New York Times, May 24, 1898, page 11:
ACCIDENT IN THE GARDEN.
Desk of Thomas A. Edison, Jr., Partly Demolished by Singular Explosion of a Bomb.
A singular accident at the Electrical Exhibition at Madison Square Garden yesterday resulted in the partial demolition of the desk of Thomas A. Edison, Jr., and a severe shock to the nerves of its owner. One of the most interesting features of the exhibition has been a demonstration of the Clarke wireless telegraphy system, illustrating by means of a small tank of water and miniature gunboats how mines having no cable connection with a firing station on the shore may be exploded in a harbor.
A transmitter in the galleries and a receiver at the tank are the most evident parts of the apparatus. The system is that of the Italian, Marconi, improved by W. J. Clarke of this city, in conjunction with whom Mr. Edison has been working on the system. Hitherto it has not been possible to explode one of a line of mines by the process without exploding all, and Mr. Edison was experimenting before the exhibition was opcn to the public yesterday to find a method of exploding the mines one at a time. Some fifteen feet away from the tank was Mr. Edison's desk, in a drawer of which one of the small bombs used as mines in the tank was stored.
Mr. Clarke, at the transmitter, was dispatching the "Hertzian" waves, which penetrate almost any substance not a metal to the receiver, when through the divergence of these waves, as is supposed, the bomb in the desk was exploded, reducing the desk to kindling wood, and damaging a portable electric light set on it. Splinters flew about Mr. Edison, but he was uninjured except for the shock of the explosion. In the desk a number of valuable papers belonging to Mr. Edison were blown to bits.
Marcus Nathan, general manager of the exhibition, and Thomas Reynolds, the Garden Superintendent, immediately called out the Garden fire squad, but its services were not necessary. Mr. Edison's nerves demanded a rest of several hours before he resumed work in his office. He said he had made several valuable discoveries from the incident, but that his original experiment would be tried next time outside the Garden.