RADIO MISCELLANEA -- MAY 2002 From Antique Radio Classified for May 2002
(Copyright 1996-2002 by John V. Terrey - For personal use only.)
"Antique Radio Classified" invites its readers to contribute letters and information for inclusion in "Radio Miscellanea" and elsewhere in the magazine. "In The Marketplace" is based on information submitted by the businesses themselves. All topics should be of general interest and sent to A.R.C., P.O. Box 2, Carlisle, MA 01741. All material submitted should be verified for accuracy and may be edited for publication, which is not guaranteed. See the masthead for more details.
Marconi and America's Cup Race
Having read the December 2001 issue of A.R.C. celebrating the 100th anniversary of Marconi's transatlantic wireless transmission, I recalled some related events that might interest your readers.
In the late 1800s, a commercial telegraph station was installed at the Twin Lights Lighthouse, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, overlooking Sandy Hook. This station was in view of the ships beating their way into New York Harbor. These ships would semaphore their arrivals and passenger/cargo information to the telegraphic station which would telegraph the information to New York City for delivery to the shipping companies.
The New York Herald hired Marconi to report the America's Cup races by wireless from the race site off Sandy Hook. In October 1899, a wireless facility installed in proximity to the telegraph station relayed the race information to New York. Due to fog and calm winds, other means of communication, such as balloons, pigeons, and shore-based observers, were unable to report on the races.
During the race period, a very interesting event took place. A rival newspaper, the Journal American, hired a wireless operator to jam the Marconi transmissions. This was perhaps the first reported instance of ECM (electronic countermeasures) that has ever been documented. The Herald publicly complained and may have taken legal action against the Journal. Later in November 1899, Marconi incorporated in New Jersey as the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America.
This jamming incident raises some serious questions about the state of the art at this time. Who was this operator and did he communicate with others via wireless? Where did the equipment come from? Was it manufactured by the operators and for how long had they had this technology? The Marconi Wireless Telegraph Compamy of America was bought by RCA in October 1919.
--Robert Jackson, Citrus Heights, CA
Spark Gap May be "Dandy"
On page 12 of the February 2002 issue of A.R.C., Dave Crocker of Mashpee, Mass., has a photo of a spark gap that he would like to have identified. I have a similar spark gap - the mounting post tops are slightly different, but everything else is the same. I have a Central Electric & Lock Co. Catalog #40, 13 North 13th St., Philadelphia, Pa., dated 1919. On page 10, a unit like Dave's and mine is shown. It is listed as the "Dandy spark gap, Bunnell #8652, 3⁄8" electrodes, cost = $3.50."
Hope this helps.
--Joe Grovola, Wilmington, DE
Radio Events Near London
English collector Alan Carter, a longtime attendee of the AWA conferences in Rochester (and Canandaigua), has provided the following information about some upcoming radio events in the London area. On Saturday, June 8, 2002, Gerry Wells will open his vintage radio museum to members of the British Vintage Wireless Society (BVWS). A special welcome is extended to members of the Antique Wireless Association. In conjunctionwith the museum visit, a garden party will be held in the adjoining gardens, and refreshments will be served. Starting time will be 11 A.M. The museum is located at 23 Rosendale Rd., Dulwich, UK, south of London.
The following day, starting at 10 A.M., a BVWS-sponsored swap meet will be held at the village hall in Harpenden, Hertsfordshire. So, here are two antique radio events that should provide an incentive for planning a visit to Britain.
And here's another for starting your British tour earlier - the National Vintage Communications Fair in the NEC Hall in Birmingham on May 5. There you'll see over 300 exhibitors of radios, TVs, and phonographs.
See details in Coming Radio Events. All three events are easily reached by rail from London. Furthermore, the natives are friendly and the pubs are great. Hope to see you there.
--Ray Bintliff, Acton, MA
A Cockaday Connection
I found Bill Corkutt's article about Cockaday and other home brew receivers (A.R.C., March '02) interesting and enjoyable reading. I have a photo of a Cockaday kit radio on display in the Archives section of the Radio Attic Web site, and apparently, this photo prompted Carolyn Smith, Laurence Cockaday's granddaughter, to send me an e-mail requesting information about a museum where she might see some of his radio inventions. My response to her is below.
Thanks for your e-mail. I am very pleased and honored to hear from the granddaughter of Laurence M. Cockaday. He was one of the heroes of my late father, J. Albert Warren, who was a radio kit builder in the 1920s.
The Cockaday radio displayed in Radio Attic's Archives was part of my father's collection and appears to have been built from a kit. The builder is unknown. Unfortunately, this is the only Cockaday radio that I have. To locate more sets, I suggest that you contact the Antique Wireless Association, which may be able to direct you to some collectors of Cockaday sets. The AWA Web site address is www.antiquewireless.org. Best wishes,
--Bob Warren, Waverly, PA
The world gets smaller every day. (Editor)