Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Biggest Aspidistra In The World

Gracie Fields The Biggest Aspidistra In The World 1938

Marcel got me started with this quote from Fake News by Richard Fernandez on PJ Media:
The reason why Allied deception operations were so effective against Hitler was because Goebbels had reduced German reporting to a lie machine, thereby destroying its credibility. Allied news, even Allied deception was more believable by comparison.
Cool, we're talking about veracity here, always an interesting topic. I want to read more. Starting from the top, Richard talks about the transmitter the Brits were using to pump propaganda across the channel:
It was not long before the British were running their own fake news operation against Nazi Germany under the 20 Committee. In this they were materially aided by the power of American technology. Rowen notes "If you ever listen to radio these days, you’ve probably heard “50,000 watts clear channel”. Today, as in the 1940s, it is still the maximum power allowed a US radio station. But in 1941, the RCA Corporation in New Jersey built for WJZ a transmitter 10 times more powerful. When the Federal Communication Commission refused to lift its ceiling of 50,000 watts, the WJZ 500,000 watt transmitter was briefly orphaned. Until the British heard about it. The transmitter was crated up, shipped to the UK and installed in bombproof headquarters in Sussex. They named it after a song sung by the English music hall entertainer, Gracie Fields: The Biggest Aspidistra in the World!"
That's how we got the video at the top. Gracie was a big deal back in the 1930s.

Now I go looking for information about the transmitter, and I'm not really finding much.

Water Cooled Vacuum Tubes for the Aspidistra transmitter
But then I stumble over the Alexanderson alternator: 50 tons of steampunk radio transmitter. This might be what prompted Gracie to sing her song.

Alexnderson Alternator
 An Alexanderson alternator is a rotating machine invented by Ernst Alexanderson in 1904 for the generation of high-frequency alternating current for use as a radio transmitter. It was one of the first devices capable of generating the continuous radio waves needed for transmission of amplitude modulation (sound) by radio. It was used from about 1910 in a few "superpower" longwave radiotelegraphy stations to transmit transoceanic message traffic by Morse code to similar stations all over the world. Although obsolete by the early 1920s due to the development of vacuum-tube transmitters, the Alexanderson alternator continued to be used until World War 2. It is on the list of IEEE Milestones as a key achievement in electrical engineering. - Wikipedia
Alexanderson Alternator Rotor
The rotor is five feet in diameter and turns at 2100 RPM.

Alexanderson Alternator Rotor
There is still one machine is Sweden. They fire it up a couple of times a year just so they can prove that it still works.

Merry Christmas in Morse Code
You can see the code just above the letters.

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