Howard Smith’s first large passenger ship, the SS Bombala. This was built in Sunderland in 1904 to carry 300 passengers on the Melbourne to Townsville service, a round voyage of 16 days. Bombala was known for its lucky escape in 1919 when it hit Salamander Reef but was eventually refloated. [Reference 1]
SS Bombala belonging to the Australia Steam Ship Co Ltd. She was built in 1904 and was of a similar size (...) of 3,540 tons. [Reference 2]
Built 1904 Sunderland, 3,571 tons for the Freemantle service. Used also to Queensland. Sold 1929, renamed ASPASIA and scrapped
1935. [Reference 3]
Radio station: Back in the year 1993, a special publication in the form of a regular radio magazine highlighted in its 74 pages the early radio history in Australia. On page 8 of this magazine, "The Dawn of Australia's Radio Broadcasting", the story is told of a small radio transmitter that was installed on two different ships in Australian waters.
In 1919, the AWA company asked their Technical Director, William Bostock, to construct a special transmitter for use in the planned tests and braodcasts from two ships in Australian waters. A single Marconi Q-valve from England was used and when it was fed with 240 volts, it glowed a bright cherry red.
This small transmitter was installed in the coastal steamer, Riverina and tested for three weeks during the month of April, 1919. Later that same year, additional similar tests were carried out aboard another ship, the Bombala. These tests broadcast were heard quite widely and were decribed as very successful. [Story by Dr. Adrian Peterson]
Location: Australian waters