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Biographical entry Balsillie, John Graeme (1885 - 1924)

Born
11 September 1885
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Died
10 July 1924
Cincinatti, United States of America
Occupation
Wireless expert and Amateur scientist

Summary

John Graeme Balsillie was officially the Commonwealth Consulting Expert on wireless telegraphy from 1916 but also conducted rainmaking experiments while working on the Transcontinental Railway.

Details

Born Brisbane, 11 September 1885. Died Cincinatti, 10 July 1924. Studied electrical engineering, England 1903. Armstrong-Whitworth workshops 1903-04, invented a magnetic detector 1904; company erecting wireless telegraph stations in England then in Russia; worked Germany, Siberia and China ca 1905-09; formed the British Radiotelegraph Co ca 1909-11; engineer for radiotelegraphy, Australian Postmaster-General's Department 1911-15; rainfall stimulation using the 'Balsillie Rain Stimulation and Procuration Plant' 1915-21; commercial manufacture of his 'Flatlight' reflectors, United States of America 1921-24.

Events

1903
Education - Studied electrical engineering in England
1903 - 1904
Career position - Engineer at Armstrong-Whitworth Workshops, UK
1904
Career position - Invented a magnetic detector
c. 1909 - c. 1911
Career position - Formed and ran the British Radiotelegraph Co.
1911 - 1915
Career position - Engineer in Radiotelegraphy in the Australian Postmaster-General's Department
1915 - 1921
Career position - Researched rainfall stimulation using the 'Balsillie Rain Stimulation and Procuration Plant'
1921 - 1924
Career position - Commercial manufacture of his 'Flatlight' reflectors in the USA

Archival resources

National Archives of Australia, Melbourne Office

  • John Graeme Balsillie - Records, 1910 - 1920, MP 341/1; National Archives of Australia, Melbourne Office. Details

National Archives of Australia, National Office

  • John Graeme Balsillie - Records, 1910 - 1920, CRS A432; National Archives of Australia, National Office. Details

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • John Graeme Balsillie - Records, 1915 - 1917, MS 499; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

Published resources

Book Sections

  • Cleland, Lindsay, 'Balsillie, John Graeme (1885-1924), engineer and inventor', in Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle (eds), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 7, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1979, p. 162. Also available at http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/A070164b.htm. Details
  • Curnow, R., 'The Origins of Australian Broadcasting, 1900-1923', in I. Bedford and R. Curnow (eds), Initiative and Organization, Melbourne, 1963. Details

Online Resources

McCarthy, G.J.