United Fruit Company, American Marconi Company, United States discussed on TechStuff



Marconi radio transmission station for three months until the company agreed to follow regulations in January nineteen fifteen eventually. Even this was thought to be too risky and the United States government, effectively took over the American Marconi company. And the American Marconi company was technically it was a subsidiary. It was a subsidiary of a company that had its headquarters in England. So the US government says we want to maintain Neutra neutrality. We cannot have stations that are located in the United States, sending messages on behalf of one or another of the parties that are at war in Europe because that would seem to suggest that we are on a particular side, and we want to stay out of this. So the US says in order to do this. We're going to take over your assets. They're not yours anymore. They're ours. Boo. Now at the end of the war, the United States still had those assets of the American Marconi company and the government needed a way to offload them. They didn't want to keep them. They also wanted to ensure. That those assets would remain under American control. They didn't want foreign nations to have access to critical communications technologies with on you know, on US soil. So the government approached a group of companies that included General Electric, which would become the dominant partner in this group, Westinghouse AT and T western electric and United fruit company. And if you're like me, your reaction to that last partner was probably hang on. Did he say United fruit company, and indeed Idid that company has a complex and controversial history? It was involved in various levels of government in many regions across the world, particularly in central and South America, and the Caribbean, and it was operating as an effective monopoly in a lot of places has a lot of a lot of time. With colonization. So there are a lot of negative things that kind of tie into this company's history. But in nineteen thirteen the United fruit company had established the tropical radio and telegraph company, which is kind of what brought it up as a potential partner for this enterprise. So anyway, these partners all got together, and they formed the Radio Corporation of America or see a in nineteen nineteen. It was essentially a government sanctioned monopoly in the radio industry in the United States. The companies all pooled their patents together in a series of cross licensing agreements to avoid any conflicts of having one company attempt to leverage its essential patents over the other partners in the operation of our c- as business, so essentially they were all saying here are all the patented technologies that we have at our disposal that relate to radio transmission technologies. We wanna make sure that we're not creating impediments for our. See a to do business to head up this company the partners chose a guy named David Sarnoff Sarnoff himself had a really interesting history. He was born in Russia in eighteen ninety one. But his family immigrated to America in nineteen hundred he had started working as a messenger. Boy for a telegraph company in nineteen oh six and he became a telegraph operator for the American Marconi company. A couple years later legend has it that he picked up the distress calls from the Titanic in nineteen twelve while working in the radio station that was owned by John Wanamaker, but the truth appears to be that Sarnoff had instead picked up signals of rescue ships that were responding to the Titanic's distress call. And then he relayed that information to the local press in New York. He was promoted to chief inspector of American Marconi a few years later, and he wrote a memo in nineteen sixteen in which he proposed building radios for home. Consumers and he called it a radio music box. So this is before the days.

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