Graz’s Third Gift to the World: Sound of Aether


The world’s first wireless transmission of speech and music was performed by Ing. Otto Nußbaumer at the Graz University of Technology on June 15, 1904. He was using a wavelength of about 18 meters. As a test, he sang the traditional “Hoch vom Dachstein an” (*) and thus proved that it is possible to transfer music by means of electromagnetic transmission, undisturbed and without much bias. Of course, the distance was only 20 meters.
His colleagues didn’t believe in his work, didn’t really support it. Otto Nußbaumer was disappointed and never patented it. Too sad, ’cause Reginald Fessenden from Canada got most of the credit and is still being considered the pioneer of wireless transmission.

Today, wireless technology has developed into a wide variety of communication services, ranging from radio broadcasts to mobile telephony, the mobile internet, smart wireless chips and their applications. In 2004, the Graz University of Technology created a visiting professorship program in the memory of Otto Nußbaumer.

(*) Originally composed for no grander occasion than the 25th anniversary of the Styrian Agricultural Society. But the song soon became Styria’s official anthem.

3 Comments so far

  1. Talha (unregistered) on November 28th, 2006 @ 11:21 pm

    Cool, I never knew about that!!!

  2. Hasan Mubarak (unregistered) on November 29th, 2006 @ 7:45 am

    Neither did I!! :)

  3. Blaine Zuver (unregistered) on December 1st, 2006 @ 5:51 am

    Amazing. I didn’t have wifi in my house till 2004 and thought it so amazing. Didn’t realize I was 100 years behind !

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