'Italian Navy' detector, 1899-1901

Made:
1899-1901 in Unknown place
maker:
Unknown
inventor:
Jagadish Chandra Bose

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Carbon-mercury-iron semiconductor diode detector, of the type invented by J C Bose in 1899, modified version, unknown maker, 1899-1901. Known as the ‘Italian Navy coherer’, used by G Marconi in Newfoundland to receive the first wireless communication across the Atlantic, December 1901.

This may be the detector which received the 'S' signals in Newfoundland in Marconi's Atlantic wireless telegraphy experiment in December 1901. The originator of the device was (Sir) Jagadis Chandra Bose (1858-1937), professor of physical science, Presidency College, Calcutta, India. It received the name 'Italian Navy coherer' because the principle of Bose’s invention became known in 1899 or 1900 to technical experimenters in the Italian Navy who made unimportant modifications to it. Having done so, they became curiously reluctant to acknowledge the true inventor of the device. Marconi, too, was reluctant to identify precisely the apparatus employed in Newfoundland, suggesting instead that several different types of coherer were used. The fact that it was the Italian Navy detector only emerged gradually in a series of vague statements made by Marconi and others during 1902 and 1903.

On display

Science Museum: Information Age Gallery: Cable

If you are visiting to see this object, please contact us in advance to make sure that it will be on display.

Details

Category:
Radio Communication
Object Number:
1923-434/14
Materials:
brass (copper, glass, metal (unknown), zinc alloy)
type:
coherer
taxonomy:
  • component - object
  • radio receiver
credit:
Donated by the Institution of Electrical Engineers
status:
Permanent collection

Cite this page

Rights

We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.


Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero


Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data

Download

Download catalogue entry as json

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.