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|Private company limited by shares|
|Fate||Liquidation sale, Re-established in 1927 as the non-commercial and crown-chartered British Broadcasting Corporation|
|Founded||18 October 1922|
|Defunct||31 December 1926|
The British Broadcasting Company, Ltd. (BBC) was a British commercial company formed on 18 October 1922 by British and American electrical companies doing business in the United Kingdom. Licensed by the British General Post Office, their original office was located on the second floor of Magnet House, the GEC buildings in London and consisted of a room and a small antechamber. On 14 December 1922, John Reith was hired to become the Managing Director of the company at that address. The company later moved its offices to the premises of the Marconi Company. The BBC as a commercial broadcasting company did not sell air time but it did carry a number of sponsored programmes paid for by British newspapers. On 31 December 1926, the company was dissolved, and its assets were transferred to the non-commercial and crown-chartered British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
In Britain prior to 1922, the General Post Office (GPO) retained exclusive rights given to it by the government, to manage and control all means of mass communication—with the exception of the printed word for which authority had devolved to another governmental entity[ which? ]. The laws which evolved into the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1947, upon which all modern British communication laws are built in one way or another, concern four essential activities:
All four of these activities require a government licence which was originally granted by the General Post Office.[ citation needed ]
The invention of the electrical telegraph came under the control of the Telegraph Act 1869 which was based upon a law that forbade the encoding of electrical cables with messages without a licence. The messages were viewed as electrical forms of a letter. This invention was followed by the wireless telegraph which was then placed under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1904.
In the US, the development of the telegraph, wireless telegraph, telephone and wireless telephony proceeded according to the dictates of entrepreneurial commercial interests concerned only with supply and demand for profit. Beginning in August 1920, commercial broadcasting stations programming to the general public had begun broadcasting in the United States, licensed by the Department of Commerce and offering several hours of programming, usually at night. Two of the first stations were WWJ in Detroit (then known as 8MK)and KDKA in Pittsburgh (which has claimed to be the first station specifically licensed for commercial broadcasting; however commercial licences were actually not awarded until September 1921). These pioneering stations continue in daily 24-hour operation today under the ownership and management of CBS.
In the United Kingdom, all broadcasts were licensed by the GPO, who were reluctant to license any fully commercial stations and only 'experimental' stations were allowed on air.
Beginning in 1920, a number of licences were issued to British and American subsidiary companies in Britain for the purpose of conducting experimental transmissions under terms of a licence issued by the General Post Office in accordance with the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1904. On 15 June 1920, Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company, Limited, in Chelmsford, Essex, was licensed to conduct an experimental broadcast from the New Street Works factory, featuring Dame Nellie Melba. The signal was received throughout Europe and as far as Newfoundland, Canada. Further transmissions were also made.
On 23 November 1920, the General Post Office halted all further transmissions due to complaints of alleged interference with military communications. As the number of wireless receiving sets increased during the early 1920s, the General Post Office came under extreme pressure from hobby listeners to allow the experimental wireless broadcasts to resume.
On 14 February 1922, which was two years after ceasing their original transmissions, the Marconi Company was issued a licence for experimental transmissions under the call sign 2MT. Peter Eckersley was given charge of providing both the broadcast entertainment and the engineering. The station operated out of a hut in a field at Writtle near Chelmsford.
On 11 May 1922, the Marconi Company was issued another licence for experimental broadcasts from a station identified as 2LO which was located at Marconi House in the Strand, London. The programme consisted of a boxing commentary of the fight between Kid Lewis and Georges Carpentier. Further tests were also advertised as demonstrations of "Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony" which were "subject to permission from the Postmaster General ". These demonstrations were performed by the "Demonstration Department (of) Marconi's London Wireless Station 2LO".
On 16 May 1922 the Metropolitan Vickers Company Ltd ("Metrovick") commenced test broadcasting from its own station in Manchester, identified as 2ZY .
On 23 May a committee of representatives was appointed from the "Big Six" companies – Marconi, Metropolitan-Vickers, Radio Communication Company, British Thomson-Houston, General Electric and Western Electric. The Post Office also pressed for the inclusion of a representative from the smaller firms manufacturing radio equipment in the UK – Frank Phillips of Burndept. George Campbell was one of the members on the committee.
