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Reginald Aubrey Fessenden made the world's first wireless broadcast on Christmas Eve, 1906. It was indeed a “broadcast,” and not just a station-to-station demonstration, as was his December 21, 1906, major demonstration. Three days before Christmas Eve, 1906, Brant Rock Station staff notified (by wireless telegraphy) ships of the US Navy and the United Fruit Company to listen for special broadcasts on Christmas' and New Year's Eves. These ships had previously been fitted with Fessenden radio receivers, and so they were able to receive AM radio broadcast transmissions. “Special” applied, since the broadcast was a prepared program of voice and music for the holiday season. After wishing all listeners a “Merry Christmas,” Fessenden added: “Will all those who heard these words and music please write to R. A. Fessenden at Brant Rock, MA.” His concluding remark was, “We will speak to you again on New Year's Eve.” We are told letters reporting reception of the broadcast were received, but today none can be found. We can also read that astonished wireless operators sent reception reports at the time, by wireless telegraphy.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2012