Wireless Giant of the Pacific:
100 Years of Marconi & RCA Maritime Radio History
June 7 - August 17, 2014 / Curated by Carola DeRooy, Archivist, Point Reyes National Seashore
In 1914, Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937), inventor of wireless radio, constructed a powerful wireless radio station in Bolinas to connect his round-the-world services across the Pacific. After WWI the Radio Corporation of America took over operations and the station's Morse code services continued ship-to-shore communications until 1997. Today the station, whose legacy is kept alive by the Maritime Radio Historical Society, is part of Point Reyes National Seashore and is the only Coast Station still licensed for Morse code transmissions in the U. S. This exhibition presents a 100-year look at the development of wireless radio technology still widely used today and highlights historic events that transpired at the Marshall, Point Reyes, and Bolinas stations. Visitors can explore how the historic Marconi/RCA radio stations in West Marin embody the roots of global wireless technology and walk through a century of communications milestones. Try your hand at sending Morse code, marvel at early radio equipment and images of giant spark generators, alternators, and acres of antenna fields that made long distance communications possible. Discover just how far we have come and imagine what the future of communications may hold.
with Richard Dillman of the Maritime Radio Historical Society and Elia Haworth, Bolinas Museum History Curator
Morse operators receive wireless messages from ships at the RCA receiving station in Marshall, CA, c.1920, Frank Geisel Collection Point Reyes National Seashore Archives.