On 18 October 1922 the British Broadcasting Company Ltd was incorporated under the Companies Acts 1908 to 1917 with a share capital of £60,006, with cumulative ordinary shares valued at £1 each.No further capital could be issued without the Postmaster-General's consent:
The shares were equally held by six companies:
The shareholders gave the BBC the benefit of their respective patents, and only radio sets supplied by BBC companies were permitted to be licensed to receive programmes. The ability of the shareholders to profit from the BBC was limited as part of the agreement with the Postmaster General:
The holders of the Cumulative Ordinary Shares are entitled to receive out of the profits of the Company a fixed Cumulative Dividend at the rate of 7½% per annum on the capital for the time being paid up thereon but are not entitled to any further or other participation in profits.
The initial remit of the British Broadcasting Company was to establish a nationwide network of radio transmitters many of which had originally been owned by member companies, from which the BBC was to provide a national broadcasting service.
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The British Broadcasting Company was formed using a blueprint that the US Navy and the General Electric Company had attempted to institute in the USA. Early in World War I, all of the ship-to-shore and transatlantic radio stations controlled by a US subsidiary company of Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company, Limited in Chelmsford, England, were seized and handed to the US Navy for the duration of the War. After the War, the US Congress forced the US Navy to divest itself of the stations and they turned to the General Electric Company which in 1919 formed a subsidiary called the Radio Corporation of America. With the US Navy on its board, RCA then absorbed the former Marconi stations. In 1926 RCA created the National Broadcasting Company, the first network in the United States. Peaking in the 1930s, there were attempts to bring all radio communications in America back under single monopoly control by using the patent laws. This move failed.
The Western Electric Company Ltd in the UK was originally formed as a subsidiary of American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) in the USA where it served as its manufacturing subsidiary to equip the AT&T Bell Telephone system.
The British Thomson-Houston Company Ltd was a controlled UK subsidiary of the General Electric Company in the USA. The Hotpoint Electric Appliance Company Ltd was formed by British Thomson-Houston (BTH) in 1921.
The only other company later added to the original shareholders of the British Broadcasting Company Ltd was Burndept Limited. It represented the interests of over twenty small electrical manufacturers in the UK.
The British Broadcasting Company did not sell air time for commercials but its licence did allow for it to carry sponsored programming, and eight such sponsored broadcasts were aired in 1925. However, the main source of its income was from the sale of radio receiving sets and transmitters manufactured by its shareholding member companies as well as from a portion of the government (GPO) licence fee that had to be purchased by BBC listeners.
Guglielmo Giovanni Maria Marconi, 1st Marquis of Marconi was an Italian inventor and electrical engineer, known for his pioneering work on long-distance radio transmission, development of Marconi's law, and a radio telegraph system. He is credited as the inventor of radio, and he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand Braun "in recognition of their contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy".
The early history of radio is the history of technology that produces and uses radio instruments that use radio waves. Within the timeline of radio, many people contributed theory and inventions in what became radio. Radio development began as "wireless telegraphy". Later radio history increasingly involves matters of broadcasting.
Telegraphy is the long-distance transmission of textual messages where the sender uses symbolic codes, known to the recipient, rather than a physical exchange of an object bearing the message. Thus flag semaphore is a method of telegraphy, whereas pigeon post is not. Ancient signalling systems, although sometimes quite extensive and sophisticated as in China, were generally not capable of transmitting arbitrary text messages. Possible messages were fixed and predetermined and such systems are thus not true telegraphs.
Wireless telegraphy or radiotelegraphy is transmission of telegraph signals by radio waves. Before about 1910, the term wireless telegraphy was also used for other experimental technologies for transmitting telegraph signals without wires, such as electromagnetic induction, and ground conduction telegraph systems.
John Charles Walsham Reith, 1st Baron Reith,, was a Scottish broadcasting executive who established the tradition of independent public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom. In 1922 he was employed by the BBC as its general manager; in 1923 he became its managing director and in 1927 he was employed as the Director-General of the British Broadcasting Corporation created under a royal charter. His concept of broadcasting as a way of educating the masses marked for a long time the BBC and similar organisations around the world. An engineer by trade, and standing at 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) tall, he was a larger than life figure who was a pioneer in his field.
It is generally recognized that the first radio transmission was made from a temporary station set up by Guglielmo Marconi in 1895 on the Isle of Wight. This followed on from pioneering work in the field by a number of people including Alessandro Volta, André-Marie Ampère, Georg Ohm and James Clerk Maxwell.
