The Legacy of Idzerda

About Sound and Vision's collection of a radio pioneer

By The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

Ticket to the Third Netherlands Jaarbeurs, 1919 (1919-02-24/1919-03-08) by Jaarbeurs UtrechtThe Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

Escaping the vault

Hans Schotanus à Steringa Idzerda (1885-1944) was a remarkable man. This bold, but kind Frisian foresaw the possibilities of the medium radio before everybody else in Europe. His efforts put wireless radio and radio broadcasting on the map in the Netherlands and abroad. Besides a visionary he was a true craftsman and a brilliant engineer. He lived for his experiments, and eventually had to pay for his ever curious mind with his life during WWII. The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision is the caretaker of Idzerda's amazing legacy, which is stored in our vaults. We're proud to reveal and present the layered richness and beauty of it to you. A gesture we can only make thanks to Idzerda himself.

Radio receiver NRI (1923) by NV Netherlands Radio IndustryThe Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

Worthy of a  museum 

In 1940 Idzerda decides his legacy needs a safe haven. He is aware of his important role in history both as radio pioneer and broadcaster. Even though- or maybe because - other people want to take the credit for his progress and deny him his place in history, He parts with his precious devices, equipment and books in several donations to the Postal museum in The Hague.

Donation Idzerda 1940 Inventory list of the donation (1940-12-09) by Postmuseum, The Hague, The NetherlandsThe Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

List of donated objects

Idzerda and the Postal museum wrote back and forth discussing the inventory of donated items. In total Idzerda donated over 379 devices and components, 197 books and 80 schedules and drawings. The picture shows a part of the list. Later, in 1941 he donates another 31 radio lamps, his collection of international periodicals, as well as manuscripts and correspondence.

Donation Idzerda 1940 Donation Idzerda 1940The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

It's 1940, and the Netherlands are occupied by the Germans. Owning a working radio device is illegal. Therefore, the Postal Museum assumes that the German Wehrmacht has been informed and it is true that the radios are not sealed or having to be returned. It could just be that Idzerda wanted to prevent losing the radios during the occupation, by making this donation.

Radio equipment from donation Idzerda (1940) by PostmuseumThe Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

A portion of the radio devices that Hans Idzerda in 1940 donates to the Postal Museum. The devices are displayed to capture the donation, by the curator of the museum, in the depot building at Maziestraat 19 in The Hague.

Square experimental loop antenna and ring coils.

Deka de Luxe radio receiver, NRI

Large antenna extension coil, NV Netherlands Radio Industry, 1919, From the collection of: The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
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Different examples of coils.

High frequency inductor branch ring coil, N.V. Dutch Radio Industry, 1920, From the collection of: The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
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Ring coils, N.V. Dutch Radio Industry, 1918, From the collection of: The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
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Deka de Luxe radio receiver, NRI (1922) by NV Netherlands Radio IndustryThe Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

NRI Deka de Luxe
radio receiver designed by the Dutch Radio Industry
Technical information:
serial number 5535
Reg.nummer: # 9098
Radio receiver without coils and installed valves.
Internal carriage with seven Corona coils.

Radio devices from donation Idzerda (1940) by PostmuseumThe Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

A second photo of the radio devices that Hans Idzerda in 1940 donates to the Postal Museum.

Square experimental loop antenna, N.V. Dutch Radio Industry, 1924, From the collection of: The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
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A loop antenna is, in principle, a self-inductance which is a coil. Together with a capacity a tuned circuit is formed. Connection with a receiver makes radio reception possible. The power depends on the dimensions of the window, but is generally considerably smaller than that of a wire antenna. A loop antenna requires a sensitive receiver. Loop antennas were initially used by multiple high-frequency amplifiers. This antenna is used for experiments and therefore no longer in its original state.

One of a kind loop antenna, N.V. Idzerda Radio, 1927, From the collection of: The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
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Cover of NRI price list (1918) by Technical Bureau WirelessThe Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

One of the catalogues in the collection, containing photo's of the workshop and the interior of the NRI.

Blueprint of coil with integrated variometer (1919-07-11) by Jacques van Pelt, Netherlands Radio IndustryThe Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

The collection of Sound and Vision contains numerous whiteprints, technical drawings, sketches and blueprints like this one.

PCGG Transmitter PCGG Transmitter (1919/1924) by NV Netherlands Radio IndustryOriginal Source: http://in.beeldengeluid.nl/collectie/details/expressie/4295652/false/true

The Idzerda collection at Sound and Vision

The centrepiece of his legacy would follow in 1945. After Idzerda's tragic death at the tail end of the Second World War, his widow donated his PCGG transmitter to the Postal museum, followed by more associated attributes. 

Sound and Vision's collection of Idzerda objects, originates from the donations to the Postal museum (by way of the Museum for Communication, which in turn inherited it from the Postal museum) and the Broadcasting Museum. Since then, radio amateurs and collectors like the Dutch Association for Radio Telegraphy (NVVR) and individuals such as broadcasting historian N.T.J. Swierstra also added donations to the Idzerda collection, making it unique in its depth and scope.

PCGG Transmitter PCGG Transmitter (1919/1924) by NV Netherlands Radio IndustryOriginal Source: http://in.beeldengeluid.nl/collectie/details/expressie/4295652/false/true

Credits: Story

Production: Carlien Booij
Research: Pieter Bakker, Carlien Booij, Erik van Tuijn
Art direction: Ruben Steeman, buro RuSt
Camera and video editing: Elmar Kroezen, Videofabrique
Animations: Kirsten Sschuil, Ruben Steeman
With special thanks to: Tobias Idzerda, grandson of Hans Idzerda, Pieter Bakker and everyone involved at Sound and Vision

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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