians will scan the record to determine when radio transmission became general and popular and will fix the date not far from 1922. During the past months transmission of speeches, concerts, weather and market news have spread until scarcely a village in Nebraska does not have its group of radio outfits. Every night communications from the gulf coast, the Atlantic and Pacific are caught by enterprising radio experts.”

Above, by 1924 the Burlington Railroad was broadcasting from its “Pure Bred Sires Special” train, shown here in Red Cloud on October 20. Railroads sponsored traveling educational exhibits to promote the latest livestock practices and technology; radio further extended their reach.


–David L. Bristow, Editor


(Photo: History Nebraska RG1431-0-4075. Posted 9/7/2022)

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History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
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