Maritime Applications of Wireless Technology

Though there were many great advancements in wireless technology during the 1800s, it was not until the turn of the century that the last great barrier, long distance communication, was finally conquered. 

In 1897, Aleksandar Popov equipped the Russian naval cruiser Africa and the coastal radio station at Kronstadt with wireless apparatuses, laying the groundwork for maritime radio use. Only a few years later, in 1899, Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph Company had significantly increased the range of its wireless technology and could transmit over 100 km. That year, three British warships were equipped with Marconi’s apparatuses. It was apparent that wireless technology would be incredibly useful for maritime and military communications.

Long-distance wireless radio transmission removed the barrier between ships and the shore. Distress alerts, navigational information and weather conditions could now be transmitted across great distances, making radio communication essential for the safety and security of ships at sea.

The wireless radio room aboard the St. Roch.

Designed by Langara Design Formation students Emma Heckman, Jacob Chong, Madeleine Finch, Taro Wood and Xander Adams  in collaboration with the VMM curatorial team