Edward Samuel Rogers, Sr, inventor, broadcasting pioneer (b at Toronto 21 June 1900; d there 6 May 1939). Son of a wealthy businessman, Edward Rogers was obsessed with radio from childhood. At 13 he won a prize for the best amateur-built radio in Ontario, and in 1921 was the only Canadian to win an American competition for low-power broadcasts across the Atlantic.
His alternating-current radio tube, perfected in 1925, revolutionized the home radio-receiver industry throughout the world. Before Edward Rogers, home receivers had to run on direct current from rechargeable acid-filled batteries: the 25- or 60-cycle hum of alternating-current mains electricity was often louder than radio signals. Rogers's amplifying tube eliminated this problem, making mains-powered home radios practical for the first time. With his father, he founded the Rogers Majestic manufacturing company and established several broadcasting companies, including station 9RB (later CFRB, Toronto) named for the "Rogers Batteryless" system. His son Edward Samuel ROGERS, Jr headed up ROGERS COMMUNICATIONS INC until his death.
During the 1920s, radios were powered by "Direct Current" (DC). A and B batteries were awkward to handle, left acid stains on rugs, and caused a background "hum" which, when activated, would cause interference when sounds were transmitted through the radio speaker.
After years of dedicated research and bold experimentation on the part of his family, 24-year old Canadian inventor Edward S. Rogers created his 15S, the world’s first Alternating Current Simple Rectifier Tube. The invention permitted the heater in a radio tube to operate from 110-volt household electric light sockets rather than being powered by large batteries. In addition, it allowed the home wiring system to act as a signal conduit thus eliminating the need for aerials.
The AC tube also removes the background "hum" caused by Direct Current batteries, giving listeners a clearer sound from the speakers. This innovative tube contains a better insulator which Mr. Rogers successfully developed that electro-magnetically and electrically shields the input and output circuits of the tube from the heater and all but eliminates the AC hum itself.
During his early work, skeptics said "It can’t be done." Rogers’ groundbreaking achievement proved "It CAN be done."
Edward Samuel Rogers Sr. (1900 - 1939) (Rogers)
JUNE 21, 1900: Edward Samuel Rogers becomes the newest addition to the prestigious Rogers Family. He is the third child of Albert S. and Mary Rogers Edward, brother to Katherine and J. Elsworth Albert S. Rogers.
JULY 21, 1913: Edward S. Rogers is the subject of an article in The Toronto Telegram newspaper "Toronto Boys' Wireless Caught Story of Wreck in Ireland." This is the first news article about Mr. Rogers, and it speculates he has "probably the very best amateur wireless apparatus in the province". The article is written because Edward received a message transmitted from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, about the S.S. Haverford, which ran aground amongst rocks off of Queenstown, Ireland.
APRIL 1919: At 18, Edward S. Rogers is awarded one of the first amateur licenses for radio-telegraph operation in Canada. This is in accordance with the Radio Telegraph Act of 1913, whose wartime restrictions have just been lifted. Mr. Rogers operates a half-kilowatt telegraph set which he hand-crafted when he was 11. Under the callsignal "3 BP" he broadcasts on a range of 300 metres from his family home in Toronto.
DECEMBER 9, 1921
Edward S. Rogers makes Canadian broadcasting history when at 21 he becomes the first Canadian amateur to successfully transmit a transatlantic radio signal from Newmarket, Ontario to Androssan, Scotland. Mr. Rogers is participating in a contest sponsored by the American Radio Relay League to test radio signaling across the Atlantic Ocean. He is the only Canadian contestant to achieve the goal. Moreover, it is also the farthest that a Canadian radio unit had ever signaled.
Edward S. Rogers’ "3BP Newmarket, Ontario" is listed on the front cover of "QST" magazine about the success of the American Radio Relay League trans-oceanic contest. QST is a monthly magazine published by the ARRL. Mr. Rogers’ is the only Canadian station mentioned in the list of 26. QST states:
"The Atlantic Ocean has been bridge by the signals of amateur stations. This accomplishment is epoch-making and opens the door to unguessed possibilities in private radio communication"
Edward S. Rogers is instrumental in assembling radio station 9AH which is a broadcast facility owned and operated by the Toronto Star newspaper.
9AH becomes Canada’s First Covers America (CFCA), the first commercial radio station in Toronto. In addition, Edward S. Rogers begins operating the Toronto Star Radio Car in and around the Toronto area. The Radio Car is the only one of its type in Canada, a specially built truck with a wave coil antenna, receiving set, and a large high power amplifier horn-speaker. Mr. Rogers drives the Radio Car to various parks and beaches in Toronto where crowds gather to listen to programs broadcast by CFCA.
