Pioneer of American and European Wireless Communications,
and founder of
C.F. Elwell Limited, 1921-1925
by Ian L. Sanders
In many ways an enigma, Cyril Frank Elwell defies conventional typecasting. He was in every sense an international player. Born in Australia in 1884 to an American father and a German mother, Elwell received his engineering credentials from California’s Stanford University at the turn of the twentieth century. As an early pioneer of wireless communications, he split his time between the United States, Great Britain and Continental Europe.
Elwell’s professional contributions en-compassed long-distance radio transmission, domestic wireless, cinematics, radar tower design and more. But, despite a legitimate claim to world-class technical achievements, he received little recognition in his lifetime and has been largely forgotten since his death in 1963.
Drawing from primary source materials and with an emphasis on Cyril Elwell’s British enterprises, this book seeks to document the man, the organisations he founded and the technologies that he touched.