There is much debate surrounding the invention of the radio. There was not a single individual or moment that radio was invented, rather it was a collection of ideas and discoveries that eventually formulated into the radio as we know it. This is actually surprisingly common in discoveries, despite the fact that one individual if often attributed to the discovery.
The concept of wireless communications is actually much older than the idea of radio itself. From the 1830’s, people were sending messages via radio waves, though at this point they needed a material to travel through. Popular examples were through water or train tracks. It is considered that there are three distinct phases in the development of radio. The first of these was the development of electromagnetic waves; this provided the base for which all further developments were made. The second phase was the use of the electromagnetic waves in communication as highlighted above. The third and final stage and the one which we are all familiar with is the commercialization of radio when it was brought to the masses through broadcasting.
It was as early as 1864 when scientist James Clerk Maxwell first theorized the concept of electromagnetic waves. Though it was in the later years when his theory was proved by a German scientist. Hertzian waves which were discovered by a scientist named Hertz also played a crucial role in the development of the radio as we know it today. He discovered that we could create machines to transmit waves and that they weren’t just a naturally occurring thing in the atmosphere. He also proved that you could regulate the technology to only receive the correct waves, or the Hertz waves as they came to be known. His work was related to high-frequency waves which are the frequency which radio waves operate at because of their ability to get isolated from other wave types.