AUGUST 1, 1924
After years of dedicated research and bold experimentation on the part of his family, 24-year old Canadian inventor Edward S. Rogers creates his 15S, the world’s first Alternating Current Simple Rectifier Tube. This permits the heater in the radio tube to operate from 110-volt household electric light sockets rather than being powered by large batteries, and allows the home wiring system to act as a signal conduit thus eliminating the need for aerials.
The AC tube also removes the background "hum" caused by Direct Current batteries, giving listeners a clearer sound from the speakers. This innovative tube contains a better insulator which Mr. Rogers successfully developed that electro-magnetically and electrically shields the input and output circuits of the tube from the heater which all but eliminates the AC hum itself.
During his early work, skeptics said "It can’t be done." Rogers’ groundbreaking achievement proved "It CAN be done."
APRIL 8, 1925
Edward S. Rogers makes world history when he and his two chief engineers build the world’s first all-electric radio. The unit operates with 5 Rogers AC Tubes and the Rogers B-Eliminator Power Unit. This unit later becomes marketed as "Type 120".
Standard Radio Manufacturing acquires the holdings of the Canadian Independent Telephone Company and the Canadian Machine Telephone Company from Rogers Radio Standard Radio. They begin marketing the "Rogers "B-Eliminator" and the "Rogers Transformer". These devices contain Rogers RX-100 AC Rectifier Tubes, and act as adaptor power conversion units which allow radios to operate from standard AC household electric currents rather than B-type Batteries. A person first connects the Eliminator to a light socket, and then links the Eliminator to the radio. Standard Radio presents its first advertisement in the June 8 edition of The Toronto Star newspaper, and the June edition of Radio magazine. This declares Standard Radio’s holdings, intentions and products, and the statement of:
The Standard Radio Manufacturing Corporation, Limited is an: "all- Canadian" company -- Canadian capital -- Canadian officers -- executives -- engineers and staff -- Canadian plant -- all organized to produce the very finest in Radio for the Canadian public
Above: Advertisements, like this full page add in Maclean’s Magazine on November 1925, proved to be so incredibly effective for Standard Radio Manufacturing that Edward S, Rogers proclaimed that "1926 [would] be a 'Batteryless' Year". (Macleans)
Rogers Batteryless Radio Receiving Sets are on display at two exhibits within the Canadian National Exhibition. In an edition of The Toronto Star newspaper on September 3, 1925 Rogers Batteryless Radios are described as the "Wonder Radio". Meanwhile, Batteryless Radios are not introduced in the United States until May, 1926 and then in Europe in 1927.
Later in December, Standard Radio and the Rogers Batteryless Radio are the subject of a three page article within "Radio" Magazine titled "A Romance in Radio: Rogers Batteryless Set Creates New Standard in Radio Principles and Reception"
The story is accompanied by a photo whose caption reads: "where science and machinery meet" . The last paragraph of the article is of particular merit: "Canada may well be proud of the Rogers batteryless set as an outstanding contribution to the development and simplification of radio."
JANUARY 29, 1927
Edward Rogers makes electronic history when he creates the world’s first all-electric telegraph station. He changes his callsignal from "3 BP" to "9 RB" in keeping with Standard Radio’s VE9RB license.
FEBRUARY 10, 1927
Edward S. Rogers founds Canada’s First Rogers Batteryless (CFRB) Broadcasting Station. CFRB boasts a power of 1,000 watts, and has a broadcast tower site at The Pinnacle in Aurora, Ontario. This is the first Batteryless AC Broadcasting Station in the world, and is described as "the second great contribution to Radio progress in Canada"(the first being the invention of the Batteryless Radio)
FEBRUARY 19, 1927
CFRB begins broadcasting. The CFRB initial program schedule runs 3 hours. Attorney-General W.H. Price conducts the Official Opening, the Reverend W. Cameron makes Introductory Remarks, and Jack Arthur conducts a symphony orchestra from the Uptown Theater. CFRB’s first program provides the clearest and strongest transmission signal and better programs than the other five radio stations then operating in Toronto. Reports of CFRB reception come from all parts of Canada and the United States, from expedition parties in the Arctic Circle, and ships sailing in the Atlantic and Pacific. CFRB is acclaimed for using more live talent than any other station in Canada, using live broadcasts during evening programming, and recorded music during the day.
Standard Radio Manufacturing merges with the Grigsy-Grunow Company of Chicago, manufacturer of "Majestic Electric" radios, a batteryless radio in the United States, and the company is renamed as the Rogers-Majestic Corporation. Rogers-Majestic is now the single largest manufacturer of radios in Canada.
