9 J. Radio Stud. 264 (2002)
Hugo Gernsback and Radio Magazines: An Influential Intersection in Broadcast History

handle is hein.journals/jradstud9 and id is 280 raw text is: Hugo Gernsback and Radio Magazines:
An Influential Intersection in Broadcast History
Keith Massie and Stephen D. Perry
Hugo Gernsback's contributions to the development of early radio
have gone largely unheralded. This article concentrates on how his
role as the most influential editor in the 1920s radio press influenced
early radio experimentation, regulation, growth, and popularization.
His publications promoted radio among hobbyists and novices, but
also encouraged experimenters and innovators. He often described
ways in which radio could be improved down to the publication of
technical diagrams. He built his own radio stations where he tested
many of the innovations his magazine promoted. Gernsback's
greatest personal satisfaction derived from encouraging broad
experimentation that enhanced scientific development.
The story of broadcasting involves an amalgam of people who influ-
enced its development and direction. Names like Guglielmo Marconi,
David Sarnoff, William Paley, Lee De Forest, Reginald Fessenden, Frank
Conrad, Alexander Popov, and others have become well known for their
work in inventing, developing, and promoting pieces of the puzzle that
became the medium of radio. Others have remained no more than
historical footnotes. One person who has been little more than a foot-
note in broadcasting but whose fame lives on in another area is Hugo
Gernsback, the father of science fiction and namesake of the Hugo
Award for science fiction writing.1 Yet he may have been one of the
most influential figures in promoting radio experimentation and adop-
tion by amateur hobbyists in the 1910s and 1920s, and in campaigning
for regulatory directions for radio in the days before the establishment
of the Federal Radio Commission.
Keith Massie (B.A., 1996; B.S., 1998, Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
is a masters student at Illinois State University. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. in
media ecology.
Stephen D. Perry (Ph.D., 1995, University of Alabama) is an Associate Profes-
sor at Illinois State University. His research interests include broadcast his-
tory, media effects, and electronic media programming.

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