Marconi Calling

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Where: Marconi St, Co. Galway, Ireland

When: Unknown

Marconi Station Clifden, Connemara

I received a lovely gift of a biography on Marconi at Christmas. The book by Marc Raboy is subtitled "The man who networked the world". What an interesting man he was, I was surprised to learn about his Irish roots and connections. He was as famous in his time as any of today's technology leaders.

Today's inputs confirmed just how historically important this relatively remote patch of bog-land was. From the Alcock and Brown transatlantic flight of 1919, to the Marconi station which opened in 1907. The video offered by beachcomberaustralia (something of a distant Marconi rellie), and the map offered by DannyM8 give us sense of the immense scale of the buildings and telegraph pole structures in the rearground of this shot. Something which is hard to fathom given the rural nature of Bill Bartlett's contemporary image from almost the same spot.....


Photographer: Robert French

Collection: Lawrence Photograph Collection

Date: Catalogue range c.1865-1914. Likely c.1907-1914 (based on station's inauguration date of Oct 1907).

NLI Ref: L_ROY_05350

You can also view this image, and many thousands of others, on the NLI’s catalogue at catalogue.nli.ie

Info:

Owner: National Library of Ireland on The Commons
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 5745
robertfrench williamlawrence lawrencecollection lawrencephotographicstudio thelawrencephotographcollection glassnegative nationallibraryofireland marconi marconistation clifden ireland connaught guglielmomarconi radio transmitter receiver power derrigimlagh derrygimla bog antenna wireless transatlantic countygalway powerstation capacitor condenser

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  • profile

    beachcomberaustralia

    • 11/May/2017 07:09:32

    I just worked out that Marconi's first wife was my Irish maternal great-grandmother's half-sister. Tuning in with interest! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guglielmo_Marconi www.thepeerage.com/p48399.htm#i483987

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 11/May/2017 07:25:13

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] interesting, do tell more.

  • profile

    beachcomberaustralia

    • 11/May/2017 07:37:39

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] Marconi's first wife Beatrice, www.thepeerage.com/p48399.htm#i483985 , was the daughter of www.thepeerage.com/p1795.htm#i17941 , whose first child by his first wife was my great-grandmother, www.thepeerage.com/p28200.htm#i281999. It's complicated - they all seem to have married several times!

  • profile

    sharon.corbet

    • 11/May/2017 07:50:02

    This is a contemporary description of the station: The Clifden Station of the Marconi Wireless Telegraph System, from Scientific American, 23 November 1907.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 11/May/2017 07:50:56

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] Got it, you have a very interesting family tree. Marconi's Mother was also Irish!

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 11/May/2017 07:57:45

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet] It is a shame the graphics mentioned in the article are not present.

  • profile

    beachcomberaustralia

    • 11/May/2017 08:00:03

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] Yes, his great-grandfather was Jameson's whiskey, in a link I found but have now lost .... Ed. Irish TImes article about Marconi's Irish connections - www.irishtimes.com/news/marconi-nurtured-his-irish-connec...

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 11/May/2017 08:07:25

    Here is a link to a map of the station, it is similar to the layout in our photo except for the arrangement of the antenna network. From: http://Clifden Heritage Society EDIT: The map suggests circa 1915, so I would say our photo is before that.

  • profile

    beachcomberaustralia

    • 11/May/2017 08:21:49

    Streetview / photosphere - goo.gl/maps/sMKLSEujmFH2 It really was in the middle of nowhere. Ed. - this photosphere is more accurate - goo.gl/maps/SXTuz4wUy8Q2

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 11/May/2017 08:24:37

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] ABOUT GUGLIELMO MARCONI Guglielmo Marconi was born in Bologna on 25th April 1874. His father, Giuseppe, was a rich landowner and his mother, Annie Jameson, was one of the four daughters of Andrew Jameson of County Wexford, the well-known and wealthy distiller of Jameson’s Irish whiskey. From: http://Clifden Heritage Society

  • profile

    beachcomberaustralia

    • 11/May/2017 08:36:28

    Sometimes Flickr is amazing - in 2010 by [https://www.flickr.com/photos/lessthanmeetstheeye/] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/lessthanmeetstheeye/6186845828/]

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 11/May/2017 08:38:21

    In 1919 Alcock and Brown, following their historic trans-Atlantic crossing by aeroplane, landed their Vickers Vimy plane in the bog behind the Station. www.loveconnemara.com/see-and-do/marconi-wireless-station...

  • profile

    O Mac

    • 11/May/2017 08:52:55

    ..-. .- -. - .- ... - .. -.-. / .--. .... --- - --- --. .-. .- .--. ....

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 11/May/2017 08:59:07

    [https:[email protected]] Owen, we all agree that this is a "Fantastic Photograph" but I object strongly to going down that boggy road again, the last time it ended in a limerick - please cease and desist!

