Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, Camperdown Station fonds

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Title proper

Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, Camperdown Station fonds

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  • Textual record

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Fonds

Reference code

MS-4-141

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Physical description

16 cm of textual records

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Administrative history

Camperdown was one of several coastal stations constructed by the Marconi Telegraph Company to provide radio communications with ships. Located at the entrance to the Halifax Harbour, from 1905 through 1926 it primarily served to forward messages collected from ships by stations at Sable Island and Cape Sable, Nova Scotia, as well as those directly from ships within wireless range of the station itself. These messages were transmitted by landline telegraph circuit to the Halifax Telegraph Office for local delivery or retransmission to subsequent destinations.

The station's first wireless ship-to-shore test was made on 19 June 1905, between the cableship MacKay-Bennett and Camperdown. From May 1907 a daily automated time signal was sent from the St. John Observatory to Camperdown, whereby it was relayed instantaneously to all ships within radio distance, the first such service in the world. While this relationship remained operational until 1949, by the early 1930s the Meteorological Service was no longer responsibility for disseminating the correct time, and the task was assumed by the Dominion Observatory in Ottawa.

Camperdown Station is also believed to be the recipient of the first radio broadcast of music heard in Nova Scotia. When the luxury steamer, Hirondelle, passed through Halifax, her owner, the Prince of Monaco, had a piano hooked up to a wireless transmitter and treated operators at Camperdown to four musical selections, including the Merry Widow Waltz, later signaling to enquire about the success of the experiment.

Custodial history

These materials were taken from Camperdown Station by Alfred Lawton to St Catherine, ON. They were obtained by the donor, Spud Roscoe, from Cyril R. Spracklin of Dartmouth, NS, who may have obtained them from Ray Bridge of Ketch Harbour, NS.

Scope and content

Fonds contains four logbooks from Camperdown Station, spanning the years 1905-1908; one letter book, containing carbon copies of letter transcriptions; and several telegram carbon copies.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Spud (Spurgeon) Roscoe.

Arrangement

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions on these materials. All materials are open for research.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Materials do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room. Materials may be under copyright. Contact departmental staff for guidance on reproduction.

Finding aids

Associated materials

National Archives of Canada, Canadian Marconi Company. 1902-1976. Fonds. MG28-III72, R3070-0-8-E. http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/pam_archives/index.php?fuseaction=genitem.displayItem&lang=eng&rec_nbr=102089&back_url=%28%29

Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Marconi. http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/dept/scwmss/wmss/online/modern/marconi/marconi.html

Related materials

Accruals

No further accruals anticipated. At time of processing, two logbooks listed in accession (1 Oct 1909-7 March 1910; 8 March 1910-22 June 1910) were missing.

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Sources

This fonds description comes from the Dalhousie University Archives Catalog. The complete, original description is available there.

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