Wireless Heritage

This is a series of articles written by engineers who have been actively involved in the radio industry over the past fifty years.

These form part of a UK based Wireless Heritage Project in association with the Pye Telecom Historic Wireless Collection.

Three Kings and a Queen - a new heritage article tracing the impact of ninety years of broadcast innovation on the British Monarchy and British Political System.

Cambridge Wireless Heritage Special Interest Group

If you are interested in Wireless Heritage topics, the Cambridge Wireless Heritage Special Interest Group holds regular meetings featuring subject experts in subject relevant locations.
Details available via this link

Three Kings and a Queen

The idea of producing this short study came from The Kings Speech, a film which has rightly received an array of awards but which has also raised public awareness of the impact of broadcasting technology on the British Royal Family and the British political system.

The study traces the technology and related social changes that have occurred since 1922 spanning the reigns of George V, Edward VIII, George VI (the three Kings) and the present Queen Elizabeth and ends with a reference to the technology being used at William and Kate's wedding on April 29 2011 and the Queen's opening speech at the London Olympics on the 27th July 2012.

Over the past ninety years, Public Service Broadcasting has had a dominant role in shaping how others perceive the UK globally and how we see ourselves locally as a sovereign nation. In this respect technology change can be shown to be closely coupled with substantive shifts in present and future social and political ambitions and expectations. We argue that radio and TV are becoming more rather than less important over time as an agent of political and social change, a process that can be directly linked to technology innovation.

Three Kings and a Queen can be downloaded here

We are indebted to the Science Museum for providing us with access to relevant documents and artefacts that help us to tell this story. The Science Museum has one of the most extensive collections of broadcast and radio artefacts to be found anywhere in the world. Only a very small fraction of these objects are presently on permanent show to the public.

This will be substantially redressed when the new Treasury Gallery, The Making of Modern Communications opens to the public in 2014/2015. The purpose of the gallery is to inform and inspire a new generation of broadcast and radio engineers but the exhibits will also demonstrate that a study of the past can directly help us to develop a more integrated approach to broadcast technology strategy and its direct impact on social, economic and political progress.

The new gallery is however only partially funded and requires additional investment to realise its potential both as a research resource and source of inspiration.

If you would like to become more closely involved in this fund raising process either as an individual or on a corporate basis then please contact us


Lancashire Constabulary's Developments in Mobile Communications
by John Davies.

John joined the Lancashire Wireless Workshops in 1948 as a radio engineer.
He describes the pioneering work undertaken by Lancashire Constabulary on wide area coverage systems and the parallel evolution of mobile and portable transceivers.
The innovations introduced by Lancashire had tangible benefits in terms of operational efficiency.
John's story, a mix of personal and professional observation, provides a fascinating insight into forty years of radio design experience

John Davies retired in 1984 and lectured for a number of years on private mobile radio system design and implementation. He remains exceedingly active and has maintained a very close interest in radio engineering including recent involvement in a local radio planning enquiry.

A pdf. of his article (with some wonderful archive photographs) is available to download here.

If you have a 'story to tell' please contact us

History of the cellular industry

The Museum of Communication specialises in communications technology from the pre-electric optical telegraph used in the Napoleonic Wars to the latest state-of-the-art web cams and cameras for mobile phones, currently featured in the Guinness Book of Records!
The Museum can only display a small fraction of its collections at anytime. Therefore, a virtual exhibition has been created to allow browsing through some of the more interesting artefacts. See their collections page.

A website www.gsm-history.org has been produced by the former leadership of GSM, SMG and UMTS, Thomas Haug, Philippe Dupuis, Friedhelm Hillebrand and Thomas Beijer. The site contains descriptions, milestone tables and original documents, publications and seminar documentation not available elsewhere.

This version 1.0.0 concentrates on the GSM period from 1982 to 1991. Extensions will follow in the next versions. Contributions for the further development of the website are welcome.