  • profile

    beachcomberaustralia

    • 11/May/2017 09:01:24

    Extremely vivid description of the operations in 1907, originally from the Daily Mail - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/145073841

    An entire room is given up to strange sheets of steel, which are hung from roof to floor, like washing on a line, until only narrow alleys are left. Queer brown earthenware jars, like old-fashioned receptacles, and all manner of outlandish electrical apparatus now confront the visitor. The plates are for acting as a reservoir to store electrical energy. The jars are transformers. The engineer gave a few directions to his assistant, who, seated before an ordinary Morse telegraph instrument in the operating room, placed a telephone headpiece to his ears, and began to fumble with the key, hastily bidding me to stuff cotton wool in my ears and don a pair of blue-glass spectacles. The engineer beckoned me to the connection room on the floor above, which is equipped with a medley of strange electrical contrivances. The use of the cotton-wool and smoked glasses became at once startlingly apparent. From the 'interrupter' instrument corresponding exactly in duration to the assistant's touch of the key below, came three blinding flashes of blue-white flame, followed by a short flash, and then three more short flashes. The two side-mouths of the instrument likewise spout eye-blinding flame of the same colour and intensity. Simultaneously, the discharger, a few feet across the room, emitted similar blinding flames, and there came a wearing, tearing boom like the deep bass of some gigantic organ, but immeasurably cruder and louder. The duration of each note again corresponded exactly with the assistant's dot or dash on the instrument below. This was the electrical discharger, which sends oscillating electrical currents from the building into the aerial wires outside. These at once begin to set up vibrations of the ether, which in loops and waves travel with inconceivable rapidity across the sea.

  • profile

    beachcomberaustralia

    • 11/May/2017 09:09:37

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/scorbet] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] Here are the illustrations which accompany the 1907 Scientific American article. Lo-res but ok - trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/181436914

  • profile

    O Mac

    • 11/May/2017 09:17:06

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] Roger. I hear you loud and clear. Over.

  • profile

    beachcomberaustralia

    • 11/May/2017 09:20:02

    Worth a watch - youtu.be/X5QNhs8eMvw

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 11/May/2017 09:44:29

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] excellent find.

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 11/May/2017 09:44:59

    [https:[email protected]] and out.

  • profile

    John Spooner

    • 11/May/2017 16:17:31

    The Marconi station at Moldy Poldu in Cornwall in 1903. The bunting is to celebrate a royal visit. Marconi wireless station, Poldu, Cornwall. 1903

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    John Spooner

    • 11/May/2017 16:18:07

    Moldy? Poldu.

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 11/May/2017 16:51:11

    Some of the Staff of the station from the 1911 Census Including 7 x Electrical Engineers Some More Even More

  • profile

    O Mac

    • 11/May/2017 22:30:57

    [https:[email protected]] [email protected]/9598480840/in/faves-91...

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 11/May/2017 23:48:56

    Thanks [https:[email protected]], [https:[email protected]] and esp [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] for the inputs today (including for the link to [https://www.flickr.com/photos/lessthanmeetstheeye/]'s near equivalent shot). Based on the map and StreetView updates, I've shifted our map location slightly. And have tried to capture a summary in the description. Much appreciated all!

  • profile

    oaktree_brian_1976

    • 12/May/2017 01:32:15

    The site used in Ireland broadcast to Nova Scotia, here en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marconi_station#Clifden.2C_Galway The site at the other end was in Newfoundland, used to catch signals from England. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marconi_National_Historic_Sites_of_...

  • profile

    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 12/May/2017 05:57:13

    [https:[email protected]] Owen, I found that "Limerick" I mentioned above. I wonder if it is the first ever morse code Limerick? Telegraph Office limerick .- -.-. -.-. --- .-. -.. .. -. --. / - --- / .--. --- ... - -- .. ... - .-. . ... ... / .--. . --. / .-- .... --- / ... --- ..- -. -.. ... / .-.. .. -.- . / .- / .--- --- .-.. .-.. -.-- / --. --- --- -.. / . --. --. / - .... .. ... / --- ..-. ..-. .. -.-. . / --- ..-. / - . .-.. . --. .-. .- .--. .... / -....- / --. . - / ... . - / ..-. --- .-. / .- / -... . .-.. .-.. -.-- / .-.. .- ..- --. .... / -....- / .-- . / ... . . / --- -. / .. - ... / ...- . .-. -.-- / .-.. .- ... - / .-.. . --. .-.-.- [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland/8366240991/] [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia]

  • profile

    beachcomberaustralia

    • 12/May/2017 06:53:34

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/nlireland] Funny that you should ask if it was the first Morse code limerick ... Of course not! A quick google produced this incredible story from 1903 when a Marconi demonstration was 'hacked' by someone tapping "rats" and then a limerick - “There was a young fellow of Italy, who diddled the public quite prettily,...” to show the flaws in security. See - www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228440-700-dot-dash-diss...

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    National Library of Ireland on The Commons

    • 12/May/2017 07:01:09

    [https://www.flickr.com/photos/beachcomberaustralia] :)

  • profile

    DannyM8

    • 12/May/2017 07:39:02

    [https:[email protected]] Great photo.