Topics

2nd Lt J R R Tolkien; Signals Officer.


SH_K
 

Hi,

This is an introductory messsge to tell members of my interest.

I am currently researching J R R Tolkien's service as a Signals Officer in the Great War. On completion of some weeks training at  the Northern Command  Signals School at Farnley Park in Yorkshire in April/May 1916, he had to take an exam. Included were practical signalling tasks using a variety of methods: heliograph, semaphore and telephony. I'd like to know on what telephone equipment would he have been trained? Would Wireless Telegraphy have been included at that stage of the war? What about Wireless Telephony?

Regards

SH-K.


Chris_Suslowicz
 

Seamus wrote:

Hi,

This is an introductory messsge to tell members of my interest.

I am currently researching J R R Tolkien's service as a Signals Officer in the Great War. On completion of some weeks training at the Northern Command Signals School at Farnley Park in Yorkshire in April/May 1916, he had to take an exam. Included were practical signalling tasks using a variety of methods: heliograph, semaphore and telephony.
Doc 5104 in the archive is a bound copy of 'Notes on Field Telephony' from Farnley Park in 1917, so that may be helpful.

I'd like to know on what telephone equipment would he have been trained?
Probably (this is an educated guess on my part), Telephone Sets C and D Marks I to III, possibly the early Fullerphone, and maybe the "Power Buzzer" (though that was probably withdrawn for security reasons by then). Switchboards would have been the early "pyramid" type and possibly the "buzzer switch unit 7+3" plus various types improvised in the field. It was all extremely primitive in WW1.

If he was based at a large headquarters he may have used larger (GPO type) switchboards.

Would Wireless Telegraphy have been included at that stage of the war?
Probably only for specialist troops. WW1 was mostly static and communications was by line - in those days wireless was almost all between headquarters and mobile units (i.e. cavalry).

What about Wireless Telephony?
Far too early for that!

Material in the archive:

Instructions in Army Telephony and Telephony

Doc 5055 Volume 1 - Instruments (1916)
Doc 5217 Volume 2 - Lines (1914)

The Signal Training "Part n" pamphlets, though published from 1917 - 1922 are basically what was used and refined during WW1. (I'm still missing Part III (Instruments) and Part V from this series.)

Not (yet) in the archive (mainly because they are a bugger to scan and clean) are the various 'pocket sized' Signal Training books. These are around 4.25 x 5.25 inches and 'dog eared' from repeated reading by the owners over the years. A lot of them also got damp and are falling to pieces. At some
point I'll have a go at scanning them:

Training Manual - Signalling. 1907 (Reprinted with amendments to 1st May 1911)
Training Manual - Signalling Part II 1914
Training Manual - Signalling. (Provisional) 1915
Signal Training Part 1 (1917)

I'm sure there are others squirrelled away somewhere.

Best Regards,
Chris. (G8KGS)
Junior Password Gnome


Mike Morrow
 

Perhaps in 1916 there would have been instruction on an early version of the Fullerphone.

http://www.wftw.nl/fullerpr.html

But...probably not.

Mike / KK5F

Seamus wrote:

Hi,

This is an introductory messsge to tell members of my interest.

I am currently researching J R R Tolkien's service as a Signals Officer in the Great War. On completion of some weeks training at the Northern Command Signals School at Farnley Park in Yorkshire in April/May 1916, he had to take an exam. Included were practical signalling tasks using a variety of methods: heliograph, semaphore and telephony.
Doc 5104 in the archive is a bound copy of 'Notes on Field Telephony' from Farnley Park in 1917, so that may be helpful.

I'd like to know on what telephone equipment would he have been trained?
Probably (this is an educated guess on my part), Telephone Sets C and D Marks I to III, possibly the early Fullerphone, and maybe the "Power Buzzer" (though that was probably withdrawn for security reasons by then). Switchboards would have been the early "pyramid" type and possibly the "buzzer switch unit 7+3" plus various types improvised in the field. It was all extremely primitive in WW1.

If he was based at a large headquarters he may have used larger (GPO type) switchboards.

Would Wireless Telegraphy have been included at that stage of the war?
Probably only for specialist troops. WW1 was mostly static and communications was by line - in those days wireless was almost all between headquarters and mobile units (i.e. cavalry).

What about Wireless Telephony?
Far too early for that!

