Marconi prepares for the Atlantic
The first stage of his preparation for a transatlantic transmission was for Marconi to convince his fellow directors that this test, which would have enormous expense associated with it would be worthwhile. Marconi faced a tough battle to convince them, but eventually he succeeded in gaining their reluctant agreement for this massive project.To enable the long range radio communications to be established, it was essential to choose the correct sites to provide the best chance of success. Sites were selected either side of the Atlantic at Poldhu in Cornwall and Cape Cod in Massachusetts.The Poldhu station was the first to be set up. A massive antenna consisting of a ring of twenty masts over sixty metres high was erected. This supported a cone of wires that formed the actual antenna.
One of Marconis assistants, a man named Vyvyan expressed concern over the design of the antenna. His reservations were dismissed, but unfortunately he was proved to be right as the whole structure collapsed in a gale.The antenna at Cape Cod was of the same design, and even became distorted in a strong breeze. Later it suffered the same fate as the one the other side of the Atlantic. By a strange quirk of fate one of the masts narrowly missed Marconis assistant Vyvyan.