Over the years, as technology and the ability of broadcasters to spread news quickly has changed, the ways in which we consume breaking election coverage has also changed. Here are just a few examples of important elections and the methods by which Americans received election results.
KDKA (Pittsburgh, PA) was the first professional radio station in the U.S. It began as 8XK in the garage of Westinghouse engineer Frank Conrad in 1916. When his employers realized his growing listenership was fueling demand for radio equipment, they invited him to move his operations to their factory roof and begin regular broadcast hours as KDKA.
This rare clip comes from the election returns broadcast on November 2, 1920, which was the first U.S. election coverage to be heard over the airwaves. Note that the announcer solicits listener postcards in order to find out how far the transmission reached.