Material in the archive:

Instructions in Army Telephony and Telephony

Doc 5055 Volume 1 - Instruments (1916)
Doc 5217 Volume 2 - Lines (1914)

The Signal Training "Part n" pamphlets, though published from 1917 - 1922 are basically what was used and refined during WW1. (I'm still missing Part III (Instruments) and Part V from this series.)

Not (yet) in the archive (mainly because they are a bugger to scan and clean) are the various 'pocket sized' Signal Training books. These are around 4.25 x 5.25 inches and 'dog eared' from repeated reading by the owners over the years. A lot of them also got damp and are falling to pieces. At some
point I'll have a go at scanning them:

Training Manual - Signalling. 1907 (Reprinted with amendments to 1st May 1911)
Training Manual - Signalling Part II 1914
Training Manual - Signalling. (Provisional) 1915
Signal Training Part 1 (1917)

I'm sure there are others squirrelled away somewhere.


JohnWatkins WD5ENU
 

This is a very interesting topic, especially for those of us who have read his story’s.  I had understood that he did serve in the trenches, but will look that up.  

John WD5ENU 

On Thu, Dec 5, 2019 at 11:58 Chris_Suslowicz <chris@...> wrote:
Seamus wrote:

>Hi,
>
>This is an introductory messsge to tell members of my interest.
>
>I am currently researching J R R Tolkien's service as a Signals Officer in the Great War. On completion of some weeks training at  the Northern Command  Signals School at Farnley Park in Yorkshire in April/May 1916, he had to take an exam. Included were practical signalling tasks using a variety of methods: heliograph, semaphore and telephony.

Doc 5104 in the archive is a bound copy of 'Notes on Field Telephony' from Farnley Park in 1917, so that may be helpful.

> I'd like to know on what telephone equipment would he have been trained?

Probably (this is an educated guess on my part), Telephone Sets C and D Marks I to III, possibly the early Fullerphone, and maybe the "Power Buzzer" (though that was probably withdrawn for security reasons by then). Switchboards would have been the early "pyramid" type and possibly the "buzzer switch unit 7+3" plus various types improvised in the field. It was all extremely primitive in WW1.

If he was based at a large headquarters he may have used larger (GPO type) switchboards.

> Would Wireless Telegraphy have been included at that stage of the war?

Probably only for specialist troops. WW1 was mostly static and communications was by line - in those days wireless was almost all between headquarters and mobile units (i.e. cavalry).

>What about Wireless Telephony?

Far too early for that!

Material in the archive:

Instructions in Army Telephony and Telephony

Doc 5055 Volume 1 - Instruments (1916)
Doc 5217 Volume 2 - Lines (1914)

The Signal Training "Part n" pamphlets, though published from 1917 - 1922 are basically what was used and refined during WW1. (I'm still missing Part III (Instruments) and Part V from this series.)

Not (yet) in the archive (mainly because they are a bugger to scan and clean) are the various 'pocket sized' Signal Training books. These are around 4.25 x 5.25 inches and 'dog eared' from repeated reading by the owners over the years. A lot of them also got damp and are falling to pieces. At some
point I'll have a go at scanning them:

Training Manual - Signalling. 1907 (Reprinted with amendments to 1st May 1911)
Training Manual - Signalling Part II 1914
Training Manual - Signalling. (Provisional) 1915
Signal Training Part 1 (1917)

I'm sure there are others squirrelled away somewhere.

Best Regards,
Chris. (G8KGS)
Junior Password Gnome





JohnWatkins WD5ENU
 

He did serve and was in the battle of the Somme where he was wounded.  He was sent back as a signals officer and spent more time in the trenches.  Was bit by a louse and spent quite a bit of the rest of the war in hospital.

John WD5ENU 

On Thu, Dec 5, 2019 at 12:34 John Watkins <jpwatkins9@...> wrote:
This is a very interesting topic, especially for those of us who have read his story’s.  I had understood that he did serve in the trenches, but will look that up.  

John WD5ENU 

On Thu, Dec 5, 2019 at 11:58 Chris_Suslowicz <chris@...> wrote:
Seamus wrote:

>Hi,
>
>This is an introductory messsge to tell members of my interest.
>
>I am currently researching J R R Tolkien's service as a Signals Officer in the Great War. On completion of some weeks training at  the Northern Command  Signals School at Farnley Park in Yorkshire in April/May 1916, he had to take an exam. Included were practical signalling tasks using a variety of methods: heliograph, semaphore and telephony.

