As Torontoist reported earlier today, media mogul Ted Rogers passed away early this morning. Today’s ad features Rogers alongside his father, who was one of Canada’s broadcasting pioneers.
In 1925, Edward Samuel “Ted” Rogers Sr. designed the first radio to run on electricity instead of giant, expensive batteries, an event commemorated on a plaque at Chestnut Street and Armoury. Rogers Sr.’s batteryless receiver brought down the operating cost of radios, which increased their popularity as a home entertainment system. By the end of the 1920s, Rogers ran the largest radio manufacturer in the country (Rogers-Majestic) and Canada’s first electrically operated radio station, CFRB (“Canada’s First Rogers Batteryless”).
After tinkering with early forms of television and radar during the 1930s, Rogers Sr. succumbed to complications from a hemorrhage on May 6, 1939. The Globe and Mail offered this tribute on its editorial page:
If his invention of the batteryless set did not rank him with Edison, Bell and Marconi, it was revolutionary and conferred great blessings on mankind. What his genius might have contributed to the world but for his regrettable death at the early age of 38 in unknown…. Like the inventor of the telephone and the electric light, “Ted” Rogers often “burned the midnight oil” before he worked out the problem which had baffled older heads. He spent long hours in laboratories and worked his tiny transmitter at night, sending signals across the seas. Young folks and old were thrilled by his success. It provides a lesson for other young men inclined to the defeatist attitude.
The day of his funeral, CFRB went silent for two hours.
Source: Toronto Life, April 1972. Additional material from the May 8, 1939 edition of the Globe and Mail.