The Welsh radio museum
The Gwefr Heb Wifrau - Wireless in Wales, a charitable trust, is a small radio museum with a difference. With its emphasis on the history of Broadcasting in Wales, the influence of broadcasting on our national identity and the contribution of the Welsh to the development of wireless technology it is unique. We have an interesting collection of old radio equipment and books as well as educational and informative displays. The Museum is based around the collection of the late David Evan Jones and was opened just a few weeks after his death in 2008. In 2013 we were officially Accredited by CyMAL a Welsh Government Agency.
The museum is open on most Mondays, 11.00 - 15.00 and closed on bank holidays. Group and private visits at any other time by appointment are welcome throughout the year.
Museum Monthly Update - July 2016
We hold the David Edward Hughes Memorial Lecture in the Museum annually, but who was this man?
David Edward Hughes was a Professor of Music, an experimenter and an inventor. His family originally came from the Bala/ Corwen area, but they moved to London in 1831, around the time of his birth. In 1837 the family emigrated to the United States of America, and he was brought up in that country. He became Professor of Music in St. Joseph’s College in Bardstown, Kentucky, but he was also occupied in inventing electrical apparatus. In 1857 he decided to return to London to concentrate on his experimental work.
In 1879, he was working on a Bell telephone when he noticed that a poor connection on his apparatus was sparking, and these sparks were coinciding withwork he was carrying out on nearby equipment. With more experimentation with receivers, he found he could send these “Aerial Waves” a distance of 500 yards. He had discovered, quite by chance, the practical existence of radio waves which had been predicted by James Clerk Maxwell in 1865.
David Edward Hughes gave a demonstration to members of the Royal Society, who convinced him that his findings were due to a phenomenon which had already been discovered. In 1887, German scientist Heinrich Hertz made similar experiments, and he claimed to be the inventor of radio transmission.
David Edward Hughes received a number of awards for his inventions during his lifetime, from overseas establishments mainly. In 1880, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society, and he was awarded their Royal Medal in 1885.
He passed away in 1900. His lengthy obituary in the “Electrician” stated,
“We mourn his loss not only as a well-esteemed personal friend, but also as a compatriot to whose versatility and genius his native country has been astoundingly blind, while all the countries of the civilised world have showered honours upon his head.”
After his death, the Royal Society created the ‘Hughes Medal’ to be awarded to future scientists, in his honour.
You can read more about him in the book, “Before We Went Wireless”, which is available in the Museum.
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