Our friend and colleague Ken Taylor — volunteer tour guide at the Museum and Chairman of the Oxford District Amateur Radio Society — talks Marconi Day celebrations, Morse code and Marconi's connection to Oxford.
Marconi probably used this Parabolic Receiver in a demonstration to the Post Office and Armed Services on Salisbury Plain in 1896, persuading the army that this new technology would be useful on the battlefield.
Probably the most important item in the Marconi Collection, this Receiver was used in the famous Toynbee Hall demonstration in December 1896 – a ‘magic moment’ in the history of wireless communication.
This early piece of apparatus was used to generate crude electric sparks which emit radio waves. It was not tuned to one particular wavelength; instead emitted a range of wavelengths. This was the kind of kit Marconi was mucking about with as a young man in the attic of his parents’ house.