Marconigrams: Progress of the Marconi System, an article on early radio from the 1902 NY Times  

The New York Times, May 11, 1902, p.16:


Soon They Will Be More Plentiful Than Cablegrams Are To-day.



    It was in 1861 that Prof. Clerk-Maxwell, of Cambridge University, England, proved, by a mathematical demonstration, that electro-magnetic waves existed and that they could be created by the action of an induction coil.

    Twenty-five years later, Prof. Hertz of Bonn, University, Germany, in attempting to disprove the theory of Clerk-Maxwell, actually detected these waves, and found that they were identical with light waves, except for their length.

    Hertz used an ordinary induction coil and a broken hoop of wire in his experiments, and he discovered that when he stood several feet away from the coil a faint spark crossed the broken hoop in his hand.

    This was the first step in wireless telegraphy... Marconi... began to experiment in December, '94. In a short time he astonished his parents by sending signals through solid walls, and then he astonished the whole world by sending messages two miles across country.
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Radio ad from the Sep 24, 1924 NY Times

    In '96 Marconi went to England, where the Government tested and approved his inventions. Patents were taken out in every important country and an English company was organized to develop the system. It may be of interest to note that the 1 shares of this company are now selling at over three times par.
    Soon after the start came authentic news of Government experiments at Salisbury Plain, and then followed messages across the Thames to the British Parliament, the establishment of the system on the ships of the Italian Navy, messages across the English Channel, sixty-six miles between warships in the British fleet manoeuvres, one hundred miles between points in England and Ireland, signals across the Atlantic Ocean, and finally messsages 1551.5 miles from Cornwall to the Philadelphia in midocean and signals 2,099 miles on the same voyage...

    The great shipping agency of Lloyds has contracted for its use for fourteen years. The Italian and British Navies have installed it on their warships. Fifteen transatlantic steamers are using it regularly, and others will have it shortly. By its means, ships are now reported a day before their arrival in port in New York or in England.

    It is being used at over forty land stations abroad.
    It connects the scattered islands of the Hawaiian group.

    Transatlantic stations are now being built in Cape Breton and Cape Cod for commercial operation.
    Messages can be sent at the rate of twenty-two words a minute for each installation.

    The cost of the instruments is small. For use on distances not over two hundred miles, one-tenth of a horse power is sufficient energy. For transatlantic work, about forty horse power are used. Expense of operation is slight...

    Each installation on a transatlantic passenger ship now nets about $5,000 a year. This business is increasing in volume. Recently, more than 8,000 words were transmitted in a few hours from an ocean liner, and on another ship the receipts for two days operations amounted to $300.00.
    Messages from shore to ships will amount to almost as much in revenue as that of all the ships to the shore. Messages and their answers are about equal, on an average.
    Wireless communication between Cuba, Porto Rico, and the United States can be accomplished as soon as the necessary instruments are set up. There should be a large profit here...

    The present system of communication from this country to the Orient is slow and very costly. A message from New York to Manila by wire costs $2.50 a word. Mr. Marconi says he is absolutely sure he can establish wireless communication between San Francisco and Manila without an intermediary station at Honolulu or Wake Island. Mr. Marconi has never been known to say that he could do a thing which he either had not already done or very shortly did do. But supposing he overstated this possibility, with what efficiency the system has already attained it would be easy to establish the San Francisco-Manila wireless contact through relay stations at the two intermediary points suggested. Enormous profits could be made at a fraction of the present rate.
    It is a significant fact that a short time ago, when our Government was considering the expenditure of forty millions of dollars for a Pacific cable, the matter was postponed until Congress could learn about the Marconi system. When one compares the cost of a cable with a Marconi installation, able to do at least as efficient work and not subject to the same dangers of loss, the result is appalling. The Pacific wireless plant would not exceed two hundred thousand dollars in cost. A submarine cable costs two hundred and fifty times as much...
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