Saturday, March 27, 1999 Published at 09:05 GMT
A century of radio
Guglielmo Marconi in 1896 with his pioneering radio set
"Greetings from France to England through the ether..." so began the international age of telecommunications exactly 100 years ago.
The centenary of the first international radio transmission by radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi is taking place this weekend.
It came at a time when people scoffed that there was no future for radio. But the first wireless Morse code message transmitted between two countries was proof that the "radiotelegraph" could work over long distances.
The new era of the wireless
The transmission was the culmination of five years of experiments by Marconi.
A few months after the historic broadcast the method of communication was adopted by the British navy.
It subsequently became very important in helping to save lives at sea and just under a month after the first international transmission the international distress signal (later SOS) was used for the first time during a shipwreck off the Kent coast.
Later the power of the wireless was harnessed for entertainment purposes and the BBC was born.
Radio hams help out
On Saturday there will be a re-enactment of the historic transmission from the exact place the first message was sent - South Foreland lighthouse near Dover.
Joining her to mark the occasion will be representatives from the National Trust, Barry Amateur Radio Society and members of the public.
Barry Amateur Radio Society are so enthused by the event that they plan to dress up in period costume and use replica's of Marconi's transmitter to send messages to other amateurs around the world.
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