Edward “Ted” Rogers (Snr) (1900-1939)

Ted Rogers(Snr.)
Ted Rogers (Snr)

Year Born: 1900

Year Died: 1939

Year of Induction: 1982

Canadian broadcaster, inventor, pioneer and visionary. Always fascinated by radio, at the age of 11, “Ted” Rogers was on the air with a 1/2 KW spark transmitter, one of the first licensed amateur sets in Canada. At the age of 14, working with a radio of his own construction he picked up the faint German radio signals announcing the declaration of World War I. Using the amateur call sign 3BP, he worked to improve his transmissions until by 1920 his signals were reaching both the Maritimes and the Pacific Coast. On December 9, 1921 taking part in a competition sponsored by the American Radio Relay League, he became the first amateur radio operator in Canada (and one of only 26 people in North America) to successfully transmit a signal across the Atlantic. 

In 1925, Ted invented the world’s first alternating current (AC) radio tube that enabled radios to be powered by ordinary household current. The first commercial alternating current tube came from the newly established factory of Standard Radio Manufacturing Corporation Limited (later renamed Rogers Majestic Corporation Limited) on Chestnut Street in Toronto on August 26th, 1925 and a few days later First Rogers Batteryless radio receiver set was on display at the Canadian National Exhibition. He started the world’s first all electric radio station (Canada’s First Rogers Batteryless). CFRB commenced broadcasting on February 10, 1927.

For the rest of his tragically short life, Ted Rogers strove to develop new and improved methods of communication. He was first to develop a power rectifier pentad tube, and the spray-shield tube. The Rogers Batteryless Radio Co. and the Rogers Tube Co. were established to produce these products. 

In 1931, Ted Rogers was granted the first television licence in Canada and he was among the first to see the coming of colour television. He moved up the range of frequencies that he himself had helped to expand, finally exploring the possibilities of radar. He died on May 6th, 1939 leaving his wife Velma Melissa and one son, Edward Samuel Rogers, Jr., born on May 27, 1933, who was to succeed his father as a dynamic leader in broadcasting and communications. 

Edward Samuel Rogers, Sr. was posthumously inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame in 1982. 

In 2000, 100 years after his birth, Ted Rogers and his “batteryless” were recognized as part of the Canada Post “Millenium Collection”. This collection of 68 stamps was composed of “… people, institutions and events that have helped define our nation…” (https://www.canadapost.ca/web/en/home.page)