U.S. Navy Radio Room Photograph 1920's
|This photograph shows the radio room of a U.S.
Navy ship sometime in the early 1920's. Unfortunately, the Captain
is standing in front of the wall calendar and is obscuring the last digit
of the year, but 192_ is clearly visible. I am guessing that the
missing digit is a 2. If so, the picture was taken in August, and
the open porthole and running wall fan are appropriate for a summer
Unfortunately, the resolution of the photograph is insufficient to fully read whatever markings are visible, but the quenched-gap spark transmitter in the rear is marked as having been made by the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. of America. The model number, however, is not readable. It is similar in some ways to the spark transmitter on the S.S. Marsodak.
The receiver on the table is a model SE-1220 (a long-wave version of the SE-143). Atop the receiver is a model SE-1387 RF Driver (a single tube RF amplifier used to improve the receiver's sensitivity).
To the right of this unit is a group of honeycomb coils, probably of DeForest manufacture. At the far right is what is most likely a vacuum tube detector unit.
Equipment bearing the "SE" designation were built by or for the U.S. Navy's Bureau of Steam Engineering. This organization was assigned the responsibility for developing radio equipment for the fleet, and was later to become the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL).
Just visible to the left of the receiver is a shelf on which there would appear to be another transmitter (based on the heavy copper tubing conductors leading up to the antenna switch on the ceiling). Below the shelf are at least three transmitting keys, though it is impossible to identify them. The operator is using a model CW-934 headset made by Western Electric. On the wall above the receiver is an intercom unit, with a handset hanging from a hook.
Click here (or on the picture) for a much larger version of this photograph.
If anyone has any additional information on the equipment in the photograph, I would welcome an email.