December 1939 Radio News
[Table of Contents]
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early
electronics. See articles from
Radio & Television News, published 1919-1959. All copyrights hereby
Here is an interesting photo
montage of many ground-breaking events in the history of radiotelephony, which
appeared in a 1939 issue of Radio News magazine. A mere 35 years had
Guglielmo Giovanni Maria Marconi sent and received his first wireless signal
in the attic of his house. The equipment might seem crude compared to today's
technology - and it is - but it is miraculous considering both the electrical
and mechanical ingenuity that went into producing it. Engineers, scientists,
technicians, manufacturing specialists, and managers from (primarily) the U.S.
and Europe combined their collective genius and determination to advance the
state of the art at a blinding pace. Many of you have seen some of these
pictures before. An identification key to each is provided.
See how many of these events in the history of Radiotelephony
you can guess. Then turn to pages 6 & 7 for the key.
By Charles R. Leutz
With this page you will be brought right up to date. There are many historic
events noted here. Can you remember some?
When the Editors saw the magnificent pictorial history of Radiotelephony,
they thought that the readers would be interested to see just how far the art
has progressed. Unfortunately, the reproduction would have to be about the size
of the average house wall to be as striking as the original, but the pictures
on pages 6 and 7 still have a great deal of value in them. We have grown so
accustomed to the "radio," that some of us do not know the struggle, the heartbreaks,
and the disappointments that lined the pathway. These pictures, all historically
accurate, depict only the successful goal posts of the profession. They should
be carefully studied.
It is hard to say where radiotelephony will end up, or when this will happen.
One thing is sure, however, the progress of the future, fast though it be, will
not equal the development speed of the past.
Key to Page 6
1. The late Marchese Marconi sitting before the original receiver when he
first received transatlantic wireless signal at Signal Hill, Newfoundland, from
England; December 12, 1901. Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Co. Ltd., Photo.
2. Erecting a kite aerial for the Marconi tests at Signal Hill, December
12, 1901. Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Co. Ltd., Photo.
3. Prof. Valdemar Poulsen's original aerial used in connection with the invention
of the arc oscillator, Lyngby, Denmark, 1907. Photo courtesy of the inventor,
Dr. V. Poulsen.
4. Wireless Room on board the S. S. Minneapolis, 1902. Spark Coil Transmitters
in duplicate are shown. Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Co. Ltd., Photo.
5. Early Marconi Triple Circuit Receiver, Cullercoat, England, 1910. British
Post Office Photo.
6. Early Spark Coil Transmitter, 1902. Telefunken Photo.
7. Marconi Valve Receiver (Fleming Valves). Marconi's Wireless Telegraph
Co. Ltd., Photo.
8. 25 K W. Quenched Spark Transmitter with Leyden Jar Condensers, Nauen,
1914. Telefunken Photo.
9. English 30 K. W. Rotary Spark Transmitter, 1915. British Post Office Photo.
10. High Speed Automatic radio-telegraphic transmission and reception equipment,
Nauen, 1911. Telefunken Photo.
11. Marconi Timed Spark Transmitter wherein several damped spark transmitters
are combined to produce continuous wave oscillations, 1914. Marconi's Wireless
Telegraph Co. Ltd., Photo.
12. Goldschmidtt High Frequency Alternator, similar to the American Alexanderson
Alternator, 1914. Telefunken Photo.
13. U. S. Navy Arc Transmitter, 1917, 500 K W. Photo courtesy Federal Telegraph
Co. and U. S. Navy.
14. Radio Room on U. S. Army Transport "Mount Vernon," 1917. Equipment includes
a 5 KW. Arc Transmitter and a 2 KW. Quenched Spark Transmitter. Receiver is
a one tube regenerative circuit with two audio stages and the audio transformers
are air core. Photo courtesy of Federal Telegraph Co. and U. S. Navy.
15. Modern Marine Radio Compass Loop. RCA Photo.
16. Radio Room, S. S. Empress of Britain, equipment including a tube transmitter,
an emergency spark transmitter, an all wave receiver and direction finding apparatus.
Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Co. Ltd., Photo.
117. Modern low power American Ship Radio Installation. RCA Photo.
18. U. S. Navy Lafayette Radio Station, near Bordeaux, France, 1919. Photo
courtesy of Federal Telegraph Co. and U. S. Navy.
19. Part of the RCA Rocky Point, Long Island, N. Y. transmitter station housing
modern vacuum tube transmitters for world wide service.
