Did Marconi Really Hear the Letter 'S' Across the Atlantic ?
(Two illegible initials)
The writer accuses the Adjutant of making a mistake regarding the correct date for the 1st Morse message across the Atlantic, but he himself makes several mistakes, due no doubt to his reliance upon his own memory, and not checking up on the accuracy of the information. We would see the mistakes on this 110 year old postcard as follows:-
1. The write spells the word “reference” incorrectly, as “referance”.
What is the writer of the card trying to say? In spite of his 5 mistakes, he is endeavoring to state that the 1st reception of a trans-Atlantic wireless signal occurred at 11:20 am Newfoundland time, on Wednesday December 11, 1901. It is true, there are reports that the signal was heard on that date, though neither Marconi nor Kemp considered that the reception was sufficiently attested, due to the many changing propagation conditions. On this the 1st day, several attempts were made at reception, but many logistical problems intervened, including the fact that a large balloon broke loose, taking the long antenna wire with it. Continuous attempts at reception on the 1st listening day were impossible.