Date: Monday, October 17, 2016 The Marvelous Inventions of Walter Massie by Mr. Brian Wallin
Please note the change in location of our meeting: New England Wireless & Steam Museum, 1300 Frenchtown Road, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Mr. Brian Wallin is a contributing author to the online journal of Rhode Island History, found at www.smallstatebighistory.com . In the early years of the 20th century, imaginative inventors around the world were experimenting with the new technology of wireless telegraphy. Among them was Rhode Island’s own Walter W. Massie. Born in 1874, Massie was educated at Brown and Tufts Universities. On graduation, he began his career as a junior civil engineer for the City of Providence while experimenting with wireless technology at his East Side home. In 1903, Massie was hired by the Providence Journal to set up a wireless connection between Point Judith and Block Island for the purpose of providing a newspaper to summer residents on the island. The Journal lost interest, but Massie did not. He bought out the facilities and established wireless services for the ships of the Fall River Line. Before long, Massie had wireless stations operating around the country. Sadly, his efforts were done in by none other than Guglielmo Marconi, who had achieved worldwide fame as a wireless pioneer and who used litigation against his competitors charging patent infringement. Massie left his mark on radio telegraphy and thanks to the efforts of Robert Merriam and the New England Wireless and Steam Museum, Massie’s wireless station PJ, which operated at Point Judith over 100 years ago, is preserved in perfect operating condition on the museum grounds in East Greenwich.
Mr. Wallin is a graduate of Stonehill College and earned his Masters Degree at American International College of Springfield, MA. He retired from Kent Hospital in 2009 where he remains active on several hospital committees. He has held appointments in numerous civic and professional organizations: a past president of the New England Society for Healthcare Communications and the North Kingstown Rotary Club. He has been a member of the Varnum Armory & Varnum House Museums since 2008 and was named a trustee in 2013. He and his wife Gail have one son and two grandsons. Brian is an avid guitarist, and enjoys railroad and marine model construction.
The meeting begins at 6:30 PM with a potluck supper at the Steam and Wireless Museum on Frenchtown Road. The program begins at 7:30 PM. Sue Curado will take your call at 884-4643 to indicate your preference of contribution towards the meal and to reserve your seat. Or you may e-mail her at email@example.com. Come meet and greet your friends!
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Please feel welcome to join our East Greenwich Historic Preservation Society. Here is our Membership form. You may bring the completed form and our nominal membership fee to our next meeting or you may mail it to our address at: 110 King Street, East Greenwich, RI 02818. Thank You
Simply please Print and mail with your check for $20 Annual Membership fee to: EGHPS, 110 King Street, East Greenwich, RI 02818
History of the
East Greenwich Historic Preservation Society
When the Colonel Micah Whitmarsh House (the Brick House) on Main Street, East Greenwich, was to be razed to make way for a parking lot, a number of the townsfolk foresaw what the future might hold. Already the Old Town Hall had disappeared and a number of lovely old houses had been demolished to make way for the nondescript purposes. The whole character of the town was going to change if this continued.
In 1967 the East Greenwich Historic Preservation Society was formed, primarily to acquire and save the Brick House. The building was refurbished, financed with money obtained from dues, donations, grants and bank loans, and became a working asset of the town.
In 1969 the "Olde Gaol" or "Old Jail" on King Street was scheduled to be torn down or moved to change the traffic pattern on Water Street. The Society rallied in support of the Jail, purchased the structure and it remains on its original site as the Society's headquarters.
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