SPEAKER SERIES

"What Marconi Did Next... and Beyond"

Thursday - November 4, 7PM - via ZOOM

Chatham Marconi welcomes author Paul Hawkins, joining its virtual Speaker Series from the UK.

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Paul M. Hawkins

After selling his American radio station assets to RCA following World War I, Guglielmo Marconi went on to expand his company's global operations.  Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company (UK) was joined by RCA and other competitors, and for a substantial part of the 20th century global telephone and telegraph services were carried through the medium of long wave and short wave radio. This talk tells the story about the development of international telecommunications via radio.

The technology involved minimal automation and a high degree of human intervention to manage the limitations of long distance radio. The relative efficiency of point to point radio and the cost of replacement satellite installations resulted in radio playing a part in international telecommunications up to the 1980’s, giving the author direct experience of this fascinating medium.

About Our Speaker:    Paul M. Hawkins has enjoyed a 40 year career working in radio communications. He joined the British Post Office International Telecommunication service in 1967 working at Dorchester HF Transmitting Station, followed by Goonhilly Satellite Station in 1972 and finally Bearley HF Receiving Station in 1975. From 1980-83 he worked as an RF design engineer for a defense company in Massachusetts, USA. Between 1983 and 2013 Paul worked for the Thales Company in England, where as a Technical Specialist, he led the design of antennas and communication systems for Submarines, Ships and Land Mobile Vehicles. Paul retired from full time employment in 2014.

Radio and its history are a personal interest of Paul and he has published a number of articles in the vintage wireless press, a booklet and two conference papers for the IEE. His book “Point to Point – A History of International Radio Telecommunications” was first published in December 2017.


Paul has given lectures to various groups about radio telecommunications history, the most notable of these being at the IEE "100 Years of Wireless" conference in London, in 1995. In 2015 he gave a lecture on the subject of “Marconi Beam Wireless Stations” at a conference in Bologna Italy, where he met Princess Elettra Marconi, the daughter of Guglielmo Marconi.  Paul is also a licensed Amateur Radio Operator, call sign G4KHU.

General Admission is $10, which permits one linked computer to access the Zoom webinar.    This  Chatham Marconi  Speaker Series is free to Members; donations are appreciated.   Why not join now to enjoy this and future programs at reduced rates, or even for free?!

"The War Offshore - Merchant Ships           and the Men Who Sailed Them"

Thursday - December 2, 7PM - via ZOOM

Chatham Marconi welcomes author William Geroux to its virtual Speaker Series

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William Geroux

From the late 1930s to 1945, virtually all the fuel, food and munitions that sustained the Allies in Europe traveled not via the Navy but in merchant ships. After Pearl Harbor, those unprotected ships instantly became the U-boats’ prime targets. And they were easy targets—the Navy lacked the inclination or resources to defend them until the beginning of 1943. Hitler was determined that his U-boats should sink every American ship they could find, sometimes within sight of tourist beaches, and to kill as many mariners as possible, in order to frighten their shipmates into staying ashore.

When America entered World War II, we were unprepared for the attack by German U-boats on vital shipping along our East Coast and Gulf Coast. The nation managed to find its footing only after a slaughter of near-defenseless merchant ships and the men who sailed them. Bill Geroux will discuss the vital and heroic role played by the U.S. Merchant Marines during WWII. These civilian sailors delivered hundreds of millions of tons of cargo across the globe during the war, on vulnerable, often unescorted ships, and their actions are largely overlooked in histories of the war.

About Our Speaker: William Geroux wrote for the Richmond Times-Dispatch for twenty-five years. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Associated Press, and various regional magazines. His previous book is The Mathews Men. A native of Washington, DC, and a graduate of the College of William and Mary, he lives in Virginia Beach, VA. He has written two books about the World War II convoys and the merchant marines who sailed in them: “The Mathews Men” and “The Ghost Ships of Archangel”. “The Mathews Men” was chosen by Amazon.com as one of the Best Books of 2016, making the overall top 100 list as well as the top 20 list in the Biography and Memoir category.

General Admission is $10, which permits one linked computer to access the Zoom webinar. This Chatham Marconi Speaker Series is free to Members; donations are appreciated. Why not join now to enjoy this and future programs at reduced rates, or even for free?!