|[AMRadio] A CHRISTMAS EVE RADIO STORY|
Anthony W. DePrato
wa4jqs at mikrotec.com
Fri Dec 24 15:11:32 EST 2004
> The year was 1906. Marconi had already invented the wireless
> telegraph and land and sea communication networks were being
> established. DeForest was attempting to perfect his "audion" (triode) tube.
> Reginald Fessenden, a Canadian inventor and Ernst Alexanderson, a
> Swedish immigrant, were hard at work in Fessenden's Massachusetts
> laboratory. They developed a mechanical device to "alternate" a
> continuous radio wave. The device consisted of a huge disc that revolved
> at 20,000 rpm. They had connected it to a transmitter and a microphone,
> and discovered that they could "modulate" a radio signal!
> On Christmas Eve, as wireless operators at land stations and aboard
> ships off the Massachusetts coast diligently maintained their radio
> watches by listening to the familiar Morse code signals; they were
> startled when they suddenly heard voices in their headphones!
> They listened spellbound. Then, they heard a woman singing! Finally,
> they heard someone playing a violin! It was Fessenden himself...playing
> the sacred carol "O Holy Night". No longer would radio sounds be
> restricted to the "dit's" and "dah's" of the Morse code.
> That's how it happened. Christmas Eve...Nineteen Hundred and Six.
>73 and the Merriest of Christmases in spite of the weather!
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