San Jose Mercury Herald, January 30, 1912, page 1:
"HELLO FRISCO, 1--9--1--5----THIS IS HONOLULU"
Wireless Phone Promise Whispered Miles at Sea to Startled Seamen
"Don't Talk So Loud," Say Farallones, "We've Got a Headache"
"Hello--is this Honolulu--how are you? This is San Francisco." Some such greeting over the broad Pacific by wireless telephone will be indulged in before 1915 if the experiments now being conducted by Lieutenant E. H. Dodd, U. S. N., at Mare island continue to be as successful as they have been in the last two weeks.
If the navy wireless department consented, you could soon go to the wireless phone on the roof of the Fairmont hotel and converse with a friend at Mare island in ordinary tones across the waves of quivering ether. You would need no telephone book, no wires and no central. Just go to the phone, say "Hello, Mare island," and talk.
Lieutenant Dodd, who is in charge of all wireless stations on the Pacific coast, has been making tests this month with a wireless instrument that promises to revolutionize the entire sphere of long distance talking. Transcontinental and oceanic conversation are considered practical possibilities of the invention, which is an output of California genus.
Cape Blanco, 400 miles by airline up the coast, in Oregon, has heard a man talking through the Mare island wireless phone. The Farallones complained that Mare island talked too loud, the operator declaring that he not only heard the speaker at the phone, but also the voices of others in the sending room. Thus far the telephone has been installed only at the naval station and on the Fairmont roof, but any wireless telegraph station can receive the telephone messages without special equipment. The Fairmont phone has been heard miles at sea by government vessels and liners, and many wireless operators have been mystified by strange voices that seemed to come from nowhere.
Seven Phones to Be Installed
Lieutenant Dodd will recommend to the navy department at Washington that seven wireless phones be installed on this coast to continue his experiments. Two will be installed on cruisers and five at wireless stations. The stations which he will suggest are Goat island, Mare island, the Farallon islands, Table bluff and Point Arguello.
The attention of the government was first called to the invention when experiments were being made with it at the aviation meet at Tanforan. The telephone rights and patents are controlled by the National Wireless Telephone and Telegraph company, with offices in the Mills building. L. Seldenberg and George M. Davis are the attorneys.
When the private demonstrations were being made Lieutenant Dodd became interested. After the phone was in working order at the Fairmont the navy officer asked for a demonstration a month ago. The wireless phone operator talked to the wireless telegraph operator at Mare island and was plainly heard. A peculiar feature of the new phone is that any wireless telegraph station can "listen in" to the phone conversation, but can not, of course, talk back. Lieutenant Dodd caused a phone to be installed at Mare island and a "talkfest" was easily indulged in between this city and the naval station.
Voice at Sea Startles
The Mare Island operator then tested the distance powers of the instrument. Government regulations require a wireless conversation of 20 miles to continue successfully half an hour. This requirement was exceeded many times. The wireless voice was heard 52 miles away at the Farallones. Table Bluff, 170 miles distant in Humboldt county, responded by wireless telegraph to the weird call. Point Arquella, 262 miles south, and Point Loma, off San Diego, heard the operator talking at Mare island. Ships 600 miles at sea have been startled by the unknown voice out of the wilderness of air.
Satisfied with the tests, Lieutenant Dodd asked that he would recommend at once the installation of additional phones for further long distance experiments.
The new instrument has none of the spark and flash of the wireless apparatus. It is noiseless in operation and does not require as much space as an ordinary, office desk.
"What will become of the telephone girl and how can you prevent every other wireless phone operator from listening to your confidential conversation? are questions being asked of the experimenters.
The telephone girl will not lose her job, according to the company officials.