Telefunken vs. Marconi, or the Race for Wireless Telegraphy at Sea, 1896-1914

14 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2014

See all articles by Michael Friedewald

Michael Friedewald

Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

At the end of the nineteenth century electrical communication systems whose development had begun some 50 years before began to unfold their deep impact on the way business and policy were made. The electric telegraph and especially submarine cables had been brought to a high degree of technical efficiency and large amounts of capital had been invested in that business. The telephone was becoming an important means for business communication over short distances. Nevertheless there was, in ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore communications, a "place" for radio – a gap in the existing communication network large enough to give the new mode a chance to establish itself. The invention of wireless telegraphy – as contemporaries called radio communications – allowed the fast interchange of information between ship on sea and from ship to shore. The following article gives a survey of the beginnings of radio communications and focuses on the competition of two pioneering firms Marconi and Telefunken to dominate the market in naval radio.

Keywords: wireless technology, broadcasting, shipping, history of technology, economic history

JEL Classification: N73, N83, O33

Suggested Citation

Friedewald, Michael, Telefunken vs. Marconi, or the Race for Wireless Telegraphy at Sea, 1896-1914 (2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2375755 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2375755

Michael Friedewald (Contact Author)

Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI ( email )

Breslauer Str. 48
Karlsruhe, 76139
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.isi.fraunhofer.de

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