OTD: ‘Rogers Batteryless’ radio hits shelves

On today’s date in 1925, Toronto’s Edward “Ted” Rogers sold the world’s first alternating-current (AC) radio tubes.

About a year earlier, in April 1924, Rogers travelled to the U.S. and saw experimental AC receiving tubes at the Westinghouse laboratories in Pittsburgh, Penn. Soon after, he purchased the patent rights to some of these tubes, which he further developed into a design for a vacuum tube that would operate on AC.

The following year, Rogers used his new tubes to produce a complete radio receiver plus a “battery eliminator” for use with other manufacturers’ receivers, eliminating the need for costly batteries.

By August 1925, the Rogers Batteryless radio saw its first Canadian sales. It was the first radio receiver in the world to operate from household current.

Two years later, Rogers founded the CFRB (Canada’s First Rogers Batteryless) radio station in Toronto. Since 2013, the station has been owned by Bell Media.

In 1933, Rogers Sr. had a son, Edward Rogers Jr., who grew Rogers Communications into a prominent media conglomerate.

Rogers Sr. died in 1939 after complications from a hemorrhage in Toronto. He was only 38 years old.


In December 1999, as part of its Millennium Collection, Canada Post issued a pane of four 46-cent stamps (Scott #1818) celebrating Canada’s media technologies.

Featured on the stamps were Imax movies (SC #1818a), Softimage animation software (SC #1818b), Sir William Stephenson (SC #1818d) and Rogers’ radio tubes (SC #1818c).

Printed by Ashton-Potter Canada on Tullis Russell paper, each of the stamps has general tagging along each side.

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