Marconi Transatlantic Wireless Telegraph-Clipping from the Sydney Daily Post 16 October 1907

Welcome to The Home Of Our Hearts-Cape Breton


Marconi Transatlantic
Wireless Telegraph

“Interior Description of
the Operator’s Room at
Marconi Wireless Station”

Clipping from the Sydney Daily Post
16 October 1907

Sydney, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia


The First Detailed Account of Sending and Receiving Wireless
Messages, Published on This Side the Atlantic — Mysterious
Instruments — The Tearing Flash from the Current is
Many Thousands of Volts — Operator at the Key

    Mr. Vyvyan, engineer at the wireless
station, Port Morien, in a chat last night
with The Post, stated that no definite
date had been set for the opening of the
over-ocean system to the commercial
The opening, however, will take place
some day this week.
The system is working splendidly.  The
few trifling annoyances that had been
experienced in regulating the more deli-
cate parts of the machinery have been
overcome, and the mechanism is now
working as smoothly as could be desired.
There will be no public ceremony in
connection with the opening.  Just the
officials of the Marconi firm will be pres-
ent and a few newspaper men.
Messrs. Holmes and Johnston, the new
operators, who arrived last week from
Camperdown, N. S., have tested the long
distance system, and they declare that
the latter works with as much satisfac-
tion as the shorter route over which they
operated before.
“Our system,” said Mr. Vyvyan, “is
absolutely perfect and before the end of
this week a new era will be marked in
the history of the world, as far as wire-
less telegraphy is concerned.
“The system has been subjected to the
most rigid tests on every point, and has
proved equal to all that was asked of it.
“Once the station begins to do business
the system will never be called on again
to stand such a heavy strain as it has
been subjected to during the past three
    The following is the first authentic
description of the interior of a Marconi
plant that has ever been published on
this side of the Atlantic:
It is only when the visitor has ap-
proached the engine-shed of the station
that he catches sight of what appear to
be the spars and tackle of a fleet of in-
visible schooners, lying somewhere just
over the hill.  These are the famous
eight triple masts and aerial wires which
furnish one of the principal keys to the
mysterious wireless service.
Readers of The Post are familiar with
the principle of the Marconi system.
Briefly, the breaking of a powerful elec-
tric current sets up ether vibrations,
which travel with lightning-like velocity,
and, in turn, cause electrical disturban-
ces, which are detected and reconnected
by a receiving instrument which is so
tuned as to take in only the electrical
disturbances caused by vibrations of a
certain length.Mysterious Instruments
The actual instruments used by wire-
less operators in transmitting and receiv-
ing messages dispel another popular mis-
conception.  The engineer gave a few
directions to his assistant, who, seated
before an ordinary Morse telegraph in-
strument in the operating room, placed
a telephone head-piece to his ears, and
began to fumble with the key, hastily
bidding the newspaper man stuff cotton
wool in his ears and don a pair of blue
glass spectacles.
    The engineer beckoned the newspaper
man to the connexion room on the floor
above, which is equipped with a medley
of strange electrical contrivances.  The
use of the cotton-wool and smoked glas-
ses became at once startlingly apparent.
From the “interrupter” instrument, cor-
responding exactly in duration to the
assistant’s touch of the key below, came
three blinding flashes of blue-white
flame, followed by a short flash, and then
three more short flashes.  The two side-
mouths of the instrument likewise spout
eye-blinding flame of the same color and
intensity.Out to Sea
No wonder the tearing flash, for the
current is many thousands of volts.  Sim-
ultaneously, the discharger, a few feet
across the room, emitted similat blind-
ing flames, and there came a wearing,
tearing boom like the deep bass of some
gigantic organ, but immeasurably cruder
and louder.  The duration of each note
again corresponded exactly with the as-
sistant’s dot or dash on the instrument
below.  This was the electrical dischar-
ger, which sends oscillating electrical
current from the building into the aeri-
al wires outside.  These, fifty-two in
number, are strung from the cable which
connects the tips of each pair of masts,
thread-like to the eye, even at close
quarters, and invisible at short distance.
These at once begin to set up vibrations
of the ether, which in loops and waves
travel with inconceivable rapidity across
the sea.

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