The discovery of these “Hertzian waves” (radio waves) prompted many experiments by physicists. An August 1894 lecture by the British physicist Oliver Lodge, where he transmitted and received “Hertzian waves” at distances up to 50 meters, was followed up the same year with experiments by Indian physicist Jagadish Chandra Bose in extremely high frequency radio microwave optics and a year later with the construction of a radio based lightning detector by Russian physicist Alexander Stepanovich Popov.
Starting in late 1894, Guglielmo Marconi began pursuing the idea of building a wireless telegraphy system based on Hertzian waves (radio). Marconi gained a patent on the system in 1896 and developed it into a commercial communication system over the next few years.
Early 20th century radio systems transmitted messages by continuous wave code only. Early attempts at developing a system of amplitude modulation for voice and music were demonstrated in 1900 and 1906, but had little success.
World War I accelerated the development of radio for military communications, and in this era the first vacuum tubes were applied to radio transmitters and receivers. Electronic amplification was a key development in changing radio from an experimental practice by experts into a home appliance. After the war, commercial radio broadcasting began in the 1920s and became an important mass medium for entertainment and news.