And All the Ships at Sea: Point Reyes and the Culture of Radio with Irwin Keller and Carola Davis
Virtual Talk

And All the Ships at Sea: Point Reyes and the Culture of Radio with Irwin Keller and Carola Davis

Fri. March 19, 10:00 am This event has passed

Free with donation

A virtual talk co-presented by The New School at Commonweal and Bolinas Museum

Today, we take wireless communication for granted, but in 1914 Bolinas played a pivotal role in the technological revolution that first brought wireless service worldwide. On Friday, March 19, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., we’re partnering with The New School at Commonweal to co-present a virtual event discussing the fascinating story of radio in West Marin and Marconi and RCA’s origins at the Commonweal site in Bolinas along the southern edge of Point Reyes National Seashore.

Irwin Keller will be in conversation with Carola (DeRooy), a longtime friend of Bolinas Museum. In her role as archivist, curator, and collections manager for the Point Reyes National Seashore, she curated the dynamic Bolinas Museum exhibition Wireless Giant of the Pacific 100 Years of Marconi & RCA Maritime Radio History, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the local station that we presented in partnership with the Point Reyes National Seashore in 2014. For most visitors, the exhibition about our town’s role in the history of wireless technology was a revelation.

Italian-born Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi innovated a global wireless service network through telegraph signals transmitted by radio waves. In 1914, on the edge of Bolinas, the Marconi company built a powerful transmission station; that sent out the world’s first trans-Pacific communications—making history! Post-WWI, Radio Corporation of America (RCA) took over Marconi stations and added a large building on the Bolinas site that houses the renowned organization Commonweal and a historic maritime radio station.

Marconi and RCA had a major impact on the development of coastal Marin. This is a remarkable opportunity for us to hear this important story from Carola Davis, who has a rich trove of knowledge of coastal Marin history.

Additional Resources

Maritime Radio Historical Society:

Video About Elettra Marconi:

Amateur Radio at Commonweal 2021 Video:

The New School at Commonweal: