Until Marconi's invention of wireless radio transmission in the late 1890s/early 1900s, ships sailed from port and disappeared until they arrived at their destination. In 1905, maritime radio station KPH began transmitting from the top of the San Francisco's Palace Hotel (hence the call letters), and was one of the first marine radio stations on the West coast. Marine radio, using Morse code, made commercial shipping safer and more efficient, and KPH maritime radio was the voice of the Pacific mercantile trade for most of the years from 1905 to 1999.
KPH was burned out of the Palace in the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, and rebuilt itself twice before moving to Marin County in 1920. By 1930, KPH had a transmitting station in Bolinas and receiving stations in Marshall and Point Reyes. The history of KPH parallels the history of merchant and commercial shipping in San Francisco and the Pacific Rim. KPH transmitted the news about the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 and transmitted the last-ever commercial Morse radio message before the industry died July 12, 1999, a victim of satellite communications.
Come to this presentation and learn about the amazing history that KPH has played since the invention of radio transmission. Bill, will provide an engaging presentation along with a tour of the RCA building and of the still working radio room.