Poldhu Point, Cornwall

At Poldhu Point,Poldhu Cove, near Mullion, on the Lizard peninsula, is a monument on the site of Marconi's wireless station which transmitted the first transatlantic signal at 12:30 pm on 12 December 1901. In 1901 (or 1900) Marconi had tested his ideas by successfully transmitting from the Isle of Wight to the Lizard, probably to this same station. His station here had a ring of masts 200 ft high and they were blown over in a gale. By November 1901 this station was ready but the station at Cape Cod was blown over! Marconi then sailed for Newfoundland and established a station there at St. John's, using first a balloon to suspend the aerial, but found it too difficult to use and replaced it with a kite which adequately supported a 500 ft aerial. Rayleigh, Poincaré, Love and others were unable to explain why transatlantic radio worked. Heaviside and Kennelly suggested what is now called the Heaviside layer in the atmosphere which reflects radio signals - Appleton verified such a layer in 1924. The station was demolished in 1933. The apparatus is in a museum in Rome. [Eastman, pp.209 & 345; Storer, pp.82-84.]


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