Edward S. Rogers weds Velma Melissa Taylor. This is the fruition of what has become popularly known as "The Romance of Radioland". The newlywed couple honeymoon in Florida, Jamaica and Cuba
SEPTEMBER 25, 1930
Edward S. Rogers wins a license to experiment with Television, and begins some early work . This is one of four television licenses issued by the government, and demonstrates genuine foresight by Mr. Rogers as television does not become a reality in Canada until 1948
Rogers-Majestic is contracted by the T. Eaton Company to develop a new brand of radio, and launches the Viking model, available exclusively through Eaton’s
Rogers-Majestic builds its radios with the finest, most advanced superheterodyne reception system, developed by Rogers engineers and featured at the Canadian National Exhibition.
Rogers-Majestic launches the Rogers Radio Tube Tester. This device is used in hardware and radio stores for salesmen or customers to test the strength of their tubes. A tube is placed in a slot, and its power is measured on a gauge bearing the Rogers Batteryless logo.
SEPTEMBER 1932(Separate article)
Rogers-Majestic launches a new newspaper advertisement campaign by creating a column feature article "Radio Talks". Edward S. Rogers writes these pieces which are intended to explain radio technology in layman’s terms and are printed in The Daily Mail and Empire newspaper for six weeks commencing September 19, and closing October 31.
"Radio Talks" -- By E.S. ROGERS: President of the Rogers-Majestic Corporation -- the man who made possible batteryless radio reception
Radio tubes are, perhaps, the most vital part of radio. The discovery of tubes banished the old nerve-straining crystal set and gave us the permanent reliable radio entertainment we enjoy today. The next step was my development of the AC Tube -- which made possible for the first time a radio -- Rogers Radio -- which operated from the ordinary electric current in the home. That was eight years ago--eight eventful years in which Rogers has time and time again introduced new standards of radio performance. But time makes all things obsolete.
This year Rogers Radio introduces in its seven new models, five new types of fully guaranteed tubes that start where the original AC tube leaves off -- and mark a decided improvement in tubes. These Rogers tubes, procurable only in the new Rogers and Majestic radios, are entirely new -- in shape, design and principle. No mere words can express the difference they make. Only a demonstration can prove their ability to increase power and volume, their active sensitivity in finding stations, their power in recreating pure unspoiled tone beauty.
With all these advantages the new Rogers tubes, combined with other Rogers features, set a new high mark for others to aim at.
AUGUST 20, 1934
In the early morning, fire sweeps through CFRB’s control room, destroying broadcasting facilities. Station engineers, Bell Telephone technicians and Hydro Electric experts labor through the dawn and build a temporary control panel. CFRB begins its morning schedule without losing a single minute, meaning the station maintains its seven year history of uninterrupted broadcasts
The Canadian Radio Corporation launches the new Rogers Metal Spray Tube. This is an advancement of the Spray-Shield Tube and is a multi-purpose in that it has a heavier metal, black coating, have a dowel guide-plug and eight-prong base to be interchangeable with other types of metal tubes, and sets a higher standard in noise reduction and greater heat dissemination so the set can operate at higher temperatures than previously
CFRB is described by The Globe newspaper as having "the most complete studio and control room in Canada". With 3 studios and 6 control boards, neon lighting, and a master-clock in the control room which operates clocks throughout the studios, as well as, red warning lights that flash at set intervals to advise performers and technicians of approaching end-times of radio programs is as complete as studios get.
MAY 6, 1939
Edward S. Rogers Sr. passes away suddenly after a hemorrhage. Obituaries are printed in every Toronto newspaper, as well as Variety, the entertainment trade magazine in the United States. At a Memorial Service, held on May 8, Edward S. Rogers Sr. is laid to rest in Mount Pleasant Cemetery. CFRB President Harry Sedgewick reads a special tribute to Mr. Rogers broadcast over CFRB. This includes the statement of:
"Canadians may well be proud of that the first all electric radio in the world was made by Ted Rogers here in Toronto. Since that time, he made many outstanding contributions to the science of radio communication, and broadcasting as we know it today is heavily indebted to him."
CFRB next plays Handel’s "Largo", then maintains radio silence as a mark of respect from 3:00 pm until 5:00 pm, the hours when the funeral occurs.
MAY 10, 1939
The Canadian Radio Corporation publishes a two-page Memoriam letter about Edward S. Rogers Sr. The letter is written by Burdick A. Trestrail, Vice President of the CRC, and longstanding friend and partner of Edward S. Rogers Sr. since 1925. This contains the notable remarks of:
"His activities were many and varied. The radio factory, the tube plant and the broadcasting station will stand as monuments to his memory and tributes to his useful genius."