The childhood of radio

The childhood of radio

  • The first TSF transmission station in France from the Eiffel Tower

    ANONYMOUS

  • Cover of the special issue of L’Illustration on the TSF

    ANONYMOUS

  • Anna de Noailles reads a poem at Radiola's microphone

    ANONYMOUS

To close

Title: The first TSF transmission station in France from the Eiffel Tower

Author : ANONYMOUS (-)

Creation date : 1903

Date shown: 1903

Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0

Storage place: Illustration

Contact copyright: © The illustration - rights reserved

The first TSF transmission station in France from the Eiffel Tower

© The illustration - rights reserved

To close

Title: Cover of the special issue of L’Illustration on the TSF

Author : ANONYMOUS (-)

Creation date : 1923

Date shown: 1923

Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0

Storage place: Illustration

Contact copyright: © The illustration - rights reserved

Cover of the special issue of L’Illustration on the TSF

© The illustration - rights reserved

To close

Title: Anna de Noailles reads a poem at Radiola's microphone

Author : ANONYMOUS (-)

Creation date : 1922

Date shown: November 22, 1922

Dimensions: Height 0 - Width 0

Storage place: Illustration

Contact copyright: © The illustration - rights reserved

Anna de Noailles reads a poem at Radiola's microphone

© The illustration - rights reserved

Publication date: January 2004

Historical context

The birth of radio

December 24, 1921 is a key date in the history of radio in France: from that day on, broadcasts from the Eiffel Tower (FL) state post allow wireless operators to receive the first regular radio programs. . They are public, like FL, Lyon-la-Doua (1922), Radio-PTT (1923), etc. ; or private, like Radiola (1922), the Petit Parisien or Radio-Lyon (1924), etc. On FL, from 1922, one can follow "musical gramophone programs", concerts, lectures in the Sorbonne. So many programs which then reward the efforts that wireless operators deploy to obtain correct reception on most often home-made devices.

Image Analysis

From radiotelegraphy to radio

At the end of 1903, Gustave Eiffel feared that his tower would be destroyed and made it available to the army. The Ministry of War set up facilities there to continue research on military radiotelegraphy, under the direction of Gustave Ferrié. The 1903 photograph shows that the working conditions (cf. the wooden barracks) at the research center were precarious at the time. Nevertheless, from the Tower and its surroundings a new page in the history of the TSF (wireless telegraphy) opens. Initially, the vocation of the station is purely military: it transmits time signals intended for the navy. But the building quickly became a hotbed of radio conquest. This is evidenced, among other things, by the successful "radio telephone" tests carried out by the American inventor Lee De Forest in 1908. With the Great War, the role of the TSF asserted itself. The War Ministry asks General Ferrié to improve the links between the staff and the front. A huge effort is being made by military telegraphy to mass-produce transmitting and receiving equipment. In 1921, therefore, considerable progress was made, and from strictly military use to public exploitation. In March 1923, the cover of The Illustration underlines this progress and this development. In the reminder of the slender perspective of the Eiffel Tower, it features a telegraph operator (reminder of the pioneering military role) and gives a detailed account of the heaviness of the device which, from the auditorium built in the basement to the 800 watts of power developed by the antenna of the Tower, allows the broadcast programs to be received at more than 1000 kilometers.

Interpretation

Technology and virtual audience

In the first two decades of the XXe century, the history of media and communication, marked by the transition from radio telegraphy to radio, is accelerating. The two documents on the Eiffel Tower bear witness to this. Indeed, what a distance traveled between the launch of research on military radio broadcasting at the dawn of the century and the first radio programs twenty years later! Of course, as the precious document on Radiola's auditorium [1], on Boulevard Haussmann shows, the 1920s did not quite spell the end of the craft industry. However, technological conquest and the modernization of the means of dissemination are rapid. This conquering technology destabilized some of the guests of the very young radio station. Thus, the stations very early on solicited stars of the music hall, the theater, the literary life, to speak on the air, like Anna de Noailles intervening for the poetic chronicle of Radiola (22 November 1922) - in which Jean Cocteau also participated, the following year. At a time when theater and singing tours are still given without microphone or amplification, these personalities are often disconcerted by the technological arsenal that surrounds them, by the recommendations of technicians (speak with their feet in the circle in front of the microphone, to optimize sound recording); and, more fundamentally, as singer Damia [2] will say, by the absence of an audience!

  • radio
  • Eiffel Tower
  • TSF
  • radio programs
  • Ferrié (General Gustave)
  • public
  • wireless
  • radio conquest
  • De Forest (Lee)
  • Cocteau (Jean)
  • engineer

Bibliography

AMOUDRY MichelGeneral Ferrié and the birth of transmissions and broadcastingGrenoble, PUG, 1993.BROCHAND ChristianI> General history of radio and television in France, volume I "1921-1944" Paris, La Documentation Française-Comité d'Histoire de la Radiodiffusion, 1994. CHAUVEAU Agnès and TETART PhilippeIntroduction to media historyParis, Armand Colin, 1999 DESCAVES PierreWhen the radio was called Eiffel TowerParis, La Table Ronde, coll. "A few steps back", 1963.DUVAL RenéHistory of radio in FranceParis, Alain Moreau, 1979.JEANNENEY Jean-Noël (dir.)The Echo of the Century. Dictionary of radio and television in FranceParis, Hachette-Arte-La Cinquième, 1999, second updated edition, coll. "Plural", 2001 Broadcasting History Notebooks. In particular numbers 33 (July 1992), 37 (July 1993) and 41 (July 1994), respectively devoted to the “Radiophonic Years” 1922, 1923 and 1924.

Notes

To cite this article

Philippe TETART, "The childhood of radio"


Video: Johnny Marr - Talks about his Childhood, Morrissey, Chrissie Hynde u0026 more -Radio Broadcast 110710