He established the first commercial trans‐Atlantic two‐way radio telegraph service in 1905, between Macrihanish, Scotland & Brant Rock Massachusetts, two years before Marconi.
On Christmas Eve, 1906, Fessenden’s station at Brant Rock, Massachusetts,
broadcast the world’s first entertainment radio program.
Fessenden’s genius produced more than 500 American patents, many of which were years ahead of their time and some were later attributed to or claimed by others.
Most notable were the fathometer, or sonic depth finder, that measured the depth under the keel. Spurred by the Titanic disaster, he developed the submarine iceberg detector, and submarine telephone, which saved the lives of sailors trapped in sunken submarines.
When America went to war, (WWI), Fessenden became a Lieutenant, Senior Grade, in the Naval Reserve. He perfected a secret device, sound and (SONAR) which enabled destroyers to track down submarines. The Fessenden Pelorus (radio compass) or “Metal Mike”, was later carried to perfection by Sperry. He formulated a recognition signal that allowed allied ships to recognize friend from foe and prevent 200 allied submarines from being sunk by “friendly fire”.
In 1921 the Institute of Radio Engineers awarded Fessenden its Medal of Honor. Likewise, in 1922, the Advisory Committee of the City of Philadelphia honored him with the John Scott Medal for his achievements in radio.
By 1928, he was awarded approximately $3,000,000.00 by RCA, Westinghouse, etal; for patents in wireless radio‐telephony and related fields. Fessenden then fulfilled a lifelong dream by purchasing a dwelling “by the sea”, on Bermuda and lived there with his wife until his death, in 1932.
In 1929, he received the Award of the Scientific American Medal for Safety at Sea.