Dr. Lee deForests inventions have led more than one scholar
to name him the father of American radio.
As a student at Yale University, Dr. deForests Ph.D. dissertation
on high-frequency oscillation effects in parallel wires was one
of the first treatises on radio waves and the possibilities of wireless
communication. In 1906, deForest invented the three-element electron
tube, calling it the audion. Unlike the diode tube developed
by British engineer John Ambrose Fleming, de Forests triode
audion tube could amplify signals and generate oscillations, making
it possible to transmit sound over wireless communication systems.
Eventually, deForest sold the audion patent to AT&T.
In 1907, the DeForest Radio Telephone Company was formed. By the
end of the first decade of the 20th century, deForest had broadcast
from the Eiffel Tower and from the stage of New Yorks Metropolitan
Opera House. Installation of high-powered wireless stations sparked
interest in radio throughout the country. By the 1920s, the use
of tubes for transmitting signals had made radio sets in the home
Dr. Lee deForest died on June 30, 1961.
Dr. Lee deForest was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1989.
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