At an event in Trinity College Dublin (TCD) tonight (25 April), the centenary of the broadcasting of the Proclamation of an Irish Republic via shortwave radio in 1916 – considered by many to be the first pirate radio broadcast – will be marked.
While the men and women who took part in Easter 1916 were camped out in the GPO and other locations around Dublin, one group involved with the rebellion, led by Joseph Mary Plunkett, wanted to use the latest technology to spread the message of Irish revolt.
Having commandeered the Irish School of Wireless Telegraphy at the corner of O’Connell Street and Abbey Street – where the Grand Central Bar now sits – the group set up a ship’s wireless systems to broadcast a shortwave radio transmission, with the hope that a passing ship near the country would pick it up and report back to the US.
With Plunkett at the controls, the radio enthusiast issued a burst of Morse code that read: “Irish Republic declared in Dublin today. Irish troops have captured city and are in full possession. Enemy cannot move in city. The whole country rising.”
With some reports suggesting the broadcast was picked up as far away as Germany and Bulgaria, it is widely considered one of the first pirate radio broadcasts as, until then, point-to-point transmissions was the most common form of sending messages wirelessly.[…]
Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Will Jones, who writes:
This television set [above], retailing for $100, is reportedly the first moderately priced receiver manufactured in quantity. Rose Clare Leonard watches the screen, which reproduces a 5×7 image, as she tunes in at the first public post-war showing at a New York department store, on August 24, 1945.
Although television was invented prior to World War II, the war prevented mass production. Soon after the war, sales and production picked up, and by 1948, regular commercial network programming had begun.
A couple months ago at my local ham radio club meeting (the NCDXCC), my buddy Paul Greaves (W4FC) mentioned that his passion for amateur radio DXing originated with shortwave broadcaster DXing. He told me:
“When I was a teen I could hardly wait to check the PO Box to see what treasures were awaiting me. After getting a QSL card many times there were many more mailings with program schedules and propaganda. I even got Chairman Mao’s little Red Book.”
Paul noted that he had quite a few SWL QSL cards, so naturally I asked if he’d share a few of his favorites with the SWLing Post. He kindly obliged.
Click on the images below to enlarge.
Wow–thank you so much for sharing these, Paul! What a beautiful QSL collection!
Post readers: If you also have some classic SWL QSL cards you’d like to share here on the SWLing Post, please contact me!
Many thanks to UNT Archivist, Maristella Feustle, who shares the following set of recordings she recently published in the UNT Digital Library Willis Conover collection.
The description reads:
“A broadcast of Music USA transmitted by station WLWO in Cincinnati, Ohio, and recorded off of shortwave radio in Lagos, Nigeria. It was sent to the Voice of America to document the quality of radio reception in that area. As a live broadcast, the recording also includes news breaks and station identification.”
I should add that you might also hear ambient sounds from Lagos if you listen carefully! Click on the links below to listen to the recording sets via the UNT Digital Library: