The early history of radio is the history of technology that produced radio instruments that use radio waves. Within the timeline of radio, many people contributed theory and inventions in what became radio. Radio development began as «wireless telegraphy». Later radio history increasingly involves matters of programming and content. James Clerk Maxwell showed mathematically that electromagnetic waves could propagate through free space. Heinrich Rudolf Hertz and many others demonstrated, on a laboratory scale, radio wave propagation.
Transmission and radiation of radio frequency energy was a feature exhibited in the experiments by Nikola Tesla which he proposed might be used for the telecommunication of information. The Tesla method was described in New York 1897. In 1897, Tesla applied for two key United States radio patents, US 645576, first radio system patent, and US 649621.Tesla also used sensitive electromagnetic receivers, that were unlike the less responsive coherers later used by Marconi and other early experimenters. Shortly thereafter, he began to develop wireless remote control devices. The earliest radio stations were simply radio telegraph systems which did not carry audio are not listed. The included first radio station encompass AM and FM stations; these include both commercial, public and nonprofit varieties found throughout the world.