Many people are not aware that the first trans-Atlantic short wave message was sent from Greenwich to Scotland on December 11, 1921. A transmission shack was built on the Elisha P. Cronkhite estate near the intersection of North Street and Clapboard Ridge Road. Inside were wires, cables and coils. A telegraph key was used to send out Morse Code. In addition to the shack, two steel masts - one 108-feet and another 75-feet tall - were erected between which a Flat Top"T" cage antenna was strung. This became known as amateur radio station 1BCG. It took part in historic experiments conducted by amateur radio societies in Great Britain and the United States in the 1920s. As a result, a message was sent across the Atlantic and received in Ardrossan, Scotland. The message was also picked up in Holland, Germany, as well as every state in the Union.
Prior to this, radio messages were transmitted as long wave (15,000- to 20,000-meters). Amateurs were restricted to 200-meter wavelengths, which weren't considered powerful enough for long distance transmissions. However, advances in technology made it possible to transmit further and further. Expensive long wave equipment and antennas were no longer required.
The six-man operating and engineering staff included: John F. Grinan, Ernest V. Amy, Edwin H. Armstrong, George E. Burghard, Milton Cronkhite and Walker P. Inman.On December 29, 1921, the equipment and station were sent to Columbia University for research. It never operated again.
"Near this spot on December 11, 1921,radio station 1BCG sent to Srdrossan, Scotland, the first message ever to span the Atlantic on short waves. 1BCG, an amateur station, was built and operated by members of the Radio Club of America.
On Cape Cod in 1900, Guglielmo Marconi built a long wave transmission station. It was composed of four 210-foot towers at Wellfleet. President Roosevelt sent a message to King Edward of England to commemorate its opening. In 1917, it was shut down due to the war for security reasons.
For more information, see Carl White in the local history office.