Up with Fessenden, down with Marconi

Martin Waters martinjwaters@yahoo.com
Mon Oct 4 06:10:52 EDT 2010

>On Fri, 10/1/10, "Larry Lovering" <newsltr@southstation.org> said
>From All Access: Winners of the 2010 MARCONI AWARDS, handed out at a >gala in WASHINGTON at the NAB/RAB RADIO SHOW THURSDAY night, >included: Legendary Station: CBS RADIO News-Talk WBZ-A/BOSTON
    That's very nice,of course . . . BUT, I'm sick and tired, :)), of all the Marconi this and Marconi that stuff. IMO, the program should be renamed the Fessenden Awards. Reginald Fessenden's contributions to the development of radio vastly outweigh Marconi's.

    In addition to the work Fessenden did at Brant Rock, he already had made a couple even lesser-known major breakthroughs that are even less known when he worked in Maryland and at Roanoke Island on the North Carolina Outer Banks.

    An article at www.radiocom.net/Fessenden/FessendenRoanoke.pdf says that in Maryland, "After many many experiments, . . . on 23 December 1900, as darkness fell, and a light
snow dusted Cobb Island [Md.], Fessenden succeeded in making the first wireless transmission of voice ever, sending the signal between
two 15 meter towers 1.6 kilometers apart. The reception was described as 'poor in quality, but quite distinct and entirely intelligible'."

    In 1902, in North Carolina, he transmitted the first musical notes ever sent by radio. The transmission was heard 48 miles away.

    Another article, at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Web site -- www.ieee.ca/millennium/radio/radio_radioscientist.html -- specifically compares Marconi very unfavorably to Fessenden as an important figure in early radio development.

    Marconi? Bah, humbug.


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