Most of this article reads like an unedited press release from the American DeForest Wireless Telegraph Company, and like most of President Abraham White's pronouncements, it includes a large number of exaggerations. Although it is true that the U.S. Navy had awarded the company a contract to build stations, there had not actually been any competitive trials. Also, the secrecy claim, that the transmissions would be sent "without the possibility of their messages being picked up or stolen", was completely false.
According to Captain Linwood S. Howeth's 1963 book, "History of Communications-Electronics in the United States Navy", this was also the last time the Navy ever contracted with American DeForest, or its successor, United Wireless, to purchase equipment.
The Electrical Age, July, 1904, page 41:
Wireless Telegraphy for the Navy
ADMIRAL MANNEY, chief of the Naval Equipment Bureau, recently entered into agreement with Abraham White, president of the American De Forest Wireless Telegraph Company, for the acquisition by the navy of five of the longest wireless telegraph circuits in the world up to this date, two of them being more than 1000 miles in length.
The navy has felt keenly the necessity of a wireless connection between its naval bases at Guantanamo, Culebra and Key West, realizing that in the event of hostility with a foreign power the existing cable system would be the first point of attack. The necessity of protecting the canal zone has enlarged the problem of finding a secondary means for communication, and the general board has learned a lesson from the isolation of Port Arthur in the present war.
Therefore, some time ago, the equipment bureau began a series of competitive tests under the immediate direction of Lieutenant Commander Jayne, and the result was the arrangement to-day between Admiral Manney and Mr. White to sign a contract for the supply to the Government of wireless instruments guaranteed to maintain trustworthy service on these circuits:--Key West to Panama, 1000 miles; Porto Rico to Key West, 1000 miles; South Cuban coast to Panama, 720 miles; Pensacola to Key West, 450 miles; South Cuba to Porto Rico, 600 miles.
The service proposed is exceptional, in that the wireless currents must traverse not only the ocean, but leap over islands, such as Cuba and Hayti, and in the latter case, and perhaps in others, run a risk of crossing currents set up by apparatus on islands not a part of the United States. The contracting company assumes full responsibility for the working of the system in such cases.
On its part the Government agrees to operate in harmony with such stations and vessels as now use the De Forest system, and this is said to extend to Panama. The Government's instruments will be attuned to harmonize with those of the company to prevent interference. The navy will have the company's key, so the two may work interchangeably without the possibility of their messages being picked up or stolen, or suppressed by vessels or stations equipped with other kinds of apparatus. The enormous value of wireless telegraphy in naval operations, as revealed by Admiral Toga's last exploit off Port Arthur, hastened the action of the Navy Department in closing this contract.