Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Gérard Koopal, who writes:
Dear Thomas, on November 6 it is exactly 100 years ago that Hans Idzerda transmitted the first radio broadcast in the Hague, the Netherlands.
To commemorate this event, the VRZA has a special broadcast using the original Zeedijk studio from radio Veronica and historical NOS/NRU studios. The broadcast is from 10.00 till 21.00 hours CET and there is an internet stream available.
Also rebroadcasting through some lpam stations. For more information see this website (in Dutch):
Many thanks to Jonathan Marks–former host of RNW’s Media Network and curator of the Media Network Vintage Vault–who kindly shares the following videos from Radio Netherlands.
The first video is from the 1960s and promotes RNW’s move to the Witte Kruislaan building. The second video highlights the Radio Netherlands Flevo Transmitter Site and also includes a lot of “B roll” material (without audio) that Jonathan commissioned.
Check out the videos and Jonathan’s descriptions below:
When Radio Netherlands moved into their new building in Witte Kruislaan in 1961, they asked Pete van der Kleut to make a film to help in promotion. He shot it in a couple of days on zero budget and a few rolls of film- it was pure theatre with people in various departments doing all sort of things on cue. Everybody is incredibly busy discussing things, the head of the newsroom is correcting copy before it is broadcast, and the poor guy in the newsroom doesn’t know which phone to answer first. Women play only support roles, tidying up, typing and organizing things, The problem was that until the mid nineties this was the only footage of Radio Netherlands in the national sound archive. And when cuts came that were reported on the NOS Journaal, the same 60’s footage was often repeated – confirming the picture that RNW was stuck in the past. Again, the be fair, the sound has been changed on this version. The original over the top commentary was in Dutch.
Radio Netherlands Flevo Transmitter Site and B roll material
During my time as Programme Director at Radio Netherlands I commissioned various video clips to make sure we had current video material of the building, newsroom, continuity, and documentation. This was just raw footage done one day in July 2001 and 2002. This sequence starts with video from the Flevoland transmitter site when it was fully operational. Transmitters have since been removed and the site is silent.
Thanks so much for sharing these videos, Jonathan! As I’ve mentioned many times before, you’re doing such an amazing service to the community by curating, archiving and sharing all of this RNW media. Thank you.
Many thanks to Jonathan Marks–former host of RNW’s Media Network and curator of the Media Network Vintage Vault–who kindly shares a collection of photos he took in 2001 and 2002 at RNW’s headquarters in Hilversum.
Click on the images below to enlarge:
The RNW Newsroom in August 2002
The BVN Television Crew in 2001
Amazing photos–thank you for sharing these, Jonathan! You’ve done such an amazing service to the community by curating, archiving and sharing RNW media. Thank you.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Richard Langley, who shares this excellent article by our friend Jonathan Marks in Medium:
Jonathan Marks, Director of Programmes, Radio Netherlands, Hilversum, June 1995 (Source: Medium.com)
Every country claims to have invented radio. In the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum they have so far focused on the radio pioneer Hanso Idzerda. He set up a business to make and sell his radios. And he realised that no-one would buy his radios if there was nothing to listen to. I think the evidence shows that he was one of the first, if not the first person to make regular broadcasts following a pre-announced schedule. But I would like to suggest he started off a chain of Dutch “firsts”, many of which are now in danger of being forgotten.
First, Idzerda started international broadcasting. From a rooftop antenna in the Hague, his low power mediumwave signal could be heard in the Southern part of the UK. And he capitalised on that by broadcasting an hour of concert music between 4 and 5 on a Sunday afternoon, responding to listeners correspondence. And he managed to get the programme paid for by the Daily Mail newspaper in London. So, the first international broadcasts were commercial. They were also the world’s first broadcasts using what today we would call narrow band frequency modulation. It wasn’t until 1933 that American engineer Edwin Armstrong, discovered this technique was capable of transmitting much better audio fidelity if you used much higher frequencies and more sensitive receivers.
In 1920’s, no-one understood radio propagation
But in 1919 no-one really understood how radio waves worked and the influence the sun has on the way they propagate. I’m guessing that Idzerda would have had most of his UK listeners in mid-winter when it was starting to get dark.
By 1925, various things were happening in parallel. Physicists like Edward Appelton were showing that there was a layer in the earth’s atmosphere which they later called the ionosphere. It acted like a mirror to radio waves. And the path of the signal followed was dependent on frequency.
So while Radio Kootwijk was using a high-power long-wave transmitter to try and send Morse code messages to the Dutch colony of the East Indies, now Indonesia, engineers at Philips in Eindhoven realised that shorter wavelengths were best suited to long distance communication using much less power than the 400kW being used in Kootwijk. They ran experiments in 1925 which were received in Malabar Indonesia. A certain Dr de Groot is listed is some accounts as a radio enthusiast. It’s just that he happened to be the head of the Dutch telegraph station in Sitoebondo, East Java and had been busy since 1916 trying to establish a reliable, direct connection between The Netherlands and its colonies. The Dutch were making use of long-distance phone cables owned by the British who were listening in to all the communications.[…]