Biographical entry Allsop, Raymond Cottam (1898 - 1972)
- 11 March 1898
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
- 19 March 1972
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
- Inventor, Naval officer and Radio engineer
Raymond Cottam Allsop was an inventor and pioneer radio engineer. He was involved with radio in Australia from its earliest incarnation and later in life was a vocal advocate for the introduction of television.
In the early 1920s he conducted experimental transmission work for 2BL in the lead up to their launch as Australia's first live radio station.
On his private station 2YL Allsop conducted bold experiments, such as the broadcast of the Big Ben live from London in 1927 and the charting of (Sir) Charles Kingsford Smith's historic flight in the Southern Cross in 1928.
In 1929, Allsop demonstrated his 'Raycophone' sound synchronisation system for movie theatres which, at a tenth of the price, beat the American competition out of the market and was installed in 375 cinemas across Australia.
During both World Wars Allsop served as a naval radio engineer, first as senior wireless telegraph operator in transports (1916-18) and then as engineer lieutenant (1940-43).
- Career event - Received experimental licence from the Wireless Institute of Australia
- 1913 - 1916
- Education - Apprentice at Shaw's Maritime Wireless Co.
- 1916 - 1918
- Career position - Senior wireless telegraph operator in transports, Naval Wireless Works
- 1923 - 1925
- Career position - Radio engineer at New Systems Telephones Pty Ltd
- 1925 - 1929
- Career position - Engineer-in-charge at New Systems Telephones Pty Ltd
- Career event - Broadcast Big Ben live from London to Australian audiences for the first time on his private station 2YG
- Career event - Charted the progress of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith's journey in the Southern Cross live to air on 2YG.
- Career event - Demonstrated his invention, the sound synchronisation system Raycophone
- Career event - Raycophone Ltd. was acquired by Harringtons Ltd.
- 1930 - 1945
- Career position - Director and Chief Engineer, Raycophone Ltd.
- Career event - Foundation member of the Institution of Radio Engineers, Australia
- Career event - Harringtons Ltd. was acquired by Kodak Pty. Ltd.
- Award - Fellow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, United States of America
- Award - Fellow, Institution of Radio Engineers, Australia
- 1940 - 1943
- Career position - Engineer lieutenant Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve, at the Anti-Submarine School, H.M.A.S. Rushcutter
- Career position - Acting Lieutenant Commander, Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve, at the Anti-Submarine School, H.M.A.S. Rushcutter
- Life event - Retirement from Raycophone
- 1945 - 1957
- Career position - Private consultant in radio engineering
- Award - Member of the American Institution of Radio Engineers
- Award - Member of the British Institution of Radio Engineers
- 1953 - 1954
- Career position - Member of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board
- Award - Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), in recognition of service to the development of radio.
- Brazier, Jan, 'Allsop, Raymond Cottam (1898-1972), Radio Pioneer and Engineer' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, John Ritchie, ed., vol. 13 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1993), pp. 38-39. http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/allsop-raymond-cottam-ray-9344. Details
Created: 31 January 2012, Last modified: 18 July 2019