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The First Radio Commercial

July 9th Fact-of-the-Day

New York radio station WEAF (which later became WNBC) was the first to transmit a radio commercial. During transmission of a 5:00 PM program on August 28, 1922, an announcer read an advertisement for Jackson Heights, Long Island, apartments owned by Queensboro Corporation. The event upset many listeners and especially upset Lee De Forest, who invented the triode vacuum tube and who was often referred to at that time as the father of radio. He reportedly said 'What have you done with my child,' and later referred to the event as a 'stench in the nostrils of the gods of the ionosphere!' Nonetheless, Queensboro Corporation reported increased interest in their apartments and commercial radio blossomed in the U.S. ©2005 Martek International All rights reserved.


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