Kuiper transmits an off-leash “mark”oni gram: KUIPER WAS HERE STOP PLEASE SEND CHEESE STOP
Today is the 120th anniversary of the 1st commercial wireless telegram, also known as the Marconigram. In 1898, Lord & Lady Kelvin and Lord Hallam Tennyson visited Guglielmo Marconi’s lab on the Isle of Wight. They were intrigued by the wireless’ commercial potential, and Lord Kelvin asked to send messages to a few of his friendos.
As London and Glasgow were not yet set up with receivers, the messages were transmitted to Marconi’s other research station, on the south coast of England. They were then forwarded via existing wired systems. Kelvin insisted on paying Marconi the 1 shilling price of a wired telegram (about $8.42 in today’s USD) and history was made.
A little over a decade later, Marconigrams were commonly sent between ships out in the ocean and stations on land. However, they were still more or less a novelty; they existed to send and receive letters from passengers and to help people onboard keep up with world events. There was no requirement for radio operators to be on duty 24/7…
…which became a problem for the RMS Titanic. When the Titanic hit an iceberg, the nearest ship’s lone radio operator (as well as the captain) had both gone to bed a half hour previous, so they didn’t get the distress call. ☹️ However, I’d like to take a moment to cut the SS Californian guys some slack.
Before he turned in, Cali’s radio dude warned Titanic’s radio dudes multiple times about dangerous ice in the area (to which one of the overworked Titanic operators replied, “Shut up, I’m busy.” ?) Cali’s crew also tried 5+ times to signal the Titanic with Morse lamps. ? And keep in mind that they had stopped their own ship for the night because they too were surrounded by ice. Had they attempted a rescue mission, two ships may have sunk. Lastly, the water was so cold as to make it improbable that they could have gotten there fast enough to save anyone who wasn’t in a lifeboat. ☹️
Despite a failure to communicate with the Californian, Titanic managed to get ahold of the SS Carpathia, and on an April morning in 1912, a Marconigram saved 706 lives.
Original post: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bjlg5YwAvOr/