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Exciting New Book
A Radiophone in Every Home - William Stephenson and the General Radio Company Limited, 1922-1928
by Ian L. Sanders and Lorne Clark with foreword by Jonathan Hill.
During the life of the British Broadcasting Company, 1922-1927, literally hundreds of wireless manufacturing firms sprang up to take advantage of the new craze for ‘listening-in’. In the fiercely competitive market of those pioneering days, many of these businesses were to survive just a few years at most. While much has been written on the history of the larger companies that survived during this period of attrition – names such as Marconi, Burndept and General Electric – very little has been published about the smaller enterprises.
In their fascinating new book, Ian Sanders and Lorne Clark open a window on the history of the General Radio Company Ltd. which, although one of the smaller companies, had huge ambition, drive and creativity imparted largely by its enigmatic founder William Samuel Stephenson, later Sir William Stephenson.
Stephenson, a Canadian by birth and a WWI air-ace, returned to the UK after the Great War and rapidly made a considerable fortune with his ‘pictures-by-wireless’ system which was adopted by most of the world’s major newspapers. In 1922 Stephenson took over the General Radio Company and from the very start showed himself to be a skilled and canny innovator with a flair for innovative marketing. The company manufactured radios, amplifiers, headphones, and loudspeakers together with a wide range of wireless accessories. For a while they even worked on the development of a system of mechanical television and held a key patent concerning transmitter-receiver synchronisation.
William Stephenson went on to achieve notoriety as Churchill’s Second World War intelligence chief, Intrepid and has often been referred to as the model for Ian Fleming’s fictional super-spy, James Bond. Numerous books have been published about Stephenson's life but, until now, little has been written about his involvement with wireless at the dawn of British broadcasting. A Radiophone in Every Home is the chronicle of a company that, although long gone, still has an intriguing story to tell. With some 140 pages and 200 illustrations, this full-colour hardback volume is at once a compelling and rewarding read and a solid reference work. Included are a number of useful appendices and a comprehensive index.
Available now for immediate delivery.
Published in the UK by Loddon Valley Press, price: £19.95 + P&P*. To order your copy please contact Loddon Valley Press. Our details are given below.
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