Milestone-Proposal:Alexanderson alternator and multi-tuned antenna at Varberg Radio SAQ, Grimeton, Sweden

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Docket #:2015-14

This is a draft proposal, that has not yet been submitted. To submit this proposal, click on the edit button in toolbar above, indicated by an icon displaying a pencil on paper. At the bottom of the form, check the box that says "Submit this proposal to the IEEE History Committee for review. Only check this when the proposal is finished" and save the page.

To the proposer’s knowledge, is this achievement subject to litigation?

Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? Yes

Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s designated fields as defined by IEEE Bylaw I-104.11, namely: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy. Yes

Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? Yes

Was it of at least regional importance? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? Yes

Has the IEEE Section(s) in which the plaque(s) will be located agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? Yes

Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes

Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an IEEE Milestone? Yes

Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:

1924 and henseforth

Title of the proposed milestone:

Alexanderson alternator and multi-tuned antenna at Varberg Radio SAQ, Grimeton, Sweden fromlate 1924

Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:

Using an idea by Canadian Reginald A. Fessenden, Swedish-born American Ernst Alexanderson developed wireless telegraphy technology that came to be used at Grimeton Radio Station SAQ.

The milestone at SAQ commemorates an intercontinental radio communcation system with the Alexanderson alternator and the Alexanderson multiple tuned antenna.

(N.B. SAQ is unique as in being the only remaining large pre-electronic radio station. Furthermore,the alternator and the antenna are in full working order.)

200-250 word abstract describing the significance of the technical achievement being proposed, the person(s) involved, historical context, humanitarian and social impact, as well as any possible controversies the advocate might need to review.

IEEE technical societies and technical councils within whose fields of interest the Milestone proposal resides.

In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?

Sweden Section with complementary support of our joint VT/COM/IT Chapter. Proposer: MD P Rune H Persson ( Section Chairman: Mats Edvinsson ( Joint VT/COM/IT Sweden Chapyter Chairman Tommy Svensson (

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):

Unit: Sweden Section
Senior Officer Name: Mats Edvinsson

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:

Unit: IEEE Sweden Section, Joint IEEE VT/COM/IT Sweden Chapter
Senior Officer Name: Mats Edvinsson and Tommy Svensson

IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):

IEEE Section: Sweden Section
IEEE Section Chair name: Mats Edvinsson

Milestone proposer(s):

Proposer name: P Rune H Persson
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.

Street address(es) and GPS coordinates in decimal form of the intended milestone plaque site(s):

Radio Station Grimeton GPS coordinates N 57° 6,782ʹ E 12° 24,418ʹ

Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.

Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need. Grimeton Radio was listed as a national industrial monument in October 1996. A year later it was honoured as the foremost one of that year and also put on the list of the most important sites of the country. In 2004, the site was listed as an UNESCO World Heritage object.

Are the original buildings extant?

They are still there, well maintained.

Details of the plaque mounting:

Outside the radio station building or at the entrance to the site.

How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?

To be discussed/negotiated

Who is the present owner of the site(s)?

The Grimeton Foundation.

What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)? If personal names are included in citation, include justification here. (see section 6 of Milestone Guidelines)

The combination of the Alexanderson alternator and the Alexanderson multi-tuned antenna for intercontinental VLF radio communication.

What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?


What features set this work apart from similar achievements?

Two IEEE milestones: Pro primo, First Wireless Radio Broadcast by Reginald A. Fessenden, Brant Roack, 1906. Pro secundo, Alexanderson radio alternator, Schenectady N.J., 1992. None of these mentions the alternator/antenna combination.

Supporting texts and citations to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement: Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or chapters in scholarly books. 'Scholarly' is defined as peer-reviewed, with references, and published. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. All supporting materials must be in English, or accompanied by an English translation.

Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC): All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information.

Please email a jpeg or PDF a letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property, and a letter (or forwarded email) from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application to with the subject line "Attention: Milestone Administrator." Note that there are multiple texts of the letter depending on whether an IEEE organizational unit other than the section will be paying for the plaque(s).

Please recommend reviewers by emailing their names and email addresses to Please include the docket number and brief title of your proposal in the subject line of all emails.