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Lot 223: R.M.S. TITANIC: Extremely rare bronze bell impressed MARCONI 1905

Titanic & Travel Memorabilia

by Henry Aldridge & Son

22 October 2016

Devizes, United Kingdom

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Description: R.M.S. TITANIC: Extremely rare bronze bell impressed MARCONI 1905 LIVERPOOL. The bell was in use at the Marconi Seaforth Sands wireless station, an integral part of the ports operation from 1903 but opened as a training school in 1905. Both Jack Phillips and Harold Bride, Titanic's wireless operators, trained there and would quite possibly have seen or heard the bell at some stage during their training and whilst Titanic was undergoing her sea trials, Phillips and Bride exchanged test calls with the Liverpool station Seaforth 9ins. NB:SEAFORTH SANDS MARCONI WIRELESS STATION 1903 to 1911 In 1903, on what was at the time literally the Seaforth sands, the Marconi International Marine Communication Company opened a pioneering radio station. This became known as Seaforth Radio. It was amongst the first wireless stations in the world established especially for maritime radio communication. The Seaforth Sands station provided radio communication with shipping in this part of the Irish Sea, but specifically with ships entering the great port of Liverpool. Liverpool was, at that time, one of the busiest and most important ports in the world. Marine radio communication was very new, but for the next 100 years was to be a vital information link with ships at sea. Otherwise, for most of the time before the advent of ship-to-shore radio, ships had been out of touch with land, even when in danger. However, the Seaforth Sands station had the distinction of being the first school for the training of sea-going wireless telegraphists, to be known later as radio officers. Many hundreds of such radio officers were to be trained at the Seaforth Sands station during its period at this location. Some of them were to become famous especially for their exploits in saving life at sea. The station served also as the first of an ultimately worldwide chain of Marconi depots for the supply and servicing of the radio equipment installed increasingly on merchant ships. Eventually, the installation of wireless, as it was known then, became compulsory. Amongst those radio officers who trained at Seaforth Sands was Jack Binns, who achieved worldwide fame in 1909 as a result of his vital part in saving very many lives in the sinking of the R.M.S. Republic, and of course Jack Phillips, senior radio operator on the R.M.S. Titanic and his colleague Harold Bride. As with all maritime coast radio stations in this country, Seaforth Radio was taken over by the General Post Office in 1909. Its important radio communication services to shipping were moved in 1911 half a mile inland to Sandy Road, Seaforth. The station remained there, its mast a well-known landmark, until it was transferred to Anglesey in 1960.

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