A World Without: Harold H. Beverage

Ever spend a term abroad in Europe?  Did you end up calling your parents to wire you some extra cash for “sightseeing” (pub crawling)?  Well, you owe a debt of gratitude to the University of Maine’s very own Harold H. Beverage.  How’s that?  Lets find out.
Harold Beverage (pictured) was born October 14, 1893 in North Haven, Maine.  He graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1915.  Right out of college he went to work at General Electric (GE) where he worked on radio transmission technologies for the Navy during World War I.  In 1919 GE founded the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) and in 1920 Harold was put in charge of the development of receiving equipment for transoceanic communications at RCA.
At RCA Harold developed, then patented, the wave antenna (later named the Beverage antenna) which would allow for long range radio communications.  In 1927, AT&T; built what was probably the largest Beverage antenna in Houlton, Maine.  This antenna was used as the receiving end of the first transatlantic telephone system (see picture above).  Head on over to the History Channel where you can listen to a recording of the first transatlantic telephone call using Beverage’s antenna.
Harold served as RCA’s chief research engineer for communications from 1929 until 1940.  He then served as vice president of research and development for RCA until his retirement in 1958.  He was recognized by both professional and amateur institutions as a pioneer in the development of worldwide radio communications.  Harold Beverage died January 27, 1993 at the age of 99 after nearly a century of improving the way we communicate around the world.
So the next time you are making international phone calls, or updating your facebook status for the world to see, just remember our fellow alumnus Harold H. Beverage and how he got the ball rolling for our wireless lives.

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