20. Dorchester, Dorset, England, Bank of Vacuum Tube Transmitters for direct
communication to numerous foreign points. Photo courtesy of Imperial and International
21. Diversity Aerial System for foreign reception, at RCA Riverhead, Long
Island, N. Y. station. RCA Photo.
22. Diversity Radio Receivers at Fukuoka, Japan, similar to RCA equipment
at Riverhead. Photo courtesy of the Japanese Government.
23. Radio Room on board dirigible "Graf Zeppelin," 1933. Photo courtesy "uftschiffbau
224. Transmitting Aerial Tower at a Japanese Radio Station. Photo Courtesy
of the Japanese Government.
25. One of the transmitting aerials towers at auen. Telefunken Photo.
26. Einthoven Galvanometer, used in the development of tape recording of
wireless signals, 1910. Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Co. Ltd., Photo.
Key to Page 7
1. First Electronic Tube successfully used for radiotelephony transmission;
a Leiben-Reiss Mercury Vapor three element tube; used by Dr. Alexander Meissner,
Berlin, 1913. Distance covered about, 11 miles, tube filament life only a few
minutes. Telefunken Photo.
2. Poulsen Arc Radiophone transmitter with a multiple microphone in the antenna
circuit, 1907. Photo courtesy of the inventor, Dr. V. Poulsen.
3. Poulsen Arc Generator, the first system of producing undamped oscillations,
1904. Photo courtesy of Dr. V. Poulsen.
4. Vacuum tube Radiophone receiver, 1914. Telefunken Photo.
5. Vacuum tube Radiophone Transmitter,1915. Photo courtesy Marconi's Wireless
Telegraph Co. Ltd., London.
6. Multiple Arc Radiophone, 1908. Telefunken Photo.
7. Original high vacuum electronic tube, 1915. General Electric Photo.
8. Dr. Langmuir's Mercury Vapor Condensation Pump for producing true high
vacuum electronic tubes, 1915. General Electric Photo.
9. Early Screen Grid Vacuum Tube, 1923, designed by Dr. Hull. General Electric
10. 1000 watt Water-cooled Electronic tube, 1919. General Electric Photo.
11. First U. S. Naval order given to a warship at sea by radiophone, May
1916, Secretary of Navy Josephus Daniels telephoning an order to the U. S. S.
New Hampshire. Photo courtesy of A. T. & T. Co. and U. S. Navy.
12. U. S. Army Field Radiophone Transmitter, 1920. General Electric Photo.
13. Antenna Tower, Pearl Harbor. Photo courtesy Federal Telegraph Co. and
U. S. Navy.
14. 200 K W. Alexanderson High Frequency Alternator at U. S. Naval Station,
New Brunswick, N. J., 1917-19; used to keep President Wilson in touch with the
United States, while he was on the European Peace Mission General Electric Photo.
15. First U. S. Navy H-16 Flying Boat Radiophone Transmitter, 1918. Marconi
Wireless Telegraph Co. of America Photo.
16. British Short Wave Transmitter for service to Canada, view of final 60
K W. Amplifier Stage, 1934. British Post Office Department Photo.
17. Transmitter Station and Antenna system at Rocky Point, Long Island, N.
Y., used for experimental radiophone transmission to Europe, 1927. RCA Communications
18. Broadcast of the Harding-Cox Election returns from KDKA, Nov. 2, 1920.
Westinghouse Elec. & Mfg. Co. Photo.
119. British Post Office Radio Station, Rugby, England, 1930.
20. Short Wave Beam Antenna for transmission of radiophone signals across
the English Channel, France to England.
21. Radiophone apparatus aboard the, S. S. America for Ship to Shore Radiotelephony,
1922. American Tel & Tel. Co. Photo.
22. Radio Telephone installation aboard the Paris-New York plane of Costes
and Bellonte, 1933. S. F. R. Radio, Photo.
23. Nazaki Transmitter, Central Telegraph Bureau, Tokyo. Photo courtesy of
the Japanese Government.
24. English Radiophone Transmitter, 1933. Photo courtesy. British Post Office.
25. Modern Water-Cooled Transmitter Tube. G. E. Photo.
26. Short Wave Radiophone.
27. Japanese Broadcast Studio, Atagyama, Japan.
28. Police Radiophone Dispatch Headquarters, New York City, 1934. Western
Electric Co. Photo
29. Ship Radiotelephone apparatus aboard the S. S. Bremen, North German-Lloyd
30. Radiophone apparatus in British Tank, 1935 model. Photo courtesy of Armstrong &
Vickers Ltd., and Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Co. Ltd., London.
31. Radiotelephone Station at Pozuelo del Rey, Spain.