|WIRELESS TELEGRAPHY THAT SENDS NO MESSAGES EXCEPT BY WIRE|
Invitations to Buy Stock in Concern Which Claims Feats Never Performed.
Inside History of Effort to "Beat" Herald in Reporting Yacht Races Revealed.
GLITTERING WORDS FOR THE UNWARY
ONE COMPANY CALLED A "HUMBUG"
Plain Tale of the Imaginary Aerial Conversations with the Herald-Marconi Station.
Correspondent Who Was Dubious About Inventing Gets Startling Information.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE HERALD:--
I am anxious to buy some stock in the "Wireless Telegraphy Company," and I am told to ask you about it, as you have control of it. Will you please let me know something about it as soon as possible, and oblige H. F ODDIE.
No. 59 WEST FORTY-EIGHTH STREET, October 23, 1901.
The plant had barely been installed and adjusted when, between five and six o'clock on the afternoon of August 15, Professor Greenleaf W. Picard suddenly discovered that the apparatus was recording on the tape machine at Galilee the telegraphic signal sent out from on board the Lucania to the NEW YORK HERALD'S station at Nantucket Shoals.
From that hour until he close the Galilee office, at seven P. M., Professor Picard was in constant communication with the Lucania and the lightship, intercepting all of their messages backward and forward.
Although the new plant had not yet been adequately tested, it had recorded the longest known message ever transmitted by any wireless system.
The next day, August 16, Professors Shoemaker and Picard decided to repeat the test to which the Popoff apparatus had been so unexpectedly subjected.
The Galilee operator was instructed, if possible, to establish communication with the Nantucket Shoals Lightship, 262 miles away. The messages exchanged between the lightship and the Lucania the preceding day were in the international code.
In order to communicate more readily the operator at Galilee signalled the lightship to use the more familiar Morse code. Evidently the HERALD'S operator on the lightship was unable to account for this unforeseen message.
"Who are you? Where are you?" was the startled query he addressed to the unknown operator at Galilee in the Morse code.
"In New Jersey." was the Galilee's prompt response.
"The hell you are!" replied the incredulous HERALD man.
Back and forth flashed the aerial messages for some minutes, the operator on the lightship sceptical and irritated at the suspicion that he was being made the victim of a faraway practical joker, and the Galilee operator and his small audience heartily amused at the outcome of their efforts to mystify their rival off the coast of Massachusetts.
At length, unable to get any definite information about the location and identity of his strange correspondent, the man at the lightship lost his patience.
"Here, you people are interfering with our system. Keep off!" he wired, and with that he would have no more to do with the intruder from Galilee.
Our company has been receiving messages from a distance of 287 miles. Thus "wireless" messages have started on their commercial course.And still the distance spanned continues to grow. On October 9, a local agent of the same company announces in the Gloucester (Mass.) Times that it has grown to three hundred miles. The newspaper, quoting the agent, says:--
The telegraph companies and the Associated Press, including the NEW YORK HERALD, know that they (the company) can take the messages for about three hundred miles and get perfect work from the system. This is worth a good deal to the New England company, because the telegraph and Associated Press must use its service in the future. Now is the time to secure the stock, which cannot fail from (sic) proving a big investment for those who take hold early.Of course "the Associated Press, including the NEW YORK HERALD" does not know anything of the kind. The real opinion of the Associated Press was voiced by its general manager, when he wrote to the New England company's representative a week ago:--
The bulletins upon the international yacht race are taken by wireless telegraph, by co-operation of the Marconi Company, of London, England, and the American Wireless Telegraph Company, of Philadelphia, Pa.Mr. Stone was mistrustful of his Philadelphia rivals, and on September 27 he had one of his colleagues, who had previously gone to Galilee to make the agreement, call up Dr. Gehring at Galilee on the long distance telephone. In order to ratify the verbal agreement and to get it on record Mr. Stone had connected his end of the telephone wire with a receiver clamped to the head of a stenographer, who took verbatim the conversation that followed. This is the record, as Mr. Stone preserved it. Dr. Gehring being designated by "Dr." and the Associated Press representative by the letters "A. P."
More or less annoyance and trouble were experienced, through the interference of another system of wireless telegraph; in fact, there were three systems in use. The second was that known as the De Forest system, and was used by the Publishers' Press Association. In order that both systems might be used without interfering with each other, it was agreed that the time be divided between the two, the Associated Press taking five minutes and the Publishers' Press the next five minutes, and so on, alternately. The plan worked all right for a time until the third system appeared on the scene. The third party was very unwelcome, and seems to have had no other purpose in view than to upset the carefully arranged plans of the two press associations. The result was that while the third man was sending out his waves the other two systems were hors de combat.While the yacht races were in progress one of the men who came to New York to satisfy himself of the workings of Dr. Gehring's apparatus was Thomas B. Bishop, who, though nominally only the vice president and general manager of the New England Wireless Telephone and Telegraph Company, is really the active head of that concern. It is one of the offshoots of the parent company, and has an office in Boston, as well as the one where Mr. Bishop personally presides in the Girard Trust Building, at Broad and Chestnut streets, Philadelphia.
MELVILLE E. STONE, Esq., General Manager Associated Press, Western Union Building, New York:--To this letter Mr. Slone replied two days later:--
DEAR SIR--It had been my intention to call upon you to discuss the probabilities and possibilities of a plan for reporting the arrival and departure of the transatlantic steamers in which the Associated Press of the country will stand at least on an equality, if not somewhat in advance of the NEW YORK HERALD'S reports. The newspapers of the country naturally want to be on a level with the HERALD, and your association is anxious to gather all the news which you may be able to sell at a profit. As I mentioned to you when I met you at Mr. Moeran's office, individually I had nothing to do with any "wireless" matters outside of the New England States. I also said to you in the presence of Mr. Moeran that the New England company, of which I am general manager, owns the basic patent, in which the government, in 1886, had granted to Professor Dolbear the right of ground potentialities in connection with a "wireless telegraph." The Marconi company is infringing upon these rights.
Now you, as an association, which is natural for me to suppose, would rather patronize a home industry, if it is equal in its capacity, and especially protected by patents. Now, here is an opportunity to place our instruments on all transatlantic ships, and have our stations, we believe, on the mainland, and save the telegraph and cable system which the HERALD is now using, and build up a large, profitable business for your association, and a reputation, and possibly some profits to ourselves,
As I stated in the beginning, it was my intention to call upon you, but sickness has prevented me from doing so, and, not being quite able to come to New York, I now write you upon the matter. Here is an opportunity which I believe we can make very much to your advantage, and if you consider the idea favorably, would it not be possible for you to come here? I would ask you to please bear in mind that, as I said before, individually I am the only person who can make terms in this matter, and such as I believe will induce you to join us in this new enterprise.
Awaiting your early reply, I am yours truly.
THOMAS B. BISHOP
Vice P. and Gen'l Manager N. E. W. T. & T. Co.
DEAR SIR:--I have yours of the 15th inst., and beg to say in reply that I am not favorably impressed with the methods of your company, and I do not think we would care to have any dealings with it. Very sincerely yours,As president and nominal head of the New England Wireless Telephone and Telegraph Company, Mr. Bishop has secured the services of James N. Huston, to whom Mr. Bishop and his colleagues refer habitually as "General" Huston. Mr. Huston was once a leading and influential republican politician of Indiana, and President Harrison rewarded his services as chairman of the Indiana State Committee by appointing him United States Treasurer. On all the New England company's advertising literature Mr. Huston's former position of trust is duly exploited beneath his name.
MELVILLE E. STONE, General Manager.