Doc 5104 in the archive is a bound copy of 'Notes on Field Telephony' from Farnley Park in 1917, so that may be helpful.

> I'd like to know on what telephone equipment would he have been trained?

Probably (this is an educated guess on my part), Telephone Sets C and D Marks I to III, possibly the early Fullerphone, and maybe the "Power Buzzer" (though that was probably withdrawn for security reasons by then). Switchboards would have been the early "pyramid" type and possibly the "buzzer switch unit 7+3" plus various types improvised in the field. It was all extremely primitive in WW1.

If he was based at a large headquarters he may have used larger (GPO type) switchboards.

> Would Wireless Telegraphy have been included at that stage of the war?

Probably only for specialist troops. WW1 was mostly static and communications was by line - in those days wireless was almost all between headquarters and mobile units (i.e. cavalry).

>What about Wireless Telephony?

Far too early for that!

Material in the archive:

Instructions in Army Telephony and Telephony

Doc 5055 Volume 1 - Instruments (1916)
Doc 5217 Volume 2 - Lines (1914)

The Signal Training "Part n" pamphlets, though published from 1917 - 1922 are basically what was used and refined during WW1. (I'm still missing Part III (Instruments) and Part V from this series.)

Not (yet) in the archive (mainly because they are a bugger to scan and clean) are the various 'pocket sized' Signal Training books. These are around 4.25 x 5.25 inches and 'dog eared' from repeated reading by the owners over the years. A lot of them also got damp and are falling to pieces. At some
point I'll have a go at scanning them:

Training Manual - Signalling. 1907 (Reprinted with amendments to 1st May 1911)
Training Manual - Signalling Part II 1914
Training Manual - Signalling. (Provisional) 1915
Signal Training Part 1 (1917)

I'm sure there are others squirrelled away somewhere.

Best Regards,
Chris. (G8KGS)
Junior Password Gnome





JOHN TAYLOR
 

Hi Watch the movie Tolkien. Gives a good insight into the creation of Lord of the Rings 
Cheers John NZ


On 6/12/2019, at 7:43 AM, JohnWatkins WD5ENU <jpwatkins9@...> wrote:

He did serve and was in the battle of the Somme where he was wounded.  He was sent back as a signals officer and spent more time in the trenches.  Was bit by a louse and spent quite a bit of the rest of the war in hospital.

John WD5ENU 

On Thu, Dec 5, 2019 at 12:34 John Watkins <jpwatkins9@...> wrote:
This is a very interesting topic, especially for those of us who have read his story’s.  I had understood that he did serve in the trenches, but will look that up.  

John WD5ENU 

On Thu, Dec 5, 2019 at 11:58 Chris_Suslowicz <chris@...> wrote:
Seamus wrote:

>Hi,
>
>This is an introductory messsge to tell members of my interest.
>
>I am currently researching J R R Tolkien's service as a Signals Officer in the Great War. On completion of some weeks training at  the Northern Command  Signals School at Farnley Park in Yorkshire in April/May 1916, he had to take an exam. Included were practical signalling tasks using a variety of methods: heliograph, semaphore and telephony.

Doc 5104 in the archive is a bound copy of 'Notes on Field Telephony' from Farnley Park in 1917, so that may be helpful.

> I'd like to know on what telephone equipment would he have been trained?

Probably (this is an educated guess on my part), Telephone Sets C and D Marks I to III, possibly the early Fullerphone, and maybe the "Power Buzzer" (though that was probably withdrawn for security reasons by then). Switchboards would have been the early "pyramid" type and possibly the "buzzer switch unit 7+3" plus various types improvised in the field. It was all extremely primitive in WW1.

If he was based at a large headquarters he may have used larger (GPO type) switchboards.

> Would Wireless Telegraphy have been included at that stage of the war?

Probably only for specialist troops. WW1 was mostly static and communications was by line - in those days wireless was almost all between headquarters and mobile units (i.e. cavalry).

>What about Wireless Telephony?

Far too early for that!

Material in the archive:

Instructions in Army Telephony and Telephony

Doc 5055 Volume 1 - Instruments (1916)
Doc 5217 Volume 2 - Lines (1914)

The Signal Training "Part n" pamphlets, though published from 1917 - 1922 are basically what was used and refined during WW1. (I'm still missing Part III (Instruments) and Part V from this series.)

