This Week in History
Radio Signals across Atlantic!
For the week of Monday November 30, 1998
On December 5, 1902, Guglielmo Marconi transmitted the first readable recorded signal from west to east across the Atlantic, from his station at Glace Bay, Cape Breton to Poldhu in Cornwall, England. This and other trials led rapidly to public transatlantic wireless messages ten days later. This achievement launched a new era of global communication.
Marconi set up a transmission station at Poldhu. He then went to the United States to build a receiving station at Cape Cod. When a storm damaged this station, he ventured to Newfoundland to begin tests on Signal Hill near St. John's. Without a proper receiving station, Marconi attached an antenna to a kite which floated 180 feet (55 metres) above the ground. On the morning of December 12, 1901, he heard over his earphones the unmistakable "S" of the Morse code. The signal came from Poldhu.
The Canadian Marconi Company is still in operation today, with plants in Montréal, Quebec and Kanata, Ontario. The Company maintains a close relationship with the federal government, and helps keep Canada on the cutting edge of communications technology. The Marconi National Historic Site at Glace Bay, Cape Breton, chronicles the role this site played in the development of the global communications industry.
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