7.8/10
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7 user 3 critic

Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio (1991)

For 50 years, radio dominated the airwaves as the first mass medium. Ken Burns examines the lives of three men who shared the responsibility for its invention and early success.

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(additional), (book) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Red Barber ...
Himself - Radio Announcer
Erik Barnouw ...
Himself - Historian
Ken Bilby ...
Himself - Biographer of David Sarnoff
...
Himself - Writer
Susan Douglas ...
Herself - Historian
Frank Günther ...
Himself (engineer)
Jeanne Hammond ...
Herself - Niece of Edwin H. Armstrong
Loren Jones ...
Himself - Engineer
...
Himself - Writer
Helen Kelley ...
Herself - Radio Broadcaster
Robert Morris ...
Himself - Engineer
Dana Raymond ...
Himself - Friend of Edwin H. Armstrong
Gertrude Tyne ...
Herself - Engineer
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Storyline

For 50 years, radio dominated the airwaves as the first mass medium. Ken Burns examines the lives of three men who shared the responsibility for its invention and early success.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-G
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Release Date:

October 1991 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

At the end of the credits, there is a message in Morse code that reads "Baseball next". Ken Burns' documentary on baseball did come after this one. See more »

Connections

Featured in Ken Burns: America's Storyteller (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
This explains it all
18 November 2005 | by (Texas) – See all my reviews

This reminds me of why I got into radio. I started in radio running old time radio shows at WRVO in Oswego NY. This documentary fills in the history for me. I am a very big fan of old time radio like the Great Gildersleeve and "the Shadow" and this sparked my interest. I highly recommend this film for those interested in how our current radio was born. If you want to know the pioneers and the "cads" watch this film for a great background! I think that it gives the controversy a little kick. I think that the invention of the radio tube is still a issue. As one of the commentaries talk about, the development of the audion was a controversial thing. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


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