Browne, Ralph C.
Ralph C. Browne,(1880-1959) Salem inventor, was known as the "man who won the war." The North Sea Mine Barrage, made possible by the invention of the antenna mine by Ralph Browne was primarily responsible for the collapse of Germany in World War I. The allies were able to mine the waters between Norway and Scotland, and prevent the Kaiser's U-Boats from preying on Allied shipping.
Ralph Browne was born in Salem in 1880 and grew up on St. Peter Street. He was educated in Salem schools and after graduating from high school pursued a career in the growing field of electricity. Among Browne's many inventions in areas of electricity, magnetism and telephony was the portable X-ray machine. Like Edison, he never went to college, but was self-taught.
After Germany surrendered on Nov. 11, 1918, Browne moved to 123 Federal St. and lived a productive and quiet life until his death in 1959.
Browne held many important positions in his community. He was a member of the municipal trust fund commission. He served as president of the New England Home for Deaf Mutes. He was an honorary member of the Marine Society.
Vertical File in Salem Collection - Browne, Ralph C.
"Tells of mines which bottled up North Sea: Ralph C. Browne in Institute Lecture" Salem Evening News, Feb. 28, 1933, p.?
"Salem inventor was the man who won the war" Salem Evening News, June 9, 1999, p. A3
"Ralph C. Browne, rites conducted by 4 clergymen" Salem Evening News, Jan. 6, 1960, p?
"Salem inventor's device helped prompt German surrender in World War I" Salem News, Nov. 14, 2005, p. B7