The Marine, &c., Broadcasting (Offences) Act 1967 c.41, shortened to Marine Broadcasting Offences Act or "Marine offences Act", became law in the United Kingdom at midnight on Monday 14 August 1967. It was subsequently amended by the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 and the Broadcasting Act 1990. Its purpose was to extend the powers of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949, beyond the territorial land area and territorial waters of the UK to cover airspace and external bodies of water.
The Marconi Company was a British telecommunications and engineering company that did business under that name from 1963 to 1987. It was derived from earlier variations in the name and incorporation, spanning a period from its inception in 1897 until 2006, during which time it underwent numerous changes, mergers and acquisitions. The company was founded by the Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi and began as the Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company. The company was a pioneer of wireless long distance communication and mass media broadcasting, eventually becoming one of the UK's most successful manufacturing companies. In 1999, its defence manufacturing division, Marconi Electronic Systems, merged with British Aerospace to form BAE Systems. In 2006, extreme financial difficulties led to the collapse of the remaining company, with the bulk of the business acquired by the Swedish telecommunications company, Ericsson.
Captain Peter Pendleton Eckersley was a pioneer of British broadcasting, the first Chief Engineer of the British Broadcasting Company Limited from 1922 to 1927 and Chief Engineer of the British Broadcasting Corporation until 1929. Some sources incorrectly give his middle name as Prothero.
CINW was the final call sign used by an English language AM radio station located in Montreal, Quebec, which, along with French-language sister station CINF, ceased operations at 7:00 p.m. ET on January 29, 2010. Owned and operated by Corus Quebec, it broadcast on 940 kHz with a full-time power of 50,000 watts as a clear channel station, using a slightly directional antenna designed to improve reception in downtown Montreal.
The invention of radio communication, although generally attributed to Guglielmo Marconi in the 1890s, spanned many decades and involved many people, whose work included experimental investigation of radio waves, establishment of theoretical underpinnings, engineering and technical developments, and adaptation to signaling.
The timeline of radio lists within the history of radio, the technology and events that produced instruments that use radio waves and activities that people undertook. Later, the history is dominated by programming and contents, which is closer to general history.
The first broadcasting receiving licence was introduced in 1904 to cover the reception of radio broadcasts. It is paid annually.
The year 1927 saw a number of significant happenings in radio broadcasting history.
1922 in radio details the internationally significant events in radio broadcasting for the year 1922.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster, headquartered at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London. It is the world's oldest national broadcaster, and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees, employing over 22,000 staff in total, of whom more than 16,000 are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of BBC staff amounts to 35,402 including part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff.
The history of broadcasting in Australia has been shaped for over a century by the problem of communication across long distances, coupled with a strong base in a wealthy society with a deep taste for aural communications in a silent landscape. Australia developed its own system, through its own engineers, manufacturers, retailers, newspapers, entertainment services, and news agencies. The government set up the first radio system, and business interests marginalized the hobbyists and amateurs. The Labor Party was especially interested in radio because it allowed them to bypass the newspapers, which were mostly controlled by the opposition. Both parties agreed on the need for a national system, and in 1932 set up the Australian Broadcasting Commission, as a government agency that was largely separate from political interference.
The Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America was incorporated in 1899. It was established as a subsidiary of the British Marconi Company and held the U.S. and Cuban rights to Guglielmo Marconi's radio patents. American Marconi initially primarily operated high-powered land and transatlantic shipboard stations. In 1912, it acquired the extensive assets of the bankrupt United Wireless Telegraph Company, becoming the dominant radio communications provider in the United States.
Australasian Wireless relates to two separate entities Australasian Wireless Limited and Australasian Wireless Company Limited. The former obtained an option to acquire the exclusive rights to the Telefunken wireless telegraphy system in Australasia, the latter acquired those rights and with public capital developed a firm which was successful in supplying wireless telegraphy equipment to shipping in Australasian waters and the establishment of Australia's first coastal radio stations. When the Australian Government decided to complete the remainder of the coastal network using the Balsillie wireless system manufactured by Father Archibald Shaw, AWCL merged with Marconi interests to form Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia). This merged firm eventually won the exclusive right to operate Australia's coastal radio network and went on to become the dominant company in Australia's radiocommunications and broadcasting industry.