Los Angeles Times, February 18, 1901, page 9:
| IN HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.|
INTER-ISLAND TELEGRAPH READY FOR BUSINESS.
First Trials Demonstrated That it is a Success--Wires Free to Business Men for a Few Days--Seven Stations on the Islands.
[Honolulu Republican, Feb. 2:] "Molokai! Molokai! Molokai!" cracked the heavy transmitter of the Diamond Head station of the Inter-island Telegraph System yesterday afternoon.
The company stood breathless for a moment and then the delicate receiver began to click and the tape from the inking machine ran smoothly from a little slot beside the machine and in an instant a pretty operator read the message:
"I am ready," came the answer.
An instant later, the tape again crept from under the little wheel and the telegraphic symbols representing the desired letters, issued from the machine and the little ink signs showed that the operator on Molokai understood what was required of him and that the Marconi telegraph system was more than a dream, especially with regard to the people of these islands.
All talk to the contrary notwithstanding, the wireless telegraph is an undoubted success. The system works and messages may be transmitted from this city to other portions of these islands and can be transmitted with as much accuracy as could be had by using regular wires in any other portion of the world.
Tuesday next, the operators of the new system will be installed in the seven stations of the company and a few days later the lines of the company will be open for the use of the public. The first few days of the actual operation of the new system will be devoted to the free use of the wires and wireless system by the business men of these islands, for the purpose of demonstrating the feasibility and usefulness of the new plan of sending messages. After that the regular tolls at the company will be charged for the use of the system.
Yesterday's trial was not absolutely perfect, but the trifling difficulties which stand in the way of perfection, are simply several little deficiencies in the instruments which a small amount of labor of the mechanical sort will entirely remove. The points of contact on the transmitting instrument will have to be brightened, but the use of a file and the standard which upholds the receiver must be made steadier, and when these things have been done, there is no reason why the people of the big island should be more than a few seconds distant from the metropolis.
Fully a year ago, a company was organized to put a system of wireless telegraphy in operation between the islands of this group. The company consists of W. R. Castle, president; C. L Wight, vice-president; W. R. Farrington, secretary; James A. Morgan, treasurer; Oscar White, auditor; W. H. Hoogs, O. G. Trapbagen, J. A. Magoon and R. D. Silliman, directors. These gentlemen combined in order to make communication between the islands more rapid than the old method now in use, of trusting urgent business or personal messages to the slow cumbersome movements of sailing ships or mail steamers.
With this object in view the company entered into negotiations with the Wireless Telegraph Company of London, England, a corporation which controlled the use and ownership of the marvelous inventions of Signor Marconi. A contract was drawn up between the parties and the installation of the largest wireless telegraph system in the world was made certain in these islands.
Experts in every branch of the new industry were sent out from the home office of the company and for several months Messrs. Gray, Hobbs and Pletz have been employed in arranging the various stations and relays of the new lines. First, the sites for the stations had to be selected and surveyed, then the poles were erected and experiments to demonstrate the correctness of the chosen positions, had to be made. After these preliminaries were completed, it was necessary to find and train the future operators at the new instruments. Too great expectations on the part of the public and a number of accidents which could not be provided against by the company have been the causes of the distrust of the ultimate utility of wireless telegraphy in these islands, but in spite of these unfavorable circumstances, the company is almost ready to receive the plant from the hands of the experts of the London company and to commence the actual use of their system.
Yesterday's demonstration was only one of a series which have been conducted to school the future operators in their duties in receiving and transmitting messages between the seven stations of the system. There are fourteen operators, four of them young women, and they all seemed eager to learn the new order of things and very quick to pick up the suggestions of their superiors in relation to the details of their work. They stood about the mysterious-looking instruments with their pencils in their hands and interpreted the messages as they came across the lines. One bright pretty girl, who is to be the chief operator of the system took the message quoted above from the tape and when it was certain that the query to Molokai had been correctly transmitted and received by the operator at the other end of the line, she clapped her hands together and seemed as much delighted as the hard-worked manager of the company, F. J. Cross, himself.
According to the plans of the company there will be a main station located in this city and connected with the Diamond Head receiving station by an ordinary line of telegraph. The station at Diamond Head will be known as the Waialae station. Then there will be a station on this end of Molokai, a relay to Lanai, another at Lahaina on the Island of Maui and another station at Makena. The station at Makena will be connected with the big island by a long span to Mahukona. From Mahukona a telephone line will be run to Hilo by way of Honokas. When all the auxiliary lines have been constructed the port of Hilo will be within a very short distance from Honolulu for it will take only a few seconds of time to send a message to that city and receive an answer.