Tech After Tragedy
How Titanic changed the radio industry
Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago has a large exhibition of Radio history lately, A Century of Radio. Quite a fit to the nearly Radio City restaurant. To be honest it’s all information boards with few artifacts. The whole thing could have been a nice website. However, would you read through that many text if you are just in front of a screen? I did get to learn a bit about the past of technology advancement. Before we talk about the radio stuff, this museum does have some old local TV children program exhibition. They do try covering both the wider industry in the US and their local memory, but yes, mostly old stuffs.
It’s hard to correlate events that actually happened around the same time of the history. When the Titanic tragedy happened, the SOS signal went out, amateur radio operators were trying to help, but as radio frequencies are limited, people overlap with each other, ending up impeded the rescue effort. This prompted US Congress to create regulations, the Radio Act of 1912.
I was a bit impressed by this narrative, quoted:
Officials know government regulations are not keeping up with technological development. Without guidelines, the resources technology brings can be misused or seriously compromised.
Would the community step up to arrange some emergency frequency standards? Maybe. Would community standard actually work if there is no powerful authority? Maybe not. This seems to be hints of how things might go with the recent advancement.