Powel Crosley Jr. and the 20th Century | Archived Productions | CET Connect

Powel Crosley Jr. and the 20th Century

Powel Crosley Jr and the 20th CenturyPowel Crosley Jr. was a typically energetic 13-year-old when America embraced the 20th century. But before long, this brilliant teenager was known throughout the U.S. as ''the Henry Ford of Radio,'' the innovative genius behind the development of the world's first inexpensive mass-produced crystal radio set.

Powel Crosley Jr.'s business savvy and manufacturing expertise created such a variety of technological advances that he literally changed America's lifestyle in the first half of the century.

Powel Crosley Jr.Crystal radios and Shelvador refrigerators were only two Crosley products found in millions of American homes in the mid 1900s. Powel Crosley Jr. followed in the footsteps of Henry Ford by manufacturing one of America's first compact cars, the Crosley.

Crosley not only made radios affordable, he also created the radio giant WLW to deliver programming. WLW was the most powerful commercial radio station in American history -- broadcasting at its peak power of 500,000 watts -- and the birthplace of the daytime soap opera.

Powel Crosley Jr. and the 20th CenturyPowel Crosley Jr. and the 20th Century explores the legacy of this Cincinnati entrepreneur from his birth in 1886 until his death in 1961. The documentary, produced in 1986 by CET and awarded an Emmy in 1987 as best documentary program, features interviews with Crosley's friends, relatives and business associates, Powel Crosley Jr. and the 20th Century is the story of a man who not only lived the American dream, he helped create it.

While Crosley died in 1961, his name lives on as an unmatched entrepreneur, businessman, inventor and broadcasting pioneer. But most of all, he was a dreamer of dreams.