Malin Head

Marconi Wireless Radio Station at Malin Head 1902

What’s in the picture?

 

The famous picture below has many things that are in it that can be very easy missed so I have isolated and cut out the bits that I have found.

 

This image is reproduced courtesy of the National Library of Ireland L_ROY_09715

 

This photo was taken in January 1902, probably by Robert French, chief photographer of William Lawrence photograph Studios of Dublin.

 

It’s interesting to note when we looked closely by zooming into the photograph that it seemed to be a cloudy day but there is evidence that there is a shadow caused by the sun on parts of the tower. The wall in front of the horse is running East to West. As a guess with the angle of the shadow and the time of the year (January) it would have been about 10 O Clock .This can be seen at the top of the tower on the protruding water outlets.

 

The flags, everything looks brand spanking new, and some of the men on the roof have tools as you will see in one of the photos below. The 8 sided (octagon) building was situated behind the semaphore building and was believed to be in the process of construction by the workmen and was out of shot in the above photo.

 

The flags are not flying from the radio mast, but from a separate navy type rigging the sort that you would find on a boat. This type of rigging can be found a most of the navy buildings around the UK.

 

See if you can find the sections below on the main picture above.

 

 

Description: C:\Users\EI4JR\Desktop\Malin Head Picture Brakedown\Men.jpg

 

On the roof of the semaphore building you can see 8 workmen who posed for the photograph.

 

Working from left to right

1.      Carpenter has a block plain in his right hand. Typical carpenter apron Pockets in apron.

2.      Builder has a trowel in his left hand

3.      Workman has a large wrench in his hands

4.      Carpenter has a saw in his right hand. His left hand has some wood in it and same type apron as the other carpenter.

5.      Got to be the man in charge as he has his hands in his pockets. Well dressed with suit, shirt and tie

6.      Man in a what looks like a sailor uniform possible a semaphore operator.

7.      Man with a hat on and long boots. Possibility he was the horse and cart driver

8.      Navel man with telescope in his hands. Possible radio operator

 

 

 

Description: C:\Users\EI4JR\Desktop\Malin Head Picture Brakedown\Salor.jpg

 

Lloyds Semaphore Telescope and waiting navy sailor reader. I wonder did he have to move from his normal spot to accommodate the new building or photograph that was being taken.  Normally the reader would have been close to the semaphore tower as to signal passing ships for messages and to the keeper on Inishtrahull

Description: C:\Users\EI4JR\Desktop\Malin Head Picture Brakedown\Turf.jpg

 

Sods of turf for the fires with a tarpaulin over it to keep it dry and a bucket to carry a small amount of the turf is turned upside down to stop the rain filling it.

 

Description: C:\Users\EI4JR\Desktop\Malin Head Picture Brakedown\Barrow.jpg

 

Turf Barrow. A barrow load is anything from ten to twenty peats depending on the terrain and the strength of the man pushing it. Apparently crude and artless, the turf barrow is well designed for its purpose. The wheel looks a little bent.

 

Description: C:\Users\EI4JR\Desktop\Malin Head Picture Brakedown\Washing.jpg

 

Washing on a make shift line that has been connected between the guy ropes that are holding the semaphore tower up.

 

Description: C:\Users\EI4JR\Desktop\Malin Head Picture Brakedown\Horse.jpg

 

Horse and cart that was used to deliver from Malin Town a few miles down the road. It is possible this is how the photographer got to Malin Head. The driver is possibly on the roof with the other work men getting in on the photograph.

Description: C:\Users\EI4JR\Desktop\Malin Head Picture Brakedown\Furneture.jpg

 

In front of the horse it looks like some kind of furniture that has been lifted off the cart and left in the road  ready to be brought into one of the buildings or the carrying case for the photographer’s camera equipment

 

 

Description: C:\Users\EI4JR\Desktop\Malin Head Picture Brakedown\Shed.jpg

 

Attached to the tower is a small shed and possible toilet behind the left door. This is on the south side if the tower. We can see in the door on the right that is open evidence of sacks that are full and have been stored here.

 

 

Description: C:\Users\EI4JR\Desktop\Malin Head Picture Brakedown\Horse_2.jpg

 

In the distance is an animal. Its difficult to say what it is. By its size it could be a horse, cow or sheep

 

Description: C:\Users\EI4JR\Desktop\Malin Head Picture Brakedown\Window.jpg

 

Evidence of a new window that has been recently been put in as the cement round the window suggests this.

 

 

Description: C:\Users\EI4JR\Desktop\Malin Head Picture Brakedown\Phone_Wire.jpg

 

On the corner of the tower is the telephone bracket and insulator for the telephone wire. A telegraph line, operated by Lloyds, was connected by day to the nearest Post Office at Ballygorman about three miles away.

 

 

Description: C:\Users\EI4JR\Desktop\Malin Head Picture Brakedown\Chimly.jpg

 

Chimney pot on the tower with an anti-blow back pot on the top. This was need here because of the strong winds

 

Description: C:\Users\EI4JR\Desktop\Malin Head Picture Brakedown\Road.jpg

 

Below the animal on the hill is evidence of the road that leads to the tower and masts

Description: C:\Users\EI4JR\Desktop\Malin Head Picture Brakedown\Semaphore.jpg

 

Lloyds Semaphore arms at the top of the signaling tower. There are 2 arms that were used to make up the letters that were sent.

 

 

  Description: C:\Users\EI4JR\Desktop\Malin Head Picture Brakedown\Mast_Join_Bottom.jpg      Description: C:\Users\EI4JR\Desktop\Malin Head Picture Brakedown\Mast_Join.jpg

                               Bottom mast joint                                                              Top Mast joint

 

The Telegraph Wireless Radio mast is round and in 3 sections . You can see in the above pictures where the masts are joined together to give its full height of 120 foot.

 

 

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Insulators on some of the guy ropes on the mast. There is a possibility they are part of another antenna

 

Description: C:\Users\EI4JR\Desktop\Malin Head Picture Brakedown\Mast_Top.jpg

 

The triangle shape bottom section is an insulator possibly made of bamboo which is used to support the main antenna at the top. The bottom section of the triangle is 6 foot wide. There would have been 2 insulators within the triangle top to insulate the antenna from the mast.

 

        

Description: C:\Users\EI4JR\Desktop\Malin Head Picture Brakedown\Antenna_Ends.jpg

 

The thin lines that you can see coming down from the top of the picture are from the top of the mast to the insulated ends of the antenna that have been connected to the ground this side of the horse. This is a strange way to do the antenna but it is possible that the antenna was not finished before the photo was taken. This type of antenna would have been in a vertical orientation when finished and in operation. The left wire has 3 large rocks holding it in place again indicating that it was a temporary fix for when the photograph was being taken or while running tests.

 

 

Description: C:\Users\EI4JR\Desktop\Malin Head Picture Brakedown\Antenna_Entry.jpg

 

The middle of the tower is a newly fitted window shown above (Old Entrance Door) and has a bracket at the top middle of the window where the antennas wire connects to. The antenna comes down from the mast into the room where the Marconi Wireless Telegraphy set was located.

 

 

Researcher Peter Homer EI4JR © 2014

 

 

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