1920
MELBA: THE BIRTH OF BROADCASTING
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16 January: Prohibition introduced in USA
16 Jan: Inauguration of the League of Nations
1 September: State of Lebanon established
10 December: Martial law declared in Ireland after wave of IRA killings





OVERVIEW

Date / Dates:
16 November 1904: Fleming patents the thermionic valve.
30 September 1906: Sarnoff starts work at the American Marconi company in New York.
1906/7: Dr. Lee de Forest invents and patents the 'audion'.
October 1913: Armstrong patents his version of the valve generator.
17 October 1919: Radio Corporation of America (RCA) incorporated in Delaware.
15 June 1920: Melba broadcast from Chelmsford.
1922: Formation of the British Broadcasting Company (BBC).
1 January 1927: BBC becomes a public corporation.


Some observers begrudge Marconi his reputation as the 'father of wireless' arguing he deserves credit for wireless telegraphy alone. They argue that sending messages in Morse code hardly compare with the subsequent developments that enabled the broadcasting of speech and music.

This is a poor line of reasoning. Without the invention of wireless telegraphy, the transmission of sound might never have progressed beyond cable and telephone means to the airwaves. And without wireless telephony, which Marconi also helped develop, broadcasting as we know it would have been impossible.

Because the craze for 'listening in' (as radio listening was first called) first swept the US, where regulations were few or difficult to enforce, it has even been suggested that the credit for developing broadcast technology should belong to Americans alone, and three in particular: Dr. Lee de Forest, Edwin Armstrong and David Sarnoff.

In fact, to a greater or lesser degree, they all owed their achievements to Marconi or his colleagues. Dr. Lee De Forest claimed to be the 'father of radio', yet he built his career on adapting a prior invention, the thermionic valve, invented by Ambrose Fleming, Scientific Advisor to the Marconi Company. Armstrong's work on detecting signals of high frequency was in turn inspired by an employee of Marconi's, H.J. Round. Starting as Round's junior and Marconi's protégé in New York, Sarnoff was employed by Marconi's US subsidiary that by merger became the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), which became the largest broadcast manufacturing enterprise in the world.

The Marconi Company can lay claim to achievements equally important on a world scale. Not only did it transmit the world's first live professional music recital, but it also took the lead in founding the consortium of manufacturing interests that developed into the publicly-funded BBC, setting world standards in public service broadcasting to this day.






2 FROM MORSE TO VOICE

3 DEVELOPMENT OF WIRELESS TELEPHONY

4 FROM WIRELESS-TELEPHONY TO BROADCASTING

5 SARNOFF AND BURROWS

6 RADIO AMATEURS

7 THE MELBA BROADCAST

8 2MT AND PETER ECKERSLEY

9 MARCONIPHONE AND 2LO

10 THE BIG SIX AND THE BBC








THE HISTORY OF BROADCASTING AND RADIO



People involved in the life and work of Marconi.

ECKERSLEY, CAPTAIN P. P.



Images of people, places and artefacts.

2LO TRANSMITTER

2MT WRITTLE

5XX TRANSMITTER (1)

ALEXANDRA PALACE

BROADCASTING SET, MARCONI HOUSE

BROADCASTING STATION, WRITTLE (1)

CAPTAIN H J ROUND (1)

CARS WITH MARCONI PHONE V2 RADIO RECEIVERS

DAME NELLIE MELBA

DAME NELLIE MELBA, MR AND MRS ISAACS

DOMESTIC V2 RADIO RECEIVER

EARLY BROADCASTING MICROPHONE

MARCONI HOUSE STUDIO

MARCONIPHONE V2 RECEIVER MOUNTED ON CAR

MELCHIOR BROADCAST

MOBILE UNIT, WIMBLEDON

NEWS SERVICE FROM CHELMSFORD

OLIVER LODGE

ROUND-SYKES MOVING COIL MICROPHONE

TEMPORARY CONTROL ROOM

THREE ADMIRALS



Related to the life and work of Marconi.

2 EMMA TOC

2LO CALL

ARTHUR BURROWS ON 2LO

BURROWS ON BROADCASTING IN 1937

CONSEQUENCES OF THE VALVE

DAILY MAIL PREVIEWS MELBA

ECKERSLEY BROADCASTING

ECKERSLEY ON EQUIPMENT

ECKERSLEY ON RECORDING FOR 2LO

ECKERSLEY ON WRITTLE

EXPLANATION ABOUT CRYSTAL RECEIVER

MARCONI ON BROADCASTING

MARCONI ON VOICE TELEPHONY

MARCONI SPEAKING ON DAME NELLIE MELBA

THE MIRACLE OF HEARING A VOICE

THE UNCERTAINTY OF BROADCASTING

WITNESSING DAME NELLIE MELBA

'SERIOUS ARTISTS' AT WRITTLE



A gallery of Marconi equipment and technology.

COLD CATHODE RAY TUBE

CRYSTAL A RECEIVER

INSTITUTE MEDAL 1922

KRYHA CIPHER MACHINE

MARCONI FIVE-VALVE RECEIVER

MARCONI OTOPHONE

MARCONIPHONE TWO-VALVE RECEIVER TYPE 21

MARCONIPHONE UNIVERSAL BABY CRYSTAL RECEIVER

MARZI MICROPHONE

SEVEN-VALVE RECEIVER

SYKES MICROPHONE

TELEPHONE ARC TRANSMITTER

TUNING CONDENSER (1)

VARIOMETER

WIRELESS TELEPHONE SET TYPE TT2



Documents of general interest.

BBC ANNOUNCEMENT: EXPERIMENTAL TELEVISION PROGRAMMES FOR RADIOLYMPIA (1)

BBC ANNOUNCEMENT: EXPERIMENTAL TELEVISION PROGRAMMES FOR RADIOLYMPIA (2)

BBC ANNOUNCEMENT: EXPERIMENTAL TELEVISION PROGRAMMES FOR RADIOLYMPIA (3)

BBC ANNOUNCEMENT: EXPERIMENTAL TELEVISION PROGRAMMES FOR THE WEEK

BOOKLET FOR V2 VALVE RADIO

CAMERA TO BROADCAST DIAGRAM

LETTER: WIRELESS TELEGRAPHY

VISION AND SOUND AERIAL