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Maiden Voyage of the Queen Mary


BRITAIN'S newest and finest liner, the Queen Mary, left Southampton Docks on Wednesday, May 27, and entered New York Harbour about four and a half days later after successfully completing her maiden trans-Atlantic trip. Whatever may have been the results of this crossing from the point of view of marine navigation, a new standard was set up in radio communication by the most successful completion of a series of daily broadcasting programmes throughout the voyage. Never before has the whole world been able to follow so closely the daily happenings on board an ocean liner. The progress made in this application of the art of radio communication is illustrated by a note from a special correspondent of The Times, who recalled that he was one of the only two journalists on board the Mauretania on her maiden voyage to New York nearly thirty years ago: his instructions were to send not more than twelve words a day by wireless, and to post an article from New York. In contrast with this, the Queen Mary carried about 150 journalists, and some twenty broadcast commentators of various nationalities. During the voyage, more than sixteen hours actual broadcasting took place from the ship, while many hundreds of wireless messages of all kinds were sent to all parts of the world. To enable this work to be carried out, the normal wireless installation in the Queen Mary (which was referred to in NATURE of January 18 last) was supplemented by special equipment fitted by the British Broadcasting Corporation. More than twenty microphones were fitted in various parts of the ship so that the general life on board could be described direct from the scene of activity in the course of the daily broadcasting programme. Each evening, listeners to British stations were provided with an interesting commentary direct from the Queen Mary, while on one afternoon a special programme was arranged for schoolchildren.

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Maiden Voyage of the Queen Mary. Nature 137, 939–940 (1936).

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