Reginald Aubrey Fessenden(1866 - 1932) was a Canadian inventor who performed pioneering experiments in radio, including the use of continuous waves and the early—and possibly the first—radio transmissions of voice and music.


The electrolytic detector, or the bare-point electrolytic detector as it was also called, was a type of detector (demodulator) used in early radio receivers. First used by Canadian radio researcher Reginald Fessenden in 1903, it was used until about 1913, after which it was superseded by vacuum tube detectors

On 23 December 1900, Reginald Fessenden became the first person to send audio (wireless telephony) by means of electromagnetic waves, successfully transmitting over a distance of about 1.6 kilometers, and six years later, on Christmas Eve 1906, he became the first person to make a public radio broadcast. By 1910 these various wireless systems had come to be referred to by the common name "radio".

Appearances and Mentions

The Devil Inside

  • The Fessenden-like device was embedded in Mr. Foley's skull right behind the left cochlea; It's a magnet and coil similar to a telephone speaker, only it has no diaphragm, vibrating directly against his skull. "It's a small wonder it drove him mad," concludes Dr. Ogden.
  • Murdoch contacts Reginald Fessenden who specializes in wireless voice transmission. It looks like a scaled-down version of Fessenden's electrolytic detector. "That's exactly what it is. And I should know. I designed it."  Fessenden explains: about six months ago, he was asked to design a version of his detector small enough to be worn on a person, not inside. Fessenden was paid a commission and given full patent rights. Murdoch shows him a photo of Gillies but they never met in person, and he was commissioned by a woman. Gillian James.
  • Fessenden has an address for where he sent the design specifications: 740 Robert Street, to Leonard Wright, the man who built it. Murdoch sends Henry to bring in Leonard Wright, instructing him to be careful; This man has worked with James Gillies.
  • The small device can receive a signal from a nearby source. A city block, maybe two. It's strictly one way. Julia asks, "William, if this device is only one way, then how was Gillies able to hear what we were saying?"  There has to be a microphone.

8 Footsteps (Mentioned)



Murdoch Mysteries Season 10
Great Balls of Fire, Part 1Great Balls of Fire, Part 2A Study in PinkConcocting A KillerJagged Little PillBend It Like BrackenreidPainted LadiesWeekend at Murdoch'sExcitable ChapThe Devil InsideA Murdog MysteryThe MissingMr. Murdoch's NeighbourhoodFrom Murdoch to EternityHades Hath No FuryMaster LovecraftHot Wheels of ThunderHell to Pay
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