Marine radio, important for safety at sea


International conferences on wireless communication at sea were held in 1903 and 1906. It was agreed that all coast stations should pass on all telegrams regardless of which brand of radio was in use. Thus the Marconi company was prevented from obtaining a monopoly in the area. Rules for emergency services were adopted, for example it was decided that the emergency signal should be standard, and the signal SOS was agreed. It was also agreed that marine radio stations should be staffed by certified telegraph operators.

The International conference of 1912 was held a few months after the Titanic disaster. This resulted in additional rules for maritime safety in the light of experience from the accident. These included a requirement for permanent monitoring of the telegraph emergency frequency 500 kHz by all marine radio stations, and that larger vessels should be equipped with additional distress beacons with power reserve for at least 6 hours.

Communication for Marine radio stations was originally only by telegraph on longwave, with spark transmitters and crystal receivers. You can see several examples on the display shelves. But with the arrival of electronic tubes at the beginning of the 20th century, telephony also started on longwave, and later that decade, ships began to be equipped for telegraph communication on shortwave.

Some of the ships in Atlantic service were equipped for shortwave telephony in the late 1930s, including the Swedish American Line Gripsholm and Kungsholm, and parts of their radio equipment can be found in this section.

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