A Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Radio
IT was on December 12th, 1901, that the first transatlantic wireless telegraph message was announced the forerunner of round the world wireless and of the marvelous radio of today.
Guglielmo Marconi, who made all arrangements, received the message on a cliff overlooking the harbor of St. Johns, Newfoundland, from Poldhu, in Cornwall, England, seventeen hundred miles from Newfoundland.
Up to that time Marconi’s experiments had been conducted with considerable secrecy, although it was generally known he was dreaming of some sort of apparatus by which he could establish wireless communication. In a small way he had already achieved this in experiments between shore stations and Italian and Drench warships. But fortytwo miles was the extreme distance covered by these messages.
It was a most amazing thing to the world then when it became convinced beyond all doubt that these 1,700-mile transatlantic messages had actually been achieved.
Marconi had come from Cornwall to Signal Hill at the harbor entrance of St. Johns to establish his experimental station. The station in Cornwall was equipped with apparatus capable of sending a Hertzian wave length one hundred times greater in force than that generated by the ordinary stations. And he instructed his chief electrician there that he would be notified when to begin his efforts to send a wave across the Atlantic.
On December 9th, 1901, Marconi cabled to begin sending the prearranged signals that afternoon and to continue at regular intervals for three hours.
At the very first moment agreed upon the message sped through the air to the elated inventor. It continued to be received the next three hours, but to make absolutely sure of no possible error, Marconi continued his experiments for three more days before announcing the facts.
The receiving apparatus used was primitive. A kite to which was attached a long wire was elevated and the signals were received by this and thence down to the telephone equipment at the ears of the inventor.
It was from such beginnings as this that radio of the present day gradually became an accomplished fact.
Into the years that have gone between has gone an endless amount of experimenting, inventing, improving, and perfecting by many minds to make possible for us the radio receiver of today.
The science, art, and business of public broadcasting has also grown by leaps and bounds. It has in fact grown well nigh out of bounds and its proper regulation is now the subject of much discussion.
For radio within a comparatively recent period has shown such possibilities in the way of service to the public that its proper guidance is a matter of national concern.