Not (yet) in the archive (mainly because they are a bugger to scan and clean) are the various 'pocket sized' Signal Training books. These are around 4.25 x 5.25 inches and 'dog eared' from repeated reading by the owners over the years. A lot of them also got damp and are falling to pieces. At some
point I'll have a go at scanning them:

Training Manual - Signalling. 1907 (Reprinted with amendments to 1st May 1911)
Training Manual - Signalling Part II 1914
Training Manual - Signalling. (Provisional) 1915
Signal Training Part 1 (1917)

I'm sure there are others squirrelled away somewhere.

Best Regards,
Chris. (G8KGS)
Junior Password Gnome





Clive Redfern
 

 
Hello SH-K
 
To add to the wealth of information you have already had.
 
Plow through the Morsum Magnificat achives -  I've seen them somewhere on line.
 
"Instruction in Army Telegraphy and Telephony" - extensively revised in 1914 - was the standard reference ... Issued by the "Command of the Army Council" and would have been the instructor manual.
In it there are no references to wireless telegraphy/telephony.
 
I don't know about the German land military, but certainly the Deutsche marine were in advance of the British in this respect.
 
Joseph Junker (Instrument engineer/chief petty officer) was well versed in techniques telegraphic and trained operators (almost 300 before the onset of hostilities) in their torpedo - (U boat) division - and had special recognition for his communications installations in the Dardanelles - probably significant to the British Gallipoli problems.
 
I have a Great War, trench pattern, combined key and sounder which I could image for you and send separately. 
I also have other equipment mentioned in 'the book' (bound, so doesn't take kindly to copying, but I'll do some relevant bits if you like ... and again send them directly to you).
 
I have my grandfather's WW1 diary (driver, Royal Engineers 1914 - 1919). No mention of Mr. Tolkien. It's a pity for you that he didn't keep one.
 
Clive F5VHS

Mini font size increased by moderator.
 
 

On Thursday, December 5, 2019, 05:26:51 PM GMT+1, seamushk@... <seamushk@...> wrote:
 
 
Hi,

This is an introductory messsge to tell members of my interest.

I am currently researching J R R Tolkien's service as a Signals Officer in the Great War. On completion of some weeks training at  the Northern Command  Signals School at Farnley Park in Yorkshire in April/May 1916, he had to take an exam. Included were practical signalling tasks using a variety of methods: heliograph, semaphore and telephony. I'd like to know on what telephone equipment would he have been trained? Would Wireless Telegraphy have been included at that stage of the war? What about Wireless Telephony?

Regards

SH-K.


Chris_Suslowicz
 

Clive (F5VHS) wrote:
Hello SH-K
 
To add to the wealth of information you have already had.
 
Plow through the Morsum Magnificat achives -  I've seen them somewhere on line.
 
"Instruction in Army Telegraphy and Telephony" - extensively revised in 1914 - was the standard reference ... Issued by the "Command of the Army Council" and would have been the instructor manual.
In it there are no references to wireless telegraphy/telephony.

(snip happens)
I have a Great War, trench pattern, combined key and sounder which I could image for you and send separately.
I also have other equipment mentioned in 'the book' (bound, so doesn't take kindly to copying, but I'll do some relevant bits if you like ... and again send them directly to you).

If you mean "Instruction in Army Telegraphy and Telephony", the archive has both editions of Volume 1 (Instruments) - 1908 and 1916, and Volume 2 (Lines) - 1909 and 1914. They're listed under British Army Signal Training Pamphlets at http://www.royalsignals.org.uk/signals.htm and downloadable in the usual way.

I have a lot of photocopied R.E. Signal Service pamphlets to process at some point, the problem is finding the time to do it - and the quality will not be great when they're done, but should be legible.

Chris. (G8KGS)
Junior Password Gnome


SH_K
 

Many many thanks to those who have so splendidly repiled to my message.

