• Spring-time view of the seashore, with shorebirds returning to the surf.

    Cape Hatteras

    National Seashore North Carolina

Know Your Park: Radio Scientist John S. Belrose to Speak on Reginald Fessenden’s Contributions to Voice Radio

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: November 27, 2006
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111

Presentations to be held on Roanoke and Hatteras Islands

"By his genius, distant lands converse and men sail unafraid upon the deep." – spoken of Reginald Fessenden.

In commemoration of the centennial of Fessenden’s achievement, and as part of the Know Your Park presentation series, the National Park Service is hosting two evening sessions featuring radio scientist John S. Belrose, a recognized expert on the contributions of Reginald Fessenden. Presentations will be held on Wed., Dec. 6 at 7:00 PM at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site Visitor Center, located on Roanoke Island, north of Manteo; and Thurs., Dec. 7 at 7:00 PM at The Fessenden Center in Buxton, located on NC Highway 12. The presentations are free and open to the public.

Roanoke and Hatteras Islands are well known for their history – lighthouses, the first English settlement, shipwrecks, the Freedman’s Colony. Few, however, associate these barrier islands with the coming of age of broadcast radio. One hundred years ago this December, from Brant Rock, Massachusetts, Professor Reginald Fessenden harnessed the air and publicly transmitted voice and music for the first time in history. Much of Fessenden’s pioneering research occurred between Hatteras and Roanoke Islands across the open waters of the sounds of North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Fessenden’s research led to numerous wireless inventions, including; the radio pager, sonar, the gyrocompass, loop antenna, radio direction finding, the television receiver, tracer bullets, the pheroscope, turbo-electric drive to power ships, ultrasonic methods for cleaning, electrical conduit, and the fathometer to measure the depth of water beneath the keel of a ship.

"We are honored to have an expert like Dr. Belrose as our second speaker for the Know Your Park presentation series" stated Outer Banks Group Superintendent Mike Murray. Know Your Park is a new program designed to further connect the Outer Banks communities and residents with the rich natural world and cultural heritage of their neighboring National Park sites; Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Wright Brothers National Memorial and Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. The National Park Service will be offering several Know Your Park programs through next April. "These presentations offer local residents an opportunity to both learn more and better enjoy their National Parks" stated Murray.

John Belrose received his bachelors and masters degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. and received his PhD degree from the University of Cambridge in Radio Physics in 1958. His career spans over 50 years of radioscience research including the Communications Research Centre Canada and as recent Director of the Radio Sciences Branch. He is the author or co-author of over 150 papers, articles, and technical correspondence letters relevant to the fields of radio communications, radio science, antennas and propagation.

Belrose later redirected his wireless research studies upon learning of Professor Reginald Fessenden, since Fessenden was a radio engineer and scientist born in Canada, working in the United States. Dr. Belrose is now an acknowledged authority among colleagues regarding Reginald Fessenden and his research. In recent years, Dr. Belrose has presented a number of lectures and published articles on Fessenden.

Did You Know?

The Principal Lightkeeper's Quarters and the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse move toward their new homes, a safer distance from the ocean.

The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest brick structure ever moved. When it was built in 1870, it stood 1,500 feet from the shore. By 1999, the lighthouse was within 100 feet of the ocean. To protect it from the encroaching sea, it was moved inland a total of 2,900 feet over a 23-day period.