Walter Wellmen attempted first to reach the North Pole, and then to cross the Atlantic in an airship called The America–it is the second of these trips where Kiddo found fame. Kiddo’s story is captured in the pages of Wellman’s The Aerial Age: A Thousand Miles by Airship Over the Atlantic Ocean (1911). It is most poetically written by Wellman himself, a bit comes from the notes of laconic wireless operator Jack Irwin, and everything most sympathetic from the journal of Simon Murray, ship navigator. It has been told before in snippets on purr ‘n’ furr, and aviation humour. But here it is in its entirety for, I believe, the very first time as told by the crew in a series of gripping excerpts.Continue reading Kiddo, the first cat to navigate the Atlantic by airship
Tag Archives: Marconi
Marconi State Park
A privilege to come to a conference on landtrusts here at Marconi State Park, to stay in this amazing place of beauty. From the website (accessed August 2017, stumbled across these pictures almost 13 years later to the day, so I’m cheating a bit by setting this to publish back then, but why not honour chronology?):
Marconi State Historic Park has a rich human history that dates back hundreds of years. The Tomales Bay ecosystem has supported the livelihoods of people—from the pre-historic villages of the Coastal Miwok to the farming communities of today.
On past genocide (not noted), Russian settlers, farming, to Marconi…
In 1894, across the Atlantic in Bologna, Italy, a young man by the name of Guglielmo Marconi began experimenting with Electromagnetic Waves (Radio Waves). In an unused portion of his parents’ attic, Marconi constructed devices for sending and receiving Morse code across the room without the use of wires. Through trial and error he steadily improved the distances he was able to send a signal, and soon outgrew his attic laboratory.
Within a year, Marconi was able to transmit a telegraph signal a distance of two miles. By 1897, he had increased the distance to 15 miles, proving that man-made and natural obstacles did not interfere with the transmission of radio waves.
And the hotel itself:
In order to achieve a signal powerful enough to cross the Pacific Ocean, a new, more powerful station was built on the Marin Coast. This station was designed and constructed by J.G. White, a New York engineering firm. All Marconi’s transoceanic stations were “duplex” stations, geographically separated complexes for transmitting and receiving. The geographic separation was necessary because the noise of transmission obstructed clear reception. All these stations were nearly identical in construction. The imposing, two-story staff and visitors’ hotel with its wide veranda is the centerpiece of the receiving station. In addition to its thirty-five rooms – ten complete with private baths – the hotel boasted such comforts as a library, game room, lounge, and dining hall. Flanking the hotel to the left are two single-story bungalows for the chief and assistant engineers. To the right lies the powerhouse that contained the boiler, transformers, storage batteries and a workshop. The operations building, located a short distance from the bungalows, housed the receiving and printing equipment as well as the station’s administrative offices.
All the buildings are similar in architectural style, which might be described as Mediterranean Revival with Craftsman allusions.