C. S. Franklin

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C. S. Franklin
Death date
Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award


Charles Samuel Franklin worked to develop radio technology and is best known for his invention of the Franklin beam aerial, a shortwave antenna.

Franklin was born in London and 1899, he graduated from Finsbury Technical College in Finsbury, England. Franklin joined the Marconi Company directly after, and remained there for the duration of his career. His early work sent him around South Africa during the Boer war as well as Russia for two years. Franklin's return to England in 1902 marked the beginning of his development of numerous groundbreaking radio devices. He received the patent for numerous radio technologies including his variable capacitor, ganged tuning, variable coupling, coaxial cable, and the Franklin oscillator.

In 1922, Franklin received the IRE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award "for his investigations of short wave directional transmission and reception." The Franklin beam aerial continues to be Franklin's most widely-recognized accomplishment. Between 1923 and 1924 he successfully sent shortwave transmissions from the Marconi Company's Poldhu Station in Cornwall, to Marconi's yacht in the South Atlantic.

Franklin was not only significant in the development of radio technologies, but also in the development of television. In 1935, the new BBC Television Service designated an area of Alexandra Palace in London as its production and transmission center. Franklin designed the center's antenna, and one year later, the world's first public broadcasts of high-definition television were made there.