Hurdy-Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio in Howth

Hurdy-Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio is located in Howth (county of Dublin )

Address: Martello Tower, Howth

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Phone: 086 8154189

The Hurdy Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio is situated in Martello Tower Dublin North No. 2 in Howth. The Martello Tower itself has a long connection with the history of communication in Ireland, as it is the site where the first telegraph cable came ashore from Holyhead in 1852. The Martello Tower which now houses the Museum, was the site of the first successful ‘wireless’ transmissions between Howth and Holyhead – which took place on the 23rd November 1903 and was conducted by Lee de Forest. His demonstrations were observed by the British Post Office. The radio operator at Howth was Harry Mac Horton who sent Morse signals to another station at South Stack Lighthouse, Wales. This is situated sixty miles across the Irish Sea and this test was to illustrate the De Forest System to the General Post Office on this occasion the test was observed by Henry Pomeroy at that time the G.P.O’s senior telegraph engineer. In 1905, a Marconi station was installed at the Martello Tower in Howth and a series of signal tests were carried out between the station and the H. M. telegraph ship Monarch as it traveled between Howth and Holyhead. The importance of these trials was there was at last available an accurate instrument (the thermogalvanometer – designed by W. Duddell) that was sensitive enough to measure the small currents in the receiving antenna. From 2003, Pat Herbert and his collection of radios, gramophones and all other manner of communication have been installed at the Martello Tower in Howth. The Tower and this unique collection, lovingly collected over a lifetime, is open to the public and tours are provided by the small team of volunteers who assist Pat at the museum.


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