The Campaign for Philosophical Freedom
 News  Articles  Correspondence  Recommended  Links  About  Search 
 Background  Ronald Pearson  Scientists  Religion  Mediums 

Articles: Scientists

Printer-friendly version of this article

Sir William Crookes

  Sir William Crookes Proved Survival

  Miss Florence Cook's Mediumship


  The Last of Katie King

  The Researches of Sir William Crookes

Sir Oliver Lodge

  The Mode of Future Existence

  Psychic Science

Thomas Edison: The Philosophy of Paine

Michael Roll: Thomas Paine

Alfred Russel Wallace

Louis Essen

Albert Einstein

Michael Hanlon: B D Josephson

© The Campaign for Philosophical Freedom

Letter from Sir Oliver Lodge to The Times, June 17 (year unknown)




It appears that many persons suppose that the method of signaling across space by means of Hertz waves received by a Branly tube of filings is a new discovery made by Signor Marconi, who has recently been engaged in improving some of the details. It is well known to physicists, and perhaps the public may be willing to share the information, that I myself showed what was essentially the same plan of signaling in 1894. My apparatus acted very vigorously across the college quadrangle, a distance of 60 yards, and I estimated that there would be some response up to a limit of half a mile. Some of the hearers of Mr. Preece's recent lecture at the Royal Institution seem to have understood his references to these previous trials to signify that I had asserted or prophesied that more powerful apparatus would always be limited to some such distance: whereas my statement was a scientific one, concerning the small and early apparatus which, with the help of my assistant, Mr. E. E. Robinson, I had at the time devised and constructed. My apparatus was substantially the same as that now used by Signor Marconi - there was a row of sparking spheres; the sparks were taken under oil sometimes, as suggested by M. Sarasin; there were iron and brass filings in a high vacuum and likewise in hydrogen: there was also my own coherer with a single contact, which is more sensitive, but less manageable than a filings tube; and the restoration to sensitiveness was effected by an electrically-worked hammer. Signor Marconi uses nickel and silver filings in a lower vacuum, and by employing greater power he has obtained signals over much greater distances; moreover, instructed primarily by Professor Righi, and aided in his trials by the British Post Office, he was worked hard to develop the method into a commercial success. For all this full credit is due - I do not suppose that Signor Marconi himself claims any more - but much of the language indulged in during the past few months by writers of popular articles on the subject about "Marconi waves," "important discoveries," and "brilliant novelties" has been more than usually absurd. The only "important discovery" about the matter was made in 1888 by Hertz; and on that is based the emitter of the waves; the receiver depends on cohesion under electrical influence, which was noticed long ago by Lord Raleigh and has been re-observed in other forms by other experimenters, including the writer in 1890.

Yours faithfully,


University College, Liverpool, June 17.

Related material on this site:

The Mode of Future Existence - 1933 Lecture by Sir Oliver Lodge FRS (1851-1940)

This article is censored from all large-circulation papers and magazines throughout the world because it links the subject of survival after death with the scientific discipline of subatomic physics - the study of the invisible part of the universe.

Sir Oliver Lodge Invented Radio Not Marconi

A plaque in the Oxford University Museum of Natural History commemorates Sir Oliver Lodge sending the first radio signal on August 14, 1894 at the Oxford meeting of The British Association.