"...accomplishing what has been declared by Fleming, in his latest published work in wireless telegraphy, to be an impossibility."
In 1906, John A. Fleming, M.A., D.Sc., F.R.S., published the first edition of "The Principles of Electric Wave Telegraphy", a comprehensive review of radio technology as of that date.
The book reviewed an extensive list of systems and patents, including U.S. patent number 706,737, which Reginald Fessenden had applied for on May 29, 1901. This was the patent which described the concept of a continuous-wave alternator transmitter, which five years later would be unveiled for the December, 1906 demonstration. Obviously, with the success of the demonstration, the claims in Fessenden's patent had been validated.
Fleming's book was written a few months before Fessenden's December, 1906 presentation. In the review of the then still unproven alternator patent, Fleming noted Fessenden's assertion that an alternator, directly connected to an antenna, could be used to generate radio waves. Fleming's terse comment was: "It is doubtful, however, it would do so."
The Marconi Company had a reputation for occasionally being stodgy, and their dismissive attitude toward continuous wave (AM) transmisions is generally considered one of their greatest technical failings. At this stage the company believed only spark transmissions could be pratically employed. In this review Fleming continued, stating the engineering preference towards spark transmission prevailing at the company at that time: "The creation of an electric wave seems to involve a certain suddeness in the beginnings of the oscillations, and an alternator giving a simple sine-curve electromotive force would not be likely to give the required effect..."