The original scan for this article is at: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030272/1903-08-27/ed-1/seq-1/ .
New York Sun , August 27, 1903, page 1:
CUSS WORDS IN THE WIRELESS
SWAMPED THE YACHT RACE NEWS SERVICE ALL DAY LONG.
Chunks of Longfellow Sandwiched In, and the Rival Marconi and De Forest Systems Were Helpless--Blame a Powerful Transmitter Set Up Ashore.
The question whether the wireless system of telegraphy can be interfered with by outside electric influences, if any doubt about it remained, was definitely decided in the affirmative at the yacht race on Tuesday.
The representatives of both the Marconi and the De Forest systems admit that their efforts to transmit wireless messages from their floating stations with the yachting fleet to the shore were completely blocked, they say, by a powerful transmitter ashore. Instead of receiving reports of the positions of the yachts, they got a lot of meaningless gabble varied by a hash of obscenity, profanity and sentimental poetry. While on the two other days when the yachts were out they did get a number of intelligent and accurate messages through, on Tuesday they were unable to transmit anything successfully.
Speaking of this yesterday, Mr. Lathrop, secretary of the De Forest company said:
"We had a complete understanding with the Marconi people by which it was agreed that our respective systems should not be worked simultaneously to interfere with each other. This worked all right on the first and second days. There was no very great interference with transmission from outside sources. On Tuesday it was another state of affairs. A powerful transmitter was erected on shore and it completely overwhelmed both our signal and those of the Marconi company.
Mr. Bentley, manager of the Marconi system, spoke in the same strain:
"That it was done maliciously seems clear. We are informed our by our counsel that we could prevent this by injunction. Whether it would be advisable to do this is questionable. Effort is now being directed to overcome the difficulty and have no doubt that it will be overcome. Until it is it may be well to avoid contentions growing out of it. We sent out no messages from shore on Tuesday save O. K. messages from the fleet."
"The art of wireless telegraphy," he said, "has reached a stage where no one of sense doubts the possibility of transmission even over 3,500 miles of space. The present problem is how to attain entirely non-interference. So far as non-interference between our own stations is concerned the problem is practically solved. We are daily sending messages from a high power station across the ocean without interfering with low-power ship stations or adjacent low-power land stations. It is in dealing with the 'spite' stations that the problem assumes serious aspects. But, given the proper conditions, we can even then find a solution.
The city directory gives the address of the International Wireless Telegraph Company as the Broad Exchange Building at 25 Broad street. The directory of that building does not contain the name of the company, but inquiry led to Room 1421, where it was said that Dr. Gehring temporarily made his headquarters and received his mail there. Dr. Gehring, whose home is in Philadelphia, is staying at the Navesink Highlands station of his company during the yacht races. When informed last evening of the comments of the representatives of the Marconi and De Forest systems, he said:
"From 9 o'clock in the morning on Tuesday until 5 o'clock in the evening, the proprietors of the high-power station on shore incessantly kept the station key rattling out 'A B C,' 'A B C,' 'A B C,' the erudition of the operator being more clearly disclosed by obscene expressions and profanity. Then we received from the troublesome high-power station a considerable part of the "Wreck of the Hesperus." This demonstration we were prepared for, since the president of one of the companies had threatened to 'put us out of business.' The threat of the individual referred to, made to a third person, can be verified by affidavit if necessary.
"There were in all nine wireless shore stations during the race. We had two, the De Forest company had four, and the International company, of which Dr. G. H. Gehring of Philadelphia is president, had three. We had no transmitters on shore, only receivers.
"We are expecting Mr. Marconi here next Saturday. He is now on the Atlantic on the way over."
"This is really too amusing for consideration. It is simply absurd. I deny in the most emphatic manner that we engaged in this kind of work. It is false in every particular. If they cannot do business, let them admit that fact without making accusations against other people. There is not a word of truth in their insinuations that this company wilfully interrupts their telegrams with profane, obscene, or any other chatter.
"The fact the matter is, that the Marconi and De Forest people, instead of attending to business, spend their time abusing each other; that's where the profanity comes in. They scrap all day long in the most amusing manner, a typical pair of wireless fishwives, and the result is that none of their news reaches New York. While they are engaged in billingsgate, we are attending strictly to business."