1940s Radio

Contributor: Brian Anthony. Lesson ID: 12605

It’s the 1940s, and the hottest new technology everyone needs to have is … the radio. Go back in time to listen to real 1940s-era shows, news, music, and advertisements, and plan your own radio hour!


Musical Arts, United States

learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8), High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

Audio: Image - Button Play
Image - Lession Started Image - Button Start

Imagine a time when this was the hottest technology money could buy!

You may not think a whole lot about it in your daily life, but radio was the Internet of its era.

Much like the rise of desktop computing and home Internet, a technology that few thought would last became almost universal in a short period of time. Take a look at the explosive growth of radio during the twenty years between 1930 and 1950:

radio growth graph

Learn more about the impact that radio had on people’s lives in its golden age. Explore the Golden Age of Radio in the US exhibit from the Digital Public Library of America. As you read and look at the images, write down important dates and advances in the history of radio on a piece of paper. Share your notes with your parent or teacher, reflect on the following questions, and create a journal entry to record your thoughts:

  • What important services did radio provide for society during the years 1935-1950?
  • How did the medium develop over that time period?
  • What do you think were some of the drawbacks of this then-new technology?

Technology has continued to advance to the point where we have many sources of information, music, and entertainment.

In the Got It? section, compare radio programming of the 1940s with the media in which we are immersed in today.

Image - Button Next