1873 ~ Lee DeForest, Inventor of the triode vacuum tube, possibly the most significant invention that made radio possible.
Lee DeForest was born in 1873 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. We’re sure his parents had big plans for him; but they could never have realized how their son, Lee, would change the world.
DeForest seemed to be a born inventor. He held patents for hundreds of different items including the photoelectric cell and the surgical radio knife. But none had as much impact on the world as his invention of the electron tube, specifically the triode, a three element vacuum tube, which later became the audion tube ~~ possibly the most significant invention that made radio possible.
Wireless radio broadcasting was unthinkable in the early 1900s and DeForest was considered a fraud. He was arrested for selling stock to underwrite the development of his invention, which no one believed would work. He was forced into selling the rights to his patent to American Telephone and Telegraph for $500,000; considered by most to be foolish of AT&T. The rest is history.
Lee DeForest’s 1950 autobiography is called “Father of Radio”.