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Vintage Radio

100 years of Australian radio broadcasting

It all started just under 100 years ago in the Sydney suburb of Castlecrag - Australia's first official radio broadcast occurred at a studio set up in a modest home just off Eastern Valley Way. As we get closer to the anniversary of this momentous occasion, more will be said here and, no doubt, in many other places and there will be some recognition for the efforts made by a large number of people and companies to ensure that Australia had a viable and reliable radio broadcasting service.

More will also be said on the Vintage Radio forums, where members will be discussing this important anniversary and the milestones passed since then. With AM broadcasting beginning in 1923, postwar experiments with FM broadcasting followed by the introduction of television in 1956 to broadcast the Olympic Games from Melbourne and in early 1957 when broadcasting started on two commercial channels and one channel owned by the Australian Broadcasting Commission. Note how I said "channel" and not "network". Television networking would still be a few years away yet. Then coloured television in 1974 and digital television and radio broadcasting at the end of the second millennium AD.

Whilst Australia has been inhabited for more than 50,000 years, the last 100 years have passed in leaps and bounds and more technological change has occurred around the world in the last ten years than the last 500 before it. The pace of this change has also changed spending habits - people once spent money on just having some form of entertainment in the loungeroom whereas now, money is spent on keping abreast of how quickly things become obsolete. Whether that is a good or bad thing I will leave to others to decide.

As the year progresses and we move towards the 23rd November, more will be posted here about the day thousands of radios started receiving the nation's first broadcast signals, all done without semiconductors, automated production equipment or even a large transmission tower.