Monday, November 04, 2013

Ancient DX Report-1905

The year 1905 saw many remarkable developments in the international wireless scene in many different countries.  Some of these experimental developments turned out to be quite insignificant, whereas as others proved to be highly significant in the further progress of main stream electronic development. 
            In England, the Marconi company obtained a patent for what they called the Directive Horizontal Antenna, the forerunner of what we call the Curtain Antenna today.  The Curtain Antenna is a system of dipole antennas suspended from a cross wire attached to two strong tall towers.  All Curtain Antennas are active radiators, and on many occasions another Curtain Antenna strung behind the active antenna acts a passive reflector.
            In Germany, Professor Ernst Ruhmer established two way voice communication over a distance of ten miles with the use of a modulated light beam.  This procedure is quite successful, though it requires an exact focus of the light beam, with no visible structure in between.
            At San Francisco in the United States, Major George Squire experimented with the usage of a tree as a transmitting antenna.  This procedure can also be quite successful, though there is a signal loss due to dissipation throughout the structure of the tree.
            Still over in California, 17 year old Francis McCarty gave a successful public demonstration of wireless with his transmitter in the carpenter basement at the Cliff House and the receiver a mile away in the Cycler’s Rest store room.  The McCarty demonstration consisted of voiced messages, and he also sang five songs.  Newspaper reporters were present for this occasion.  
            The United States navy conducted a mock sea battle off the continental east coast, with one side using standard procedures for communication and the other side using wireless.  At the conclusion of these mock hostilities, it was declared that the wireless equipped navy won the event.
            The Telimco commercial company in the United States placed an advertisement for the sale of wireless equipment in the magazine, Scientific American on November 25.  It has been suggested that this was the world’s first published advertisement for the sale of wireless equipment.  However, this can not be correct, due to the fact that two years earlier, the Clark company placed an advertisement in another magazine, the Western Electrician, on May 23, 1903.  The Clark company was selling complete wireless sets for $50 each.
            Many new wireless stations, both temporary and permanent, were established in many different countries during the year 1905.  In the United States, the Canadian experimenter Reginald Fessenden established a station at Brant Rock, Massachusetts; the American navy established a series of eight wireless stations in eight different states along the Atlantic Coast; Lee de Forest established a 50 kW station on Coney Island, New York and he began work on four stations, Key West Florida, Puerto Rico, Cuba and in the Canal Zone; Marconi completed the installation of a huge wireless station in Nova Scotia Canada and he began work on a new station at Clifden in Ireland; and Mr. H. G. Robinson obtained an experimental license for the purpose of conducting wireless experiments in public halls in Sydney, Australia.
            In the maritime scene, the first distress signal from an American ship was morsed out from the 
“Lightship Nantucket No. 58” which sprang a leak at South Shoals, Massachusetts, and the navy vessel “Azalea” rushed to the rescue, taking off all personnel before it sank.
            The Japanese ship “Shinano Maru” wirelessed a message out regarding the location of Russian ships during the Russo-Japanese War, resulting in the defeat of the Russian navy.  The Italian vessel “Castagna” was wrecked at the beach immediately below the wireless station at Wellfleet on Cape Cod, out from Boston.

            And that’s our Ancient DX Report for the year 1905.
(AWR/Wavesca/NWS 245)