One of the communications applications where ‘fixed links’ such as fibre optic lines will never be used of course is that of ship to shore and ship to ship communications. In the early 20th century the value of using radio for these applications was one of the main drivers in the commercialization of radio – most people have heard of the arrest of Dr Crippen as a result of a radio transmission from the Montrose in 1910 and the mayday calls of the Titanic heard by the Carpathia in 1912 (the SPARC museum even has a replica of the Carpathia radio room). Communications receivers were (and still are) standard fitment in all ships, both commercial and military.
In addition to receiving, two-way radiotelephones are also used for long and short distance communications on ships and boats. The SPARC museum has many examples on display, including the radio installation of Marconi equipment from the Princess Patricia of the Canadian Pacific coastal B.C. service. British-manufactured RACAL equipment from a Canadian Navy destroyer as well as examples of locally-manufactured radiotelephone equipment by Chisholm and Spilsbury are featured. Restoration of a Racal RA117 SN16.