Ken Burns' America: Empire of the Air - The Men Who Made Radio (1991)

Genres - History  |   Sub-Genres - Inventions & Innovations  |   Run Time - 120 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Adapted from Tom Lewis' best-selling book, this documentary by premier historic filmmaker Ken Burns examines the legendary figures who took the small-scale hobby of radio and turned it into a major industry -- not to mention a revolutionary force for social change. Empire of the Air recreates the compelling drama through the stories of three important men: Edwin Howard Armstrong, the inventor of the FM system and of AM receivers practical for widespread use; Lee de Forest, the eccentric who almost got patents on a series of groundbreaking new technologies and who also championed the cultural uses of broadcasting; and David Sarnoff, the Russian immigrant who would create NBC and become president of RCA. Narrated by Jason Robards, this inside look at the science, the squabbles, and the entrepreneurial genius behind the modern communications age features interviews, archival footage, insightful commentary, and Ken Burns' characteristic and deeply felt emotional drama.

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entrepreneur, inventor, network, radio