1895 a young, self-taught man named Guglielmo Marconi sent the first
message in history through space. Marconis message, three dots
of the letter 'S' in Morse Code, would begin a period of great experiment
and growth in communication.
100 Years of Radio, www.alpcom.it, 1995
that first officially documented contact and his achievements over the
four decades that followed, Marconi is without question the father of
amateur radio and wireless communication as we know it today. However,
another man may have been the actual inventor of the medium.
Mahlon Loomis, a dentist of Oppenheim, NY and born a West Virginian,
is said to have transmitted signals 18 miles between two Virginia mountaintops
using kites as antennae. This was in 1866, eight years before Marconi
was born. In 1870, the U.S. Navy sponsored experiments in which Loomis
successfully transmitted telegraphic signals two miles between two ships
in Chesapeake Bay. Again in 1886, eight months before his death, Loomis
is reported to have installed two "radio stations" in Terra
Alta, WV and transmitted signals across the two miles separating them.
the efforts of family, friends and politicians over the decades, Loomis
has yet to be officially recognized, but his unsung experiments in wireless
telegraphy most certainly embody the spirit of amateur radio.
MARC's own Paul Bennett, N7OCS, is the enviable owner of this eyebrow
raising 9-element HF yagi atop his 70 foot Skyneedle tower in McMinnville.
(Photo courtesy Todd Carlson, WB7RPJ)