Creating Radio: Harry Davis and KDKA


KDKA’s broadcast of the election results of the Harding versus Cox presidential race on November 2, 1920, is often cited as the first commercial radio broadcast. In reality, a number of stations had been experimenting with this new form of communication technology
for at least a decade.1 While KDKA may not have made the first broadcast, the innovations demonstrated that evening and the new vision cast by KDKA for radio shifted the paradigm in how this technology would be understood and used in the years ahead. Key to the vision that drove Westinghouse in the days leading up to that November night and for years to come was the creativity and leadership of Harry P. Davis.

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