Courtesy of the St. Mary's County Museum Division

New Temporary Exhibit, “America’s Greatest War Invention” on view at Piney Point Lighthouse Museum

News Release, St. Mary’s County Museum Division

Leonardtown, MD – The St. Mary’s County Museum Division is happy to announce the opening of a new temporary exhibit now on display at the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum & Historic Park in Piney Point, MD.

Titled “America’s Greatest War Invention,” the temporary exhibit depicts the fascinating story of how a Maryland inventor’s discovery was developed into a novel method to intercept German military reports during World War I.

Piney-Point-Lighthouse-and-Museum
Courtesy of the St. Mary’s County Museum Division

During the war, the Navy Department used a powerful undersea wireless device during military operations. These instruments, and system used to operate them, were developed by inventor James H. Rogers of Hyattsville, MD. Throughout his career, he filed more than fifty patents on devices related to the field of telegraphy, electrical lighting and telephonics. In 1908, he realized that electronic signal could be sent underground and through water, and from this came the Rogers System, which allowed radio receivers to hear clearly German military reports being transmitted from Europe. Further testing done along the shores of the Potomac River, while staying with his sister in Piney Point resulted in this, his greatest discovery.

“I would have never known about the Rogers System until one of the museum neighbors told me this fascinating story,” says April Havens, Site Manager of Piney Point Lighthouse Museum. “It turns out, the inventor James Rodgers was their relative who experimented with the system while staying with family at Mae Pine Cottage in Piney Point, during the 1900’s. History Matters!”

To learn the whole story about the Rogers System and how it helped shape the course of World War I, visit the exhibit at Piney Point Lighthouse Museum. This temporary exhibit runs until May 31, 2019. For more information call 301-994-1471.

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