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National Association of Broadcasters
RCA Founded (1919)

Moment 33: RCA Founded

The Radio Corporation of America, later shortened to RCA, was formed on October 17, 1919 with the assets of the American Marconi wireless company and key radio patents owned by General Electric, Westinghouse, and other players. Conceived as a “marriage of convenience” between private corporations and the U.S. government for the development of wireless communication, RCA soon grew in a different direction. Prior to 1920, most Americans couldn’t even fathom the idea of voices and music coming into their homes over the air. But the availability of free over-the-air music and information fueled tremendous growth with sales of in-home radio sets growing from 5,000 units in 1920 to more than 2.5 million units in 1924.

November 2, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the first commercial radio broadcast. To celebrate this special anniversary, we’re shining a spotlight on 100 key moments in radio's history.

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating your favorite radio memories throughout 2020. Use the hashtag #Radio100 across social media to share these moments with the world. Here’s to 100 wonderful years of radio, and to at least 100 more!

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