Fonds MS-4-141 - Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, Camperdown Station fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, Camperdown Station fonds

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  • Textual record

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1905-1912 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

16 cm of textual records

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(1899 -)

Administrative history

In 1903 Marconi founded Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company of Canada, which was renamed in 1925 as the Canadian Marconi Company. Camperdown was one of several coastal stations constructed by the company to provide radio communications with ships. Located at the entrance to the Halifax Harbour, from 1905-1926 it served primarily to forward messages collected from ships by stations at Sable Island and Cape Sable, Nova Scotia, as well as those directly from ships within wireless range of the station itself. These messages were transmitted by landline telegraph circuit to the Halifax Telegraph Office for local delivery or retransmission to subsequent destinations.

The station's first wireless ship-to-shore test was made on 19 June 1905, between the cableship MacKay-Bennett and Camperdown. From May 1907 a daily automated time signal was sent from the St. John Observatory to Camperdown, whereby it was relayed instantaneously to all ships within radio distance, the first such service in the world. While this relationship remained operational until 1949, by the early 1930s the Meteorological Service was no longer responsibility for disseminating the correct time, and the task was assumed by the Dominion Observatory in Ottawa.

Camperdown Station is also believed to be the recipient of the first radio broadcast of music heard in Nova Scotia. When the luxury steamer Hirondelle passed through Halifax, her owner, the Prince of Monaco, had a piano hooked up to a wireless transmitter and treated operators at Camperdown to four musical selections, including the Merry Widow Waltz, later signalling to enquire about the success of the experiment.

Custodial history

Records were taken from Camperdown Station by Alfred Lawton to St Catherine, ON. They were obtained by the donor, Spud Roscoe, from Cyril R. Spracklin of Dartmouth, NS, who may have obtained them from Ray Bridge of Ketch Harbour, NS.

Scope and content

Fonds contains four logbooks from Camperdown Station spanning the years 1905-1908; one letter book, containing carbon copies of letter transcriptions; and several telegram carbon copies.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Spud (Spurgeon) Roscoe.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions on these materials. All materials are open for research.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Materials do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room. Materials may be under copyright. Contact departmental staff for guidance on reproduction.

Finding aids

Associated materials

National Archives of Canada, Canadian Marconi Company. 1902-1976. Fonds. MG28-III72, R3070-0-8-E.

Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Marconi.

Related materials


No further accruals anticipated. At time of processing, two logbooks listed in accession (1 Oct 1909-7 March 1910; 8 March 1910-22 June 1910) were missing.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

November, 2013

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