Biographical entry Balsillie, John Graeme (1885 - 1924)
- 11 September 1885
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
- 10 July 1924
Cincinatti, United States of America
- Wireless expert and Amateur scientist
John Balsillie was officially the Commonwealth Consulting Expert on wireless telegraphy from 1916 but also conducted rainmaking experiments while working on the Transcontinental Railway.
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.
- Education - Studied electrical engineering in England
- 1903 - 1904
- Career position - Engineer at Armstrong-Whitworth Workshops, UK
- 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
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
- 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
Created: 20 October 1993, Last modified: 12 February 2018
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