November 30, 1924
RCA carries out the first successful wireless transmission of photographs by radio from London, England, to New York, United States. The wireless transmission was made possible through the use of technology developed by Canadian inventor William Stephenson.
The photographs transmitted by radio feature individuals, government documents, and a short text with a Chinese proverb meaning “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
William Stephenson invented the wirephoto, a radio facsimile method of transmitting pictures without telephone or telegraph wires (the precursor to the fax!), while an engineering student at the University of Manitoba.
Stephenson enlisted with the Canadian military engineers in 1914 and joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1915. He moved to the United Kingdom in 1921, where he developed and patented his inventions.
Code-named “Intrepid,” the Canadian inventor will be in charge of a British counterespionage network during the Second World War.
To learn more:
Library and Archives Canada
The Canadian Encyclopedia
“Sir William Stephenson: A Man Called Inventor” commemorative stamp, showing Canadian inventor William Stephenson, issued by Canada Post.
Face value: 46 cents. Date of issue: December 17, 1999