"After World War I began in August 1914, radio traffic across the Atlantic Ocean increased dramatically after the western Allies cut the German transatlantic telegraph cables. Germany, Austria-Hungary, and their allies in Europe (collectively known as the Central Powers) maintained contact with neutral countries in the Americas via long-distance radio communications, as well as telegraph cables owned by neutral countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark.
In 1917 the government of the United States took charge of the patents owned by the major companies involved in radio manufacture in the United States to devote radio technology to the war effort. All production of radio equipment was allocated to the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.S. Coast Guard. The War Department and the Navy Department sought to maintain a federal monopoly of all uses of radio technology. The wartime takeover of all radio systems ended late in 1918, when the U.S. Congress failed to pass a bill which would have extended this monopoly. The war ended in November of that year.
The ending of the federal government's monopoly in radio communications did not prevent the War and Navy Departments from creating a national radio system for the United States. On 8 April 1919, naval Admiral W. H. G. Bullard and Captain Stanford C. Hooper met with executives of the General Electric Corporation (GE) and asked them to discontinue selling the company's Alexanderson alternators (used in the high-power AM radio transmitters of that era) to the British-owned Marconi Company, and to its subsidiary, the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America.
The proposal presented by the government was that if GE created an American-owned radio company, then the Army and Navy would effect a monopoly of long-distance radio communications via this company. This marked the beginning of a series of negotiations through which GE would buy the American Marconi company and then incorporate what would be called the Radio Corporation of America"
"The incorporation of the assets of Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America (including David Sarnoff), the Pan-American Telegraph Company, and those already controlled by the United States Navy led to a new publicly held company formed by General Electric (which owned a controlling interest) on October 17, 1919. The following cooperation among RCA, General Electric, the United Fruit Company, the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, and American Telephone & Telegraph(AT&T) brought about innovations in high-power radio technology, and also the founding of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) in the US. The Army and the Navy granted RCA the former American Marconi radio terminals that had been confiscated during the War. Admiral Bullard received a seat on the Board of Directors of RCA for his efforts in establishing RCA. The result was federally-created monopolies in radio for GE and the Westinghouse Corporation and in telephone systems for the American Telephone & Telegraph Company.
The argument by the Department of War and the Department of the Navy that the usable radio frequencies were limited, and hence needed to be appropriated for use before other countries, such as the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Canadamonopolized them, collapsed in the mid-1920s following the discovery of the practicality of the use of the shortwave radio band (3.0 MHz through 30.0 MHz) for very long-range radio communications.
The first chief executive officer of RCA was Owen D. Young; David Sarnoff became its general manager. RCA's incorporation papers required that a majority of its stock be held by American citizens. RCA agreed to market the radio equipment manufactured by GE and Westinghouse, and in follow-on agreements, RCA also acquired the radio patents that had been held by Westinghouse and the United Fruit Company. As the years went on, RCA either took over, or produced for itself, a large number of patents, including that of the superheterodyne receiver invented by Edwin Armstrong.
Over the years, RCA continued to operate international telecommunications services, under its subsidiary RCA Communications, Inc., and later the RCA Global Communications Company."
"RKO (Radio-Keith-Orpheum) Pictures (also known as RKO Productions, Radio Pictures, RKO Radio Pictures, RKO Teleradio Pictures and, for a short time, RKO Pathé) is an American film production and distribution company. It was one of the Big Five studios of Hollywood's Golden Age. The business was formed after the Keith-Albee-Orpheum (KAO) vaudeville theatre circuit and Joseph P. Kennedy's Film Booking Offices of America (FBO) studio were brought together under the control of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in October 1928.[a] RCA chief David Sarnoff engineered the merger to create a market for the company's sound-on-film technology, RCA Photophone. By the mid-1940s, the studio was under the control of investor Floyd Odlum.
RKO has long been celebrated for its series of musicals starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the mid-to-late 1930s. Actors Katharine Hepburn and, later, Robert Mitchum had their first major successes at the studio. Cary Grant was a mainstay for years. The work of producer Val Lewton's low-budget horror unit and RKO's many ventures into the field now known as film noir have been acclaimed, largely after the fact, by film critics and historians. The studio produced two of the most famous films in motion picture history: King Kong and Citizen Kane.
Maverick industrialist Howard Hughes took over RKO in 1948. After years of decline under his control, the studio was acquired by the General Tire and Rubber Company in 1955. The original RKO Pictures ceased production in 1957 and was effectively dissolved two years later. In 1981, broadcaster RKO General, the corporate heir, revived it as a production subsidiary, RKO Pictures Inc. In 1989, this business with its few remaining assets, the trademarks and remake rights to many classic RKO films, was sold to new owners, who now operate the small independent company RKO Pictures LLC."
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