Beginning in 1905, the Electro Importing Company of New York City sold a "Telimco Wireless Telegraph Outfit", which consisted of a small radio transmitter plus receiver. This was something that, at least according to the company's 1910 catalog, "every wide-awake American boy" should want, because it might lead someday to becoming the "head of a future wireless telegraph company as did Marconi, DeForest and others". The Telimco systems were aimed mainly at novice users -- Electro Importing also sold higher-end radio equipment for more advanced experimenters, but this required more extensive technical knowledge, plus more money.

The Telimco transmitters and receivers listed in this catalog were very simple designs, even for 1910. U.S. radio transmitters were unregulated at this time -- the Act to Regulate Radio Communication was two years in the future -- so young experimenters could set up transmitters wherever they wanted. The Telimco spark transmitters had very basic untuned open circuits (which would be outlawed by the 1912 Radio Act) and their operation must have caused extensive interference to any