Electrical Review, November 30, 1901, page 654:
WIRELESS TELEGRAPHY STOCK.
For some time past the advertising columns of the daily papers in this country have been largely patronized by various wireless telegraph companies offering stock in their enterprises for sale. It is noticeable that none of these companies is offering to sell instruments or to transmit messages. Doubtless numerous certificates of stock have been sold, and doubtless these are engraved with as green an ink and as elaborate engine-turning as ever decorated a railroad bond.
The American public is to-day very much the same as it was when the late illustrious P. T. Barnum made his discovery that it liked to be fooled. Companies for the creation of power from liquid air have bloomed and withered; the exploitation of the stock of a concern for extracting gold from sea-water was attended with no little success. Doubtless if somebody incorporated a concern for extracting sunshine from cucumbers the stock would find a ready sale, but it would properly belong to the province of the technical press to warn investors that such securities are founded, to say the least, on a somewhat dubious basis. Concerning the wireless telegraph companies there is no doubt that wireless telegraphy is possible. There is also no doubt that it is possible to operate a number of different systems for the sending of messages without wire. There is equally little doubt that the art has much probable future utility, though expert opinions vary in respect to its extent.
So far the only commercial success that has attended any such system has been developed by Mr. Marconi and his associates, and the patents which they hold are believed to be of a fundamental character. One or more of the companies now advertising stock for sale has actually carried on wireless communication. Assuming that the concerns are entirely bona fide, and that they will achieve the fullest measure of success in signaling, it should be pointed out that the possible earning power of a wireless telegraph system is not so large as to justify the extravagant claims made for the value of the securities. So far as has been made public, there is not to-day any system which is strictly non-interfering. The erection in New York of a wireless telegraph station which would operate to Philadelphia, for example, would, in the present state of the art, probably interfere with the proper working of any other system whatever anywhere in the region from Boston to Baltimore and west as far as Pittsburgh. This one fact of itself is sufficient to retard the commercial development of the system.
Without in any way detracting from the superb work which has been done by Mr. Marconi and his associates, it may be said that, even with the large funds at their command and with the powerful assistance of the British Government, they have been able to adapt their system so far only to certain limited varieties of marine signaling. It is believed by those who are most familiar with the situation that the actual use of space signaling methods will for a long time be limited to some such applications. It is in this branch of the business--ocean signaling--that wireless telegraphy has its greatest opportunity. In the face of these facts the public should be warned that the claims made by the various concerns with stock for sale are not founded upon any work actually accomplished, so far as is known to the electrical profession, and is not in the nature of things likely ever to meet with such success as would justify the investment of any considerable sum in the enterprise.