Category: History

UK Museum Wants to Hear from Those Who Remember Sputnik Launch

As part of an effort to tell the story of the International Geophysical Year (IGY) 60 years ago, a Cambridge, England, museum wants to hear from anyone who remembers the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957. Many radio amateurs and shortwave listeners (SWLs) of the era were among those thrilled to […]

via HACKADAY: Do You Know Oleg Losev? An Engineer Tragically Ahead of His Time

It is so often the case with a particular technological advance, that it will be invented almost simultaneously by more than one engineer or scientist. People seem to like a convenient tale of a single inventor, so one such person is remembered while the work of all the others who trod the same path is […]

via HACKADAY: Origin of Wireless Security: the Marconi Radio Hack of 1903

The place is the historic lecture theater of the Royal Institution in London. The date is the 4th of June 1903, and the inventor, Guglielmo Marconi, is about to demonstrate his new wireless system, which he claims can securely send messages over a long distance, without interference by tuning the signal. The inventor himself was […]

via HACKADAY: More Power: Powel Crosley and the Cincinnati Flamethrower

We tend to think that there was a time in America when invention was a solo game. The picture of the lone entrepreneur struggling against the odds to invent the next big thing is an enduring theme, if a bit inaccurate and romanticized. Certainly many great inventions came from independent inventors, but the truth is […]

Communications — what was good, what isn’t (Pennsylvania)

Sometime in 1936, a person (or a family) likely somewhere in this area went to the local appliance store and bought a floor model Sears Roebuck, Chicago IL, Silvertone console radio. It’s a 10-tube model, the kind of radio that was the centerpiece of most Depression-era living rooms. I don’t know how many owners it […]

Seriously Collecting Broadcasting’s Big Iron

Some of us collect postage stamps; others coins or perhaps matchbooks. There are a few individuals who collect vacuum tubes. However, one Ohioan has set a somewhat loftier goal: amassing a collection of broadcast-type radio transmitters. Gerry Moersdorf (KC8ZUL) began rounding up such transmitters more than 15 years ago, uprooting them from their former workspaces […]

via HACKADAY: Did a Russian Physicist Invent Radio?

It is said that “success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan.” Given the world-changing success of radio in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it’s no wonder that so many scientists, physicists, and engineers have been credited with its invention. The fact that electromagnetic radiation is a natural phenomenon that no one […]

via the RSGB: Transatlantic commemoration successful

Last week we mentioned the special event to commemorate the 95th anniversary of the first transatlantic contact between Greenwich, Connecticut, and Ardrossan, Scotland on the 12 December. The commemorative contact between Greenwich and Ardrossen took place at 1531UTC with US operator Dave Patton, NN1M and Scotland operator Jason O’Neill, GM7VSB. The original 1921 message was […]

Homage to first shortwave trans-Atlantic radio broadcast

Members of the Radio Society of Great Britain took part at the North Ayrshire coastal town on Sunday. They exchanged broadcasts with the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and the Radio Club of America in Connecticut. The groups said the first transmission helped pioneer global communications. They used modern and historical equipment to recreate the […]

via HACKADAY: Lost Moon Found: The Satellite That Came Back to Life

The late 1950s and early 1960s were a tumultuous time in world history. The Cold War between the East and the West was in full-swing, driving the new fields of nuclear weapons and space exploration and giving the period its dual monikers of “Atomic Age” and “Space Age.” Changes in these fields often went hand […]

Amelia Earhart mystery: New evidence shows pioneering aviator survived landing on remote Pacific Island

A DISTRESS call received by an amateur Melbourne radio operator from pilot Amelia Earhart three days after her aircraft is believed to have ditched in the Pacific in 1937 has been assessed as “credible” evidence the famous aviator survived an initial crash-landing. A dedicated group of US researchers, who have spent 28 years and millions […]

via HACKADAY: Retrotechtacular: Tom Carter Revolutionized your Phone

It is hard to remember, but there was a time when you couldn’t hook much to a telephone line except a telephone. Although landlines are slowly falling out of favor, you can still get corded and wireless phones, answering machines, and even dial up modems. Alarm systems sometimes connect to the phone system along with […]

via HACKADAY: History Of The Diode

The history of the diode is a fun one as it’s rife with accidental discoveries, sometimes having to wait decades for a use for what was found. Two examples of that are our first two topics: thermionic emission and semiconductor diodes. So let’s dive in. VACUUM TUBES/THERMIONIC DIODES Our first accidental discovery was of thermionic […]

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