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FULFILLMENT OF A DREAM


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Imagine: It's Christmas eve, 1906. You are a telegrapher on a cargo ship anchored off Cape Cod, headphones on, listening to the dots and dashes of ship-to-shore messages. Suddenly, the splintered sound made by their spark-gap transmitters is suppressed by a stronger signal, and - for the first time, amidst the relative quiet - you hear a voice. A man greets you, plays an instrument (some say it is a phonograph record) and wishes you a Merry Christmas.

Radio as we know it is born.

Marconi is the widely accredited inventor of radio and DeForest is its self-proclaimed father. But it is the relatively unsung Reginald A. Fessenden who had the vision to build a transmitter that generated a continuous wave (carrier) that Fessenden modulated with audio.

I've always wanted to go to the point in Marshfield, MA where this seminal moment occurred and, a few days ago, I finally did. At first, it seemed wrong that the crumbling base of Fessenden's tower should be lost in a sea of dreary homes. But then I thought of all the terrible programming that has infected most of the AM dial and, somehow, it all made sense.

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Mainspring

I always like seeing these stories about finding esoteric things. For me, it is generally graves. Recently located the grave of Harry Shunk, minstrel performer with Al G. Field and Victor recording artist, although his recordings weren't issued to my knowledge. I do have an Edison DD of a song he wrote though. Congrats on your find!

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54 minutes ago, Mainspring said:

I always like seeing these stories about finding esoteric things. For me, it is generally graves. Recently located the grave of Harry Shunk, minstrel performer with Al G. Field and Victor recording artist, although his recordings weren't issued to my knowledge. I do have an Edison DD of a song he wrote though. Congrats on your find!


I found 3 records in the DAHR database that show Harry Shunk as composer and/or lyricist on one side of the records.  What a rare and somewhat obscure find.

 

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Mainspring

Yeah, it is actually a great little song, as I said, I have it on DD. I have a 2x3 foot Al Field poster with Shunk's face on it in my music room.

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