I don’t imagine too many of our readers know where this was! The Bechuanaland Protectorate was established on 31 March 1885, by the United Kingdom in Southern Africa. It became the Republic of Botswana on 30 September 1966.
The museum radio collection includes a Marconi CR100 radio receiver which was purchased and used in Botswana for many years before it was bought back to New Zealand by its owner. It was originally owned by the Bechuanaland Protectorate Police and was used used by a senior officer on his travels around remote parts of the country.
The Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company Ltd was then based in Chelmsford, UK. According to the manual, there are a number of variants to this venerable old set. The initial prototype was designated CR100. This was followed by variants designated CR100/1 through CR100/8. These specialised receivers were excellent performers considering the state of technology in the late 1930’s to 1940’s. We don’t know if our example is still serviceable, but armed with a copy of the excellent technical handbook we intend to find out!
We consider ourselves very fortunate to have this item in the museum together with a little of its history. If you are aware of museum pieces that have a history please contact us. You may be able to help us “fill in the gaps” and thereby make the museum exhibits that much more interesting.