Marconi's Telegraphy, two articles on early radio communication, from the 1898-1899 NY & LA Times

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The New York Times, January 23, 1898, p.IWM3:

MARCONI'S TELEGRAPHY.

    The great stir in scientific, and more especially in electrical, circles made by Signor Guglielmo Marconi's invention of wireless telegraphy makes of particular interest his statement of the nature of his invention, its uses, and other points concerning it.

    In a late interview at his home in London, he was asked how far wireless telegraphy was an invention, and how far a development.

    "It is something of both," answered the inventor, who is only twenty-three years old. Perhaps the words of the Chief Engineer of the Postal Telegraph here, W. H. Preece, C. B., will show most clearly what I mean:
    "'Mr. Marconi has invented a new relay, which, for sensitiveness and delicacy, exceeds all known electrical apparatus. He has not invented any new rays, his transmitter is comparatively old, his receiver is based on Branley's coheser.

    'Columbus did not invent the egg, but he showed how to make it stand on its end, and Marconi has produced from known means a new electrical eye more delicate than any known electrical instrument, and a new system of telegraphy that will reach places hitherto inacessible.'
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    "It is well to state that Mr. Preece had transmitted messages and signals without wires to a considerable distance previous to my experiments, but employing other means. His system is, however, not applicable on board ship.
    "To Hertz belongs, of course, the distinction of having discovered the electric waves, and by his experiments he proved that electricity in its progress through space follows the laws of optics.
    "Many others have made experiments in the same direction as I have, but so far no one has obtained such results at anything approaching the distance that I have with these Hertzian waves."

    On being questioned upon the possibility of this mode of signaling through space without wires superseding the ordinary system, he said that, for a while at least, he thought it would not.

    "Its main value will lie in its use in places which have not before been practicable for telegraphic communication, where, in fact, wires were an impossibility," he said.
    "With the new system of telegraphy there will not be any difficulty in establishing communication between the ships in distress and an island, and also between the latter and the mainland. What will be necessary will be for each to have a transmitter and a receiver, and then the means of communication will be thoroughly established.
    "I have done some excellent signals at twelve miles, and fog has no effect upon them, or even the most solid substance. The waves can penetrate walls or rocks, without being materially affected."

    "Is it possible," he was asked, "to send many messages in different directions at the same time?"

    "It is, but care must be taken to tune the transmitters and receivers to the same frequency or "note." I mean they must be in sympathy, and this tuning is effected by varying the capacity and self-induction of certain conductors which are joined to the transmitting and receiving instruments, so that the message intended for a particular receiver is thus rendered quite undecipherable on another."

    Signor Marconi is enthusiastic over the uses of his invention in case of war.
    "Let us imagine," he said, "a small detachment of Europeans, say, during one of these frontier wars, stationed in a rather lonely spot. They of course set up telegraphic communication with wires. The enemy is not likely to allow this state of things to continue, and one night the little band is surrounded and the wires are cut down. Frequently this results in fatalities.
    "Now, with the new system, there would be nothing to give notice to the enemy that these small outlying parties were in communication with the main body, and all the time the electric waves are in use, and perhaps ten miles off they are anxiously reading, by the ticking of the receiver, messages of paramount importance.

    "It will be possible to communicate with beseiged fortresses, and indeed, to use it in many ways in field operations where it is impossible to lay telegraph wires.
    "Wireless telegraphy is a possibility anywhere, and it will, I think, soon be a reality in many places."

The Los Angeles Times, March 29, 1899, p. 7:

GREAT TELEGRAPHY.

FROM FRANCE TO ENGLAND WITHOUT A WIRE.

Thirty-two Miles of Distance Traversed by the Sympathetic Vibrations--
Nearly Double the Previous Record--London Times Prints the First Press Message.


(ASSOCIATED PRESS NIGHT REPORT.)

    LONDON, March 29.--(By Atlantic Cable.) Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor, who recently, after long delay, obtained permission from the French government to establish a station on the French coast for the purpose of experimenting with wireless telegraphy between England and France, announces that he has conducted successful experiments between the South Foreland, County of Kent, and Boulogne, at the mouth of the Lanne.

    The Times this morning prints a hundred-word dispatch, the first press message by the Marconi system of wireless telegraph, describing the experiments between the South Foreland and Boulogne. The experiments were conducted with the Morse code, which was read as distinctly as if the termini had been connected with wires.
    The distance from South Foreland lighthouse to Boulogne-Sur-Mer is thirty-two miles, the greatest previous distance covered having been eighteen miles, between Poole and Bournemouth, in England. An experience of fourteen months has shown the inventor that no kind of weather will stop the working of his apparatus.

    The vertical conductor he uses is the main feature of the system, and he has found that the distance to which signals may be sent varies according to the square of the length of this conductor. For signalling eighteen miles, he uses a conductor eighty feet high.
    His experiments have already proven that when such a vertical wire or conductor is employed, no hindrance to signaling is caused by hills or other obstacles, or by the curvature of the earth.

    Sig. Marconi is now in his 26th year. He is an Italian, and it was in Italy that he began his special work. The Italian government paid him a large sum of money for his invention, to be used on warships. From Italy he went to England, and his success there has already interested Emperor William, who has instructed German experts to experiment with the wireless system, for the benefit of the German army and navy...
 
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