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British Industrial History

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Radio Research Board

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1919 the Imperial Communications Committee of the Cabinet recommended the establishment of a research board in wireless telegraphy under the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR)

1920 The Radio Research Board was set up to undertake research into radio science. Admiral of the Fleet Sir Henry Jackson was appointed to lead the Board. The Board provided for the interchange of information between the various government technical establishments so as to prevent duplication of work, though the board had no executive functions regarding that work; it also arranged for communication of such information to interested parties outside the government service; and, in areas where research was not being carried out, it made the arrangements necessary to meet the requirements of government departments and others.

Work was conducted at the National Physical Laboratory, in universities, by Meteorological Office staff at Aldershot, and on an Admiralty site at Slough.

1924 The fore-runner of the Radio Research Station was established at Ditton Park, Slough. It became a high-quality scientific establishment, led by eminent scientists such as Sir Edward Appleton, Robert Watson-Watt, Robert Naismith and Reginald Leslie Smith-Rose.

1933 the staff directly controlled by DSIR, principally at Teddington and Slough, were united administratively to form a new Radio Department of the National Physical Laboratory.

1946 the Radio Research Board drew up a research programme and recommended that a new and separate radio research station be created to carry it out. It was decided to create a separate Radio Research Organisation to absorb and develop the work of the National Physical Laboratory's Radio Division, and the superintendent of the division was appointed director of radio research.

1946 the Board took over from the Ministry of Supply the research on ultra-short wavelength radio.

1947 the Board also took over responsibility for generic work on radio conducted at that ministry's Telecommunications Research Establishment. Work continued to be conducted there and at the National Physical Laboratory until the new Radio Research Station was opened at Slough in June 1957.

1965 the station was transferred to the Science Research Council and renamed the Radio and Space Research Station; the board was then dissolved.



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Sources of Information

  • National Archives [1]