THE SOCIETY OF WIRELESS PIONEERS ARCHIVES
Deputy SoWP Archivist Bob Rydzewski at Marconi Kahuku Station in Hawaii
Of interest to wireless history enthusiasts, Erik Larson’s bestselling book “Thunderstruck” portrays the early days of Marconi’s invention, with fascinating portraits of Marconi, Lodge, and Fleming, not to mention the first convicted murderer to be apprehended by wireless, Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen. But a century later, DNA evidence casts doubt on the identity of the victim. See our blurb about it in News.
Ever wonder about the physical properties of the electromagnetic ether? Want to know how the Bull Electromechanical Transmitter worked? A. Frederick Collins summarizes the state of the art for wireless telegraphy in 1905 here.
The butcher, the baker, the image dissector maker? Son of a baker, Bart Molinari, 6AWT, was Chief Engineer at Philo Farnsworth’s San Francisco lab, and an award-winning, innovative early radio amateur. Chief Archivist Bart Lee shares more about his life and times here.
The beautiful North Shore of the Hawaiian island of Oahu played a historical role in the development of the wireless communication between North America and Asia via a Marconi high-power spark station built at Kahuku in 1913-1914, which later became a key site for RCA and operated until 1978. The site is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and buildings are scheduled for restoration. See “then and now” photos of this historic place. (“Now” photos to still to come.)
G.S. “Old Sam” Corpe worked the ether waves as far back as 1909. See his member application here
What did Society President Richard Johnstone and historian Henry Dickow think of Jane Morgan’s book “Electronics in the West: The First Fifty Years”? Find out here.
Early wireless station photos: Fessenden’s station at Brant Rock, MA, and Tesla’s Long Island station
Wonder what a 1909 horse-mounted U.S. Signal Corps radio looked like? How about massive telegraph keys that took your whole hand to control? See our high-resolution photos from the Massie and Underhill book.
Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony Popularly Explained – One of the earliest (1909) guides to wireless for the non-scientist, written by an author who founded his own wireless company (Massie) and the man who taught young Edwin Howard Armstrong radio (Underhill). See the last chapter by Nikola Tesla, who predicts his Long Island station will provide a sort of worldwide GPS system, among other things…
The ups and downs of inventing electronic television. Read about Philo T. Farnsworth from wireless historian Henry Dickow’s Tales of the Wireless Pioneers.
Ports o’ Call Winter 1968 – Read about how voices and music (!) were first heard over the radiotelegraph in 1912, the 60th anniversary of trans-Pacific communications at KPH, Richard Johnstone on early Pacific wireless stations, and more
Charles R. Underhill Jr., 1900-P, became an RCA executive and had personally known Professor Hazeltine, Paul Godley, and David Sarnoff. His father, author of Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony, had befriended and mentored a young boy who wanted to learn about wireless. The boy was Edwin Howard Armstrong, who made a crystal receiver for Charles Jr. Armstrong would later call Charles Sr. ‘the man who taught me radio.’ See his autographed dedications to Underhill here.
Want a quantity discount on the new CRYSTALOI DETECTOR? Sorry, the offer expired in 1915.
Mears Around the World – John Henry Mears set a world’s record for travel time around the globe in 1913. In the process he sailed with G. Marconi, rode the Trans Siberian Railroad, and traveled by “pull-man-car” (rickshaw). See how long he took in this article from The Marconigraph for September, 1913.
With the Marconi Engineers – In 1913 American Marconi built a high power transmitter station at Kahuku, Hawaii. See photos of one of the antenna towers going up here.
New Misc Photos – Loose coupler handmade by Edwin H. Armstrong, Edwin Pridham, RCA Belmar, NJ, Radiomen of the Frozen North and a couple of early receivers
The George Eccles Story – CHRS Archivist Bart Lee tells the tale of the first wireless operator to go down with his ship, a true hero who saved the lives of many others.
The Annaka Radio Story – From early Japanese tube manufacturer to 5G network equipment via Hogan’s Heroes? Our Featured article for March.
“Even as You and I”– Reflections on what was really lost at sea. Anonymous poetry supplied by Michael Orofino, 1382-PA.
Wonder how a young radio operator could be swindled by an unscrupulous Marconi operator in Chicago? Read the story that Bob Wahlstrom, 331-P tells in his membership application
Speaking of the Windy City, we present photos from Zenith co-founder Ralph HG Mathews showing his station, 9ZN, the portable Zenith transmitter, and radio equipment at NAJ, Great Lakes, IL (now Naval Station Great Lakes) around World War I
Nikola Tesla in his “The Transmission of Electric Energy Without Wires” from 1904 predicts that in light of the revolutionary new system he developed in Colorado “humanity will be like an antheap stirred up with a stick: See the excitement coming!” From a reprint by SoWP member E.J. Quinby.
Early SF wireless pioneer and later Presidential Adviser Haraden Pratt on the origins of the “Beach Station” and KPH, on guarding the station with a six-shooter, and a unique method for adjusting the resistance of a power rheostat. Radio history at its richest…
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Contact Bob Rydzewski or Bart Lee