The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

1907 Radio Station in Operation!

East Greenwich, RI, has The New England Wireless and Steam
Museum, home to the earliest operating radio station in
existence. The antenna has a dummy load so the spark
transmitter doesn't interfere with contemporary broadcast
(highly illegal); for the most part, the signal goes
nowhere. This is a short video of it in operation; the
operator is Robert W. Merriam, who is responsible for a
good part of the collection (housed in five buildings
outside of town). The station is Massie Station "PJ"
from Point Judith, RI. PJ is in its original building,
which was moved to the museum site. It's remarkable to
see and hear spark-gap transmission. The museum is
maintained by a group of volunteers and the collection
of extremely early radio artifacts is the best I've
ever seen. The Corliss steam engine (developed in RI)
is amazing as well, but I'm personally more interested
in extremely early radio; I have a loose coupler,
variometer, and other equipment from 1910-1925; I used
the equipment at an installation at Eyebeam in 2011.
If have have a chance, visit the museum!

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