Marconi Eras

A Wireless Girdle Round the Earth By F. M. Sammis

October 1912

Below is the October 1912 article in the Marconi Publication, The MARCONIGRAPH, announcing the first world-wide network using nature’s ether.  It describes Marconi’s vision for the future of cheap communications.  Due to the tremendous exposure the Titanic disaster had given to the Marconi Wireless system, company revenues exploded and Marconi could now finance his vision.  The Belmar station would be finished in 1914 and would host many of early radio greats, for example, Marconi, David Sarnoff, Edwin Armstrong, Ernst Alexanderson, A. Hoyt Taylor, and many others. Thanks to Wayne Zion, Manager of the Marconi San Francisco Station, in Marshal Ca. for supplying this article.

A Wireless Girdle Round the Earth 
By F. M. Sammis *

Until the present time, our country has not been entitled to boast of a real high power (wireless) station, but now plans have been finished that will place the United States in the first rank with respect to both size and number of these modern high-power stations, and which, in conjunction with the stations being erected for the English Government, will provide a commercial service that will encompass the earth.  This station will be near New York City, at Belmar, N.J., where 500 acres of land have been acquired upon which the masts and plants will be erected. The transmission will be affected by the Panama Canal Zone and thence to Hawaii.

The Hawaiian station will be one of the most powerful of the entire group, for, besides communicating with the station at Panama, it will be capable of working with San Francisco boot of Italy, scale the ice-crowned Alps and drop quietly into London, all in less than one two-thousandth of one minute.  Having arrived in England, we may take the present busy route from Clifden, Ireland, to Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, in order to talk with our Canadian neighbor, or we may utilize the new and more powerful station at London.  By this means we arrive once more at our starting-point at Belmar.  Thus with but nine stepping-stones, we may trip around the earth. Still, further stations are contemplated; in fact, the chain that girdles the globe will be but the main artery of a great system.  Feeders and branch stations will be established in all countries, and a very comprehensive chain will be erected in South America in the near future.
With the establishment of this great network of stations will come an era of cheap communication, for wireless telegraphy may easily reduce the present cable rates.  The Cost Of a submarine cable to cover a distance and the Philippine Islands, and with a Stations to be erected later in New Zealand.  The Manila station Is the last of the American group and will Connect to the east with Singapore station of the English group. Unbroken communication will be maintained successively through the stations at Bangalore and Aden.  At the latter station, we may turn southward over the huge mountains of Abyssinia and the wilds of Africa to communicate with Pretoria in South Africa.  It is probable that the station at Pretoria will he called upon to communicate with the proposed high-power station at Buenos Ayres soon to be started.
Retracing our steps to Aden on the Red Sea, we may talk with the station in Egypt to the north, and thence, by one tremendous leap hurl a message with such force that it will Cross the wide Mediterranean, ascend the of 3,000 Miles is anywhere from 7,000,000 dollars to 10,000,000 dollars, while the total cost of a pair of wireless stations to do the same work is but 600,000 dollars. The cable must handle a half-million dollars worth of business in order to earn enough to keep it in repair while 2 percent of this amount will take care of the same item for the wireless.  Two million words at 25 cents a word will earn only a sufficient sum to cover the depreciation of the cable, while the same number of words at half-rate by wireless will produce enough to pay the depreciation charge and 35 percent on the investment besides.
The wireless system, in using Nature’s either as a conductor, has provided itself with a medium that requires no repairs.  Surely we have here an accommodating servant by means of which we may form a single station talk with nations north, east, south, and west; we need no wires, no cables, no right of way and none of the expensive upkeep or repair that the older forms of communication required.

Abstracted from an article by the Chief Engineer of the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. of America in Popular Mechanics.

Post January 21, 2017  page created October 23, 1998

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