J R R Tolkien was initially officer trained in Bedford Barracks in 1915 after securing a 1st Class Hons Degree in English and Literature at Oxford. He was also an expert in Anglo-Saxon and other obscure languages, some of his own invention. He was posted to the 13th(Reserve) Battalion Lancashire Fusiiliers (LFs) on Cannock Chase for training as an Infantry Officer.. After a Signals Course at Farnley Park where, on test,  he could transmit Morse at 6 words per minute,  he joined the 11th (Service) Battatlion LFs in France in late June 1916. He was one of the Battalion's Signals Officers.He took part in the Battle of the Somme and other subsequent actions until Oct 1916 when he was invalided home with trench fever, brought on by lice. He was in and out of various hospitals and in April 1917 he joined the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion LFs in the Holderness Peninsula near Hull. He took an examination that would have led to an appointment as the Battalion Signals Officer but failed it. That puzzles me as he was a very clever chap and at that time was laying the foundation of his invented mythology The Silmarillion and writing other works.

 Holderness was commanded by the Humber Garrison and its posture was to combat persistent attacks by Zeppelins. I'm now trying to ascertain what wireless technology was avaiable in 1917 in England for this purpose. What was the exam content was likely to have been in Mid-1917?  The RNAS had seaplane fighters and land-based fighters on the coast. The RFC had 33 Sqn at Belverley Airfield. Armed trawlers and other warships could detect transmissions from the airships. Is it possible that a wireless net had been set up to alert and control defensive action? For some time the RFC had been using WT on the Western Front to transmit the location of enemy artillery batteries to our own artillery, air to ground only.  The Zeppelin's only operated at night so any fighters or observation aircraft that ran into trouble would have had to find one the 34 Night Landing Grounds that had been set up between the Tyne and the Humber. Would that not necessitate wireless comms for aircraft that carried an observer? Could the pilot of a single-seater operate a Morse key and also control the aircraft?

   Tolkien never went back to France and was discharged in late 1918. He did keep a diary but his work In Signals is not dealt with in detail.


Sean_Kelly <Captain.Kelly@...>
 

I also have other equipment mentioned in 'the book' (bound, so doesn't take kindly to copying, but I'll do some relevant bits if you like ... and again send them directly to you).

A lot of smart phones have cameras so good they are prefect for taking pictures of printed matter and you don't need to flatten the book to do it.

Sean

--
Sean Kelly,
USA


Sean_Kelly <Captain.Kelly@...>
 

Would that not necessitate wireless comms for aircraft that carried an observer? Could the pilot of a single-seater operate a Morse key and also control the aircraft? 


It depends. If the fighter/observer has an elevator trim control, the plane will stay at close to the same altitude hands-off most of the time. the rudder can be unattended while one uses the radio. the problem would likely come if the craft has it's fuel tanks in the wings and one has more than the other, causing a wing to dip and the piloto maintain a control inputo correct. I would think he could do this with his non-dominant hand.

Sean

--
Sean Kelly,
USA


Sean_Kelly <Captain.Kelly@...>
 

 
> Would Wireless Telegraphy have been included at that stage of the war?

Probably only for specialist troops. WW1 was mostly static and communications was by line - in those days wireless was almost all between headquarters and mobile units (i.e. cavalry).

>What about Wireless Telephony?

Far too early for that!
 
~~~~~
I've seen a manual with a US WWI Air-to-Ground liaison set using telephony. It was for artillery spotting and IIRC, RF out was 0.75 watts. But, I don't remember what manual it was.
 
the radio in this Wikipedia entry reminds me of it, and it adds that relatively few of these sets reached the war, the majority being sold as surplus to hams and becoming a favorite.
 
 
I just wanto mention to you guys thathe level of technical discussion here is amazing. I gethe impression you Brits can fix anything, turn a pig's ear into a silk purse, even.
 
Sean

--
Sean Kelly,
USA

Moderator's Note: Photo removed because they are not enabled as attachments/inserts on this group


Wedgwood
 



On 7 Dec 2019, at 00:19, Sean_Kelly <Captain.Kelly@...> wrote:

 
> Would Wireless Telegraphy have been included at that stage of the war?

Probably only for specialist troops. WW1 was mostly static and communications was by line - in those days wireless was almost all between headquarters and mobile units (i.e. cavalry).

>What about Wireless Telephony?

Far too early for that!
 
~~~~~
I've seen a manual with a US WWI Air-to-Ground liaison set using telephony. It was for artillery spotting and IIRC, RF out was 0.75 watts. But, I don't remember what manual it was.
 
the radio in this Wikipedia entry reminds me of it, and it adds that relatively few of these sets reached the war, the majority being sold as surplus to hams and becoming a favorite.
 
