Radio Holland Celebrates 90 Years

Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Radio Holland Group (Rotterdam) celebrated its 90th anniversary in the maritime shipping industry. The company was founded in 1916 in Amsterdam as the "Nederlandsche Telegraaf Maatschappij Radio-Holland" by a group of Dutch ship owners. They saw the significance and necessity of radio communications to the safety and efficiency of shipping. Radio Holland began installing radio stations on board of Dutch merchant vessels. In those years and up to the nineties Radio Holland also employed the radio-officer (also called 'sparks') on board, who operated the equipment and in the early days, the morse key. For this purpose, Radio Holland founded a special own training college for radio-officers after the first World War, in Amsterdam. When the radio-officer job ceased to exist on board in the beginning of the nineties, several radio-officers ended up in the Radio Holland organisation in various functions, from technician to purchaser, where they could very well exercise their expertise in maritime electronics. In the years following this pioneering start, the company expanded its activities considerably and soon built up a worldwide network of branches, starting off in the East Indies(1920s), Curaçao (1930s) and continuing to for example Hong Kong, Singapore, USA, Middle East and Africa in the seventies & eighties.

Today, Radio Holland is a wellknown name in the maritime shipping industry, with a worldwide network of 54 branches. Radio Holland has a special Historic Foundation (Stichting Historisch Materiaal Radio Holland) who takes care of and restores a unique collection of antique communication and nautical equipment and harbors a rare collection of old maritime publications and photos. The people of the Foundation (most of them former Radio Holland employees) also provide maritime musea with this historic equipment, for example a radio hut as used at the beginning of the century.

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