MARCONI - First transatlantic radio transmission!

We hams all owe a debt of gratitude to Marconi but are you aware of the details of what he accomplished in 1901? I was fortunate to acquire a number of photographs detailing that historic first transatlantic radio transmission (All photos may be reproduced subject to acknowledgement as follows: The Marconi Company Ltd., Chelmsford, Essex)

This event took place on December 12,1901. Marconi received a signal sent from Poldhu, England while monitoring at Signal Hill, Newfoundland. Exact frequency is not known but it appears to have been somewhere between 100 and 900KHz. Lots of controversy surrounded this! Edison said Marconi only heard static. Others said 'no way' since the curvature of the earth would prevent long range transmission. (The ionosphere was not known in 1901).

The photos show this accomplishment was not easy!

Many thanks to my friend, Art, W4YT, former OSS operative and Attache at the American Embassy in London who acquired these photos from the Marconi Company many years ago.

Read more about this via YouTube and Google! Search also to find interesting stuff about the "Cable vs Wireless" wars in the early 1900's.

Now for some FT8 ... wow, have things changed! HI

73, Bob, W0YVA

Marconi (left) and one of his two assistants, George Kemp (an EE). Photo taken just after the successful
transatlantic test of 1901. 10-inch induction coil spark transmitter on the right, morse inker to the left
and a 'grasshopper' key in the center.

Marconi (center) with Kemp (L) and Paget (R), his two assistants on their arrival at Newfoundland in 1901.
Behind them is one of the kites which was used for raising the receiving antenna at Signal Hill.

Marconi at Signal Hill in 1901 with the equipment by which he received the first wireless signal across
the Atlantic from Poldhu, Cornwall, England.

Poldhu wireless station in 1901 with the 'fan-shaped' antenna which sent the first wireless
signal across the Atlantic to Signal Hill, Newfoundland.

Part of the transmitter in Poldhu used in the 1901 experiment.

The first circular aerial array erected at Poldhu for the transatlantic test which was blown down
in a gale in September 1901 (see next photo). There are 20 wooden masts each 200ft high!

The above array after the storm!

Rotating array erected at Poldhu in 1925.

Raising a kite antenna at Signal Hill. Hydrogen-filled balloons were tried but were less successful
than the kites in the strong squally winds. Marconi is at the far left of the picture.

The Poldhu wireless station in 1914 showing the rotary spark discharger in its chamber.
(Love those meters and the knife-switch!)

Aerial view of Poldhu taken in 1925.

Poldhu in 1937 when the monument to the station was erected.

Pages from the diary of Kemp, Marconi's personal assistant. He kept it for the years 1897-1920. It is a
unique record of early wireless history. These pages cover December 11 and 12, 1901. The 12th was
the day that the first wireless signal crossed the Atlantic from Cornwall to Newfoundland.

The schematic of the first spark transmitter at Poldhu in 1901.

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