 
I just wanto mention to you guys thathe level of technical discussion here is amazing. I gethe impression you Brits can fix anything, turn a pig's ear into a silk purse, even.
 
Sean

--
Sean Kelly,
USA

There were experiments with aircraft telephony as early as the summer of 1915 (according to a paper by Major CE Prince, published in 1920). The original tests were with ‘soft valves’ that needed careful handling. There were also issues in devising an appropriate microphone - cockpits were very noisy, and the airflow added to the ‘noise’. But by the look of things, telephony was still rather experimental until just before the end of the war.

73

Antony G0TJD


Renaud (Ron) OLGIATI
 

On Sat, 7 Dec 2019 00:19:19 +0000
"Sean_Kelly" <Captain.Kelly@...> wrote:

WW1 was mostly static and communications was by line
Or by runners.

Cheers,

Ron.
--
The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds;
and the pessimist fears this is true.
-- James Branch Cabell

-- http://www.olgiati-in-paraguay.org --


MBoesch
 

As fas as I know (and I'm not an expert on WWI and communications), there has been wireless telegraphy, but not yet telephony. Because of too many wireless "trench stations" were transmittting and there were no selective receivers available, there are stories about too many interfering stations caused troubles near the frontline, so there must have been several stations, not only a few of some Army command.

What I have access to, is information about Switzerland (which was not involved in WWI, most of our deads were from the "Spanish Flue"):
In Switzerland, the armed forces started tests with wireless telegraphy in 1905 and the station was improved to use "Löschfunken" (spark-gap transmitter) in 1914, so this was available in WWI. (Switzerland used Telefunken equipmenmt imported from Germany).
see http://armyradio.wiki/doku.php?id=de:loeschfunken_-_schulstation_14
and https://www.hamfu.ch/de/geraete/geraet.php?id=230
the onyl existing one or two stations have survived and have been restored bei HamFU.
Reception was a problem, as Morse printers or headphones were used.

Then 1914/16 a more powerful station was introduced, also from Telefunken
http://armyradio.wiki/doku.php?id=de:fahrbare_funkenstation_14_16

In 1917 Valve transmitters were developed, they were introduced in Switzerland in 1918, but in Germany before
http://armyradio.wiki/doku.php?id=de:ts_18_1918
The regenerative receiver was a problem: because of the signals were to faint in the headphones with a lot of War noise around, and because of the selectivity was poor and the wideband transmissions of the gap / arc-gap transmitters were overlapping and causing interference, Switzerland replaced the receiver in 1922 by a more modern Telefunken set.

Telephony in Switzerland was not introduced before 1925, for the FL19 station with an improved transmitter,
http://armyradio.wiki/doku.php?id=de:fl25_1925
there was a separate modulator to modulate it from a microphone.

The informations about aircraft communications are even more rare:
In Switzerland they started in 1929 with this German Telefunken set
http://armyradio.wiki/doku.php?id=de:se-001
Before, there have been trials using spark gap transmitters onboard aircraft to transmit reconnaissance results to the ground, but the Aircraft was too unstable to use crystal detectors and too much much noise from the engine anyway. For signalling from ground to aircraft, in Switzerland "Fliegertücher" were used, different coloured cloth which was laid on the ground to indicate "get back to base", "explore to the north" and so on.

As Swiss Armed Forces mainly used German equipment until shortly before WWII (when Germany closed the borders for export), I cannot tell you something about what Tolkien was using, but give an impression what could have been used on the German side of the trenches.
Sorry, most of the texts are in german language, I' slowly translating my website to english and the HamFU which has excellent reports about the WWI period equipment is german language only.
Hope this helps, enjoy the weekend Martin


