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KPH Maritime Radio: The Heartbeat of the Pacific Basin

Point Reyes Field Institute

Saturday, August 16, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM (PDT)

KPH Maritime Radio: The Heartbeat of the Pacific Basin

Registration Information

Registration Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Member Ended $5.00 $1.09
Non-Member Ended $10.00 $1.19

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Event Details

Until Marconi's invention of wireless radio transmission in the late 1890s/early 1900s, ships sailed from port and disappeared until they arrived at their destination. In 1905, maritime radio station KPH began transmitting from the top of the San Francisco's Palace Hotel (hence the call letters), and was one of the first marine radio stations on the West coast. Marine radio, using Morse code, made commercial shipping safer and more efficient, and KPH maritime radio was the voice of the Pacific mercantile trade for most of the years from 1905 to 1999.

KPH was burned out of the Palace in the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, and rebuilt itself twice before moving to Marin County in 1920. By 1930, KPH had a transmitting station in Bolinas and receiving stations in Marshall and Point Reyes. The history of KPH parallels the history of merchant and commercial shipping in San Francisco and the Pacific Rim. KPH transmitted the news about the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 and transmitted the last-ever commercial Morse radio message before the industry died July 12, 1999, a victim of satellite communications.


Come to this presentation and learn about the amazing history that KPH has played since the invention of radio transmission. Bill, will provide an engaging presentation along with a tour of the RCA building and of the still working radio room. 

Have questions about KPH Maritime Radio: The Heartbeat of the Pacific Basin? Contact Point Reyes Field Institute

When & Where

Point Reyes National Seashore

Point Reyes Station, CA 94956

Saturday, August 16, 2014 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM (PDT)

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Point Reyes Field Institute

We are the primary nonprofit park partner of the National Park Service at Point Reyes. With community support we are helping to fund and implement resource preservation projects within the park, while also providing people a way to explore, discover and connect with the natural world through our environmental education programs. 

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