New York Times, December 20, 1907, page 4:
POULSON CONFIDENT OF OVERSEA 'PHONE
Says That the Messages from Copenhagen to Berlin Were Perfectly Clear.
HEARD VOICES AND MUSIC
He Reiterates His Belief That It Will Become a Commercial System.
Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
LONDON. Dec. 19. -- A special dispatch from Berlin confirms yesterday's message to THE NEW YORK TIMES recording the success of Waldemar Poulson's wireless telephonic achievements.
Messages have been twice exchanged between Lyngby, near Copenhagen, and Weissensee, a suburb of Berlin, a distance of 250 miles. The transmission left nothing to be desired in the way of clearness and audibility.
Preparatory arrangements had been made between Weissensee and Lyngby. The recorder and transmitter were tuned alike, and punctually at the signal the first long-distance wireless telephonic message was flashed through the air from Berlin across the north of Germany.
The sound of music played in Berlin was distinctly heard in Copenhagen. Numbers and a series of special test words were recorded with the greatest ease. Operators at Weissensee said to-day there was no technical reason why the radio-telephone should not be established between Berlin and London. The only obstacle is the money. The erection of stations in the centre of Berlin sufficiently powerful to reach London would entail an enormous expense.
This hindrance, however, in the opinion of electrical experts, should soon be surmounted, and before long the radio-telephone replace the present wire system. The entire apparatus used in the Berlin to Copenhagen conversations is simplicity itself. It consists solely of a transmitter and receiver-mast, antennae of which project the sound waves, and a power plant.
The mast used at the Weissensee station is a tall factory chimney near the power house.
The system differs from the spark telephone in that the transmitter produces the required wave by means of noiseless continuous direct current, replacing by its continuity the action of the dangerous high tension developed by the spark telephonic systems.
"Over the open sea," said Dr. Hechler, chief of the station at Weissensee, "radio-telephony with continuous waves is comparatively an easy matter up to 300 miles. Several vessels are adding Poulson apparatus to their telegraphic installations. It is peculiarly well adapted for lighthouse purposes."
The Copenhagen correspondent of THE NEW YORK TIMES, telegraphing to-day, says:
"Waldemar Poulson's wireless station at Lyngby, near here, is placed in a valley by a small lake, surrounded by an extensive forest.
"The wireless telephone mast stood seventy-five yards high when I saw Poulson to congratulate him on his success. He said: 'Yes, I am very glad, and I am the more satisfied, since the experimental line from Lyngby to Weissensee covers one of the most difficult distances for wireless telephoning. It is necessary to work over Copenhagen from here, and over Berlin to reach Weissensee. What makes it so important that we had satisfactory results is, that while the current was very weak, yet we obtained clearness equal to ordinary wire telephone.
" 'We transmitted verbal messages and also had excellent gramophone reproductions. We will still further improve the apparatus.'
"Poulson added he had expected this success. The experiments had moreover given him many hints as to how the apparatus should be erected and arranged, so that much better results could be obtained. He is convinced that wireless telephoning across sea will be superior to messages by cable."
IMPOSSIBLE, SAYS PUPIN.
Declares Distances of Communication Will Always Be Limited.
Prof. Pupin, head of the department of electro-mechanics at Columbia University, declared yesterday that the announced intention of Prof. Valdimar Poulson of Copenhagen to open a transatlantic wireless telephone service, as told in THE NEW YORK TIMES, was impossible of achievement.
"The whole thing." he said, "savors of stock jobbing. These promoters of wireless systems have been fooling the people long enough and it is time that the public were told the true facts of the case before they lose more. The fact is that wireless communication, both telephonic and telegraphic, is a lower and less perfect form than that by cable. People do not think so, simply because cable communication is an invention of same fifty years' standing, and wireless communication has been occupying the columns of the papers for the last few years.
"As a matter of fact, wireless companies will never be certain that they can transmit messages. Changes in atmospheric condition alone are an almost unconquerable obstacle. The difficulty our fleet has had in communicating with us is the latest instance of this. The true value of wireless communication is as a supplement to cable transmission. Where it is invaluable is, for instance, as a means of establishing connection between two ships at sea, or between a ship and the land where cable service is, of course, impossible."
Commenting directly on Prof. Poulson's claims, Prof. Pupin said:
"Prof. Poulson's invention of the continuous oscillator makes wireless telephony possible beyond a doubt. But the distance over which communication can be established will always be limited, and he will never be able to telephone across the Atlantic or over any other area of the same size. When claims like this are made, it sounds like a get-rich-quick scheme.
"Telegraphy exerts a hundred times the power that telephony does, and is for that reason possible across the ocean. Another advantage is that in telegraphy the whole of the power is available for signaling, while in telephony this only holds true for a small fraction of the power.
"So it does not seem likely that wireless telephony will ever cover nearly the distance that wireless telegraphy can. To do the same work, telephony would require a hundred times the power needed for telegraphy. I should therefore consider an announcement of this kind with a great deal of suspicion."