Saturday 1 April 2017

A is for AM Radio, Alkaline Batteries, and Astronauts!

In celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday, my theme for the 2017 Blogging From A to Z Challenge, is CANADA. 

Join me throughout April (every day except Sundays) to learn more about the inventions, the people, and the cultures that make up of the the greatest countries in the world—O CANADA!

AM Radio, Alkaline Batteries, and Astronauts!

Sometimes when I go out to visit my grandpa in his shop, he’s listening to the radio—usually an AM station with news, or as he describes it, “the oldies music.” It’s not exactly interesting to me, but what is interesting, is that the AM radio was invented back in 1906 by Canadian-born, Reginald Fessenden—and if not for his work creating AM Radio, the TV may never have been invented. (Bet THAT got your attention!)

Known as “The Father of Radio,” Fessenden’s invention allowed the transmission of human speech using radio waves—and he made his first broadcast of music and voice on Christmas Eve. People must have thought it was a holiday miracle!

And that’s not the only amazing Canadian invention that starts with the letter A, either.

Italian physicist, Allesandro Volta, is generally credited with developing the first operable electric battery. But it was the invention of the zinc manganese dioxide alkaline battery by Canadian-born scientist, Lewis Urry, that remains one of the most significant advancements in battery history. These are the batteries I use in my remote-control corvette, for instance. (It’s not quite as fast as the Jet Engine Funny Car built by Canadian inventor, Kevin Therres—but then, his corvette runs on 100% canola biodiesel…You can read about him and his FAST car in the Superman Duffy book, GOTTA JET!

Speaking of innovative Canadians, I’m also including two famous Canadian astronauts in today’s post—Chris Hadfield, and Robert Thirsk, who you may remember as the astronaut who took 250,000 canola seeds into space to determine the effects of zero-gravity on plant growth. 

There are a great number of famous Canadian authors—like Margaret Atwood, Marty Chan, Kenneth Oppel, Dawn Ius (she writes the Superman Duffy books!) and many more. In celebration of Canada, and the letter A, I’m going to read Infinity Coil by Marty Chan this weekend—he’s from Edmonton!

Well, I’ve gotta jet—my “B” post goes live MONDAY, April 3, and I still have some research to do. I hope you learned something new about Canada today. Have a great rest of the weekend, and see you on Monday!

~ Chase Superman Duffy


  1. I'm the weirdo millennial that lives for her AM radio! Super cool facts, I seriously learned so much!

  2. That's great that you listen to AM radio—I confess, a few programs still pique my interest :-) So glad you learned some things. I hope you stick with me through the month to learn more!