Chris_Suslowicz
 


Sean Kelly wrote:

~~~~~
I've seen a manual with a US WWI Air-to-Ground liaison set using telephony. It was for artillery spotting and IIRC, RF out was 0.75 watts. But, I don't remember what manual it was.
 
the radio in this Wikipedia entry reminds me of it, and it adds that relatively few of these sets reached the war, the majority being sold as surplus to hams and becoming a favorite.
 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCR-54

That's just a crystal set (though there was an add-on valve detector (SCR-55) made for it. Receive only. The early aircraft sets were spark gap transmitters, possibly with valve receivers, and were operated by the observer.

Looking through Louis Meulstee's magnificent "Wireless for the Warrior" series, in this case "Compendium 1 - Spark to Larkspur", there's mention of the "Stirling Aircraft Transmitter 30-watt Spark" and the "No.1 Aircraft Transmitter Spark" from 1914, each with 30-watt input. These were followed by the "Type 52" range. The Type 52A was used for long range artillery spotting and enemy submarine patrols. Testing for ground use led to it becoming the basis of the W/T Trench Set 50 Watt in 1915.

The "Signals between aeroplanes and artillery" card (Doc 5234) from October 1915 makes no mention of telephony - it's all morse code (wireless or lamp), Very's lights from the aircraft, and morse code or ground signalling strips.

The aircraft receiver "Tuner, Aircraft, Valve Mk.1" was introduced in 1916.

Telephone Wireless Aircraft Mk.II appeared in 1917, which allowed one-way speech from the transmitting aircraft to aircraft fitted with the receiver. (Transmitter weighed 45 lb, receiver 25.25 lb.)
Range 2 miles aircraft to aircraft, 15 miles aircraft to ground.

Best regards,
Chris. (G8KGS)
Junior Password Gnome.


Sean_Kelly <Captain.Kelly@...>
 

As Swiss Armed Forces mainly used German equipment until shortly before WWII (when Germany closed the borders for export), I cannot tell you something about what Tolkien was using, but give an impression what could have been used on the German side of the trenches.
Sorry, most of the texts are in german language, I' slowly translating my website to english and the HamFU which has excellent reports about the WWI period equipment is german language only.
Hope this helps, enjoy the weekend Martin



At least when I'm using Chrome, Google offers to translate the pages and does well enough that I can understand them. It's a handy feature.

Sean

--
Sean Kelly,
USA


AllanIsaacs
 

I have a few odds and ends of WW1 equipment but many copper and brass parts were scrapped by dealers over the years for metal content so complete equipments are scarce.

The spark transmitters could be (vaguely) tuned by adjusting taps on their flat spiral coil.

The 30 watt Mk1 HT unit for example had an adjustable buzzer for converting battery voltage to the AC needed for the HT transformer.

And being adjustable could be tuned to produce a different note. Because of the very wide bandwidth of transmissions, and the lack of precise tuning, the note of the transmission was often used to identify the sender.

 

Turning to voice comms. It was possible to use a pair of earth spikes some distance apart to pick up nearby landline speech and valve amplifiers were even used to enhance enemy signals to make them audible. The Imperial War Museum has a good display of these sort of things and the School of Signals Museum at Blandford has a nice display of WW1 stuff. A good place to visit after Bovington to see their 19 Sets mounted in tanks.

Allan G3PIY


Clive Redfern
 

Hi Sean,

I have an overhead camera arrangement, so no actual contact with the book.
Nevertheless, the act of flattening the book stresses the old and yellowed binding and the rather crisp old pages.
As I offered, if there's some specific entry that you need then I'll copy it.

I'll dig out the old British keys that I have (illustrated in the book) and image them together with other parts of the station equipment - receiving galvanometer, relays, etcetera. I have a complete station circuit except for batteries.

I also have a couple of Deutsch pieces from the WW1 and a US Navy spark key of that period too..

Joseph Junker didn't develop/patent his key until circa 1926 - later developed into the Deutsche-marine WW2 standard. 

Clive
Bretagne


Chris_Suslowicz
 

Clive, which book do you have? (If it's Instruction in Army Telegraphy and Telephony, then it's in the archive and there's no need to risk scanning your copy.)

Best regards,
Chris. (G8KGS)

Hi Sean,

I have an overhead camera arrangement, so no actual contact with the book.
Nevertheless, the act of flattening the book stresses the old and yellowed binding and the rather crisp old pages.
As I offered, if there's some specific entry that you need then I'll copy it.

I'll dig out the old British keys that I have (illustrated in the book) and image them together with other parts of the station equipment - receiving galvanometer, relays, etcetera. I have a complete station circuit except for batteries.

I also have a couple of Deutsch pieces from the WW1 and a US Navy spark key of that period too..

Joseph Junker didn't develop/patent his key until circa 1926 - later developed into the Deutsche-marine WW2 standard. 

Clive
Bretagne