As early as 1892, Nikola Tesla created a basic design for radio. On November 8, 1898 he patented a radio controlled robot-boat. Tesla used this boat which was controlled by radio waves in the Electrical Exhibition in 1898, Madison Square Garden.
Tesla's robot-boat was constructed with an antenna, which transmitted the radio waves coming from the command post where Tesla was standing. Those radio waves were received by a radio sensitive device called coherer, which transmitted the radio waves into mechanical movements of the propellers on the boat.
Tesla changed the boat's direction, with manually operated controls on the command post. Since this was the first application of radio waves, it made front page news, in America, at that time.
Most of us, think of Guglielmo Marconi as the father of radio, and Tesla is unknown for his work in radio. Marconi claimed all the first patents for radio, something originally developed by Tesla. Nikola Tesla tried to prove that he was the creator of radio but it wasn't until 1943, where Marconi's patents were deemed invalid; however, people still have no idea about Tesla's work with radio.
Quoted with the kind permission of the Tesla Society of New York.
© Copyright 2001 by Dr. Ljubo Vujovic, General Secretary of the Tesla Society of New York.Thank you for your kind permission allowing me to quote material from your site.