At the time this article appeared, Ameican DeForest consisted of little more than a small number of primarily East Coast stations, plus a contract to build five U.S. Navy stations in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. However, this didn't stop promoters -- this unattibuted article likely came from American DeForest president Abraham White -- from letting their imaginations run free, adding a number of purely imaginary achievements, and painting a wildly optimistic view of the future for the company, the better to promote stock sales of dubious value. New York Times, July 10, 1904, page SM6:
SPANNING the SEAS
Chain of Stations Half
Around the World
--To Connect Wash-
ington with Japan.
WASHINGTON, July 9.--The closing of the contract between the Government and the American De Forest Wireless Telegraph Company this week for service in the West Indies and at Panama marks a long step forward in the history of this marvelous method of communication, and will make it possible to send a wireless message from a ship at sea off the New England coast through a chain of stations extending to Japan, China, or the Philippines. This contract is especially notable as the largest of its kind ever executed, and the guarantee of the company to maintain at all times communication and under all atmospheric conditions between stations 1,000 miles apart gives assurance that obstacles which have hitherto stood in the path of progress in the successful application of this invention or discovery to the commercial needs of the world have at least been surmounted. The new circuits will be from Key West to Panama, Porto Rico to Key West, South Cuban coast to Panama, Pensacola to Key West, and South Cuba to Porto Rico, distances of from 450 to 1,000 miles. Between the points large bodies of land intervene, and the currents cross and recross each other, so that under such conditions the successful maintenance of communication between the stations will demonstrate beyond cavil of a doubt the ability of the De Forest instruments to operate under any and all conditions.
Like the wire telegraph the wireless owes much to the Government, which was quick to realize the benefits to be derived from its success. The Wei-Hai-Wei station of the De Forest Company, which has been in successful operation for five months, has been repeatedly utilized in the transmission of intelligence of the progress of the war in the Far East when other means of communication would have been entirely without avail. The equipment of the Japanese ships for wireless telegraphy has enabled them to keep in close communication with each other, and with their home ports and Government, and the information thus conveyed has been directly responsible for some of the most telling blows struck by Admiral Togo. The tremendous disadvantage at which the Russians have thus been placed is too obvious to require comment.
The naval and war authorities of the United States had no mind to be caught in a similar trap, and the strategic importance of the American possessions in the East Indies and at Panama made it a paramount necessity that at the earliest possible moment means of wireless communication should be established there. Of scarcely secondary importance was the requisite that the possibility of the intercepting of messages, by ships of other nations or by intermediary stations not controlled by this Government should be absolutely obviated. With the greatest care the Government experts conducted most rigid teats and reported that the De Forest system, already executing Government contracts on a smaller scale, was the one which offered the best service, although its terms were higher than those of other companies. During the tests, which extended over a period of several months, seven wireless stations were in simultaneous operation in the same magnetic field, and yet long messages were successfully transmitted and received by the De Forest system.
This achievement, regarded by the Government experts as the greatest in the history of the science, was possible only by the utilization of "syntonic aerography" in which the De Forest attuning apparatus is employed. It is a source of pardonable patriotic pride that this remarkable instrument is the product of the inventive genius of Lee De Forest, Ph. D., (Yale,) a young American, who has been responsible for so much of the wonderful progress made in wireless work within the past ten years. In the war manoeuvres of 1902, and again in 1903, the Government experts reported that this was the only system that operated under all the difficulties attendant on the work, and the service during the recent tests conclusively demonstrated the ability of those utilizing it to transmit messages without interference because of the location of similar stations in the same magnetic zone and with the possibility of their interception by other systems totally eliminated. As a result the Government has entered into a reciprocal contract with the company, which makes them, in a sense, allies.
Terms of the Contract.
By its terms--and this is the most important consideration to the business world--commercial messages are exchangeable between all stations and ships equipped with the De Forest instruments, whether maintained by the Government or by the company. For this purpose all the war vessels of the American Navy will be equipped with the De Forest attuned apparatus, and all messages will be transmitted between war vessels and passenger steamers, and between land stations, irrespective of whether they are under the control of the Government or the company. The chain of communication thus established is practically one system, operated in part by the Government and partly by the De Forest Company. It is understood that having thus adopted the De Forest system and entered into such a combination with the company controlling it, the Government is guaranteed against the employment of the system in any manner which might prove detrimental to its interests, and it is reported that its exclusive use for war vessels has been guaranteed to the United States Navy.
The vast possibilities opened by this arrangement can be better realized when it is stated that the chain of stations operated by the De Forest Company and the Government will extend from the New England coast at Boston and Providence, through New Haven, New York, Lewes, Delaware; Norfolk, Cape Hatteras, Pensacola, Key West, Guantanamo, Porto Rico, Panama, Lower California, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and Cape Flattery; thence to the Orient by way of Dutch Harbor, the most southerly point in the Aleutian Islands; Japan, and the Philippines with Wei-Hai-Wei in China, returning by a southerly route to Guam, Hawaii, and San Francisco. Thus the chain runs half around the world, touching no territory not under the American flag except Wei-Hai-Wei, where the station has been in operation for months, and in Japan, where the concession has been obtained, and where the service will be operated in conjunction with that of the Japanese Government. The establishment of a station at Washington, which will take place before long, although the fact is not generally known, will enable messages to be exchanged by wireless telegraphy between the seats of Government of the United States and Japan by an American system operating entirely on American territory, except the one station in Japan. Stations are already in operation in New York, Buffalo, Cleveland, and St. Louis, and when the one at Washington is installed one will be constructed at Baltimore. At Panama the highest mast in the world for wireless telegraphy is being erected, while at Cape Flattery, Wash., the largest station in the world is being built. The one at Dutch Harbor, among the largest, is in operation, being the key to the Alaskan business, as after the Marconi Company failed to execute its contract for the military service in Alaska, it was awarded to the De Forest Company.