In this section, I have taken some extremely rare books of unimaginable importance to the W/T Sub Branch of the Royal Naval Communications Branch, and published them in full for the very first time. Although mere babes at 100 years old when compared to ancient historical books and scrolls, they are nevertheless 'old' and fragile, perhaps much used when first written by men coming to terms with a new and strange science. I have spent months reading them, and in that time, I have learnt more about the origins of my branch than I ever did during 30 years of service. I could use all the superlatives and adjectives in the book to describe what these pages tell, but it wouldn't give you the experience I wish you to have, so, like me, you are going to have to do a great deal of reading. Because of our detailed knowledge of this period, and likewise of the post WW1 period right up to the 1980 cut-off point for our Museum, we are in an excellent position to understand all the 'tools' used for communications, whether they be transmitters, receivers, aerials, control outfits, power supplies and all right from the very beginning of Mr Marconi's and Captain Jackson's endeavours. How lucky we are to have these books and moreover the Internet to allow their contents to be seen around the globe.

In 1884, whilst the embryo ideas which led to wireless telegraphy were being investigated by many scientists, two men set up their stall in the city of Leeds, eventually to become Marks and Spencer, or, as we all know them, the Marks and Sparks Company. There is an analogy with that pair and with another equally famous pair, Marconi and Jackson, for eventually their wares became Marks Sparks and Co., too, with Marks being the Morse code ink-markers, the Sparks the spark gap transmitter, and the Co, the coherer and first detector [receiver] of W/T signals.

HMS Vernon takes centre stage in many of these file. To help you to understand what HMS Vernon was 100 years ago see this link first HMS VERNON.

If you make the effort and read these files you will be in an excellent position to understand how the branch was started, when and what was the very first submarine fitted with W/T, what everyday terms like "CW" for example really means, when did the Navy get its first crypto machine, and a whole host of necessary data to prepare you for the rest of the site. You may even be surprised to learn that the tones we use for just about everything in the modern communications world from dialling on a telephone to using MODEMS etc, comes from a time way back in the early 20th century and the mark/space of a RATT circuit [which most of you will be familiar with] were used for sending Morse Code on an ARC W/T transmitter over 90 years ago.


Regrettfully we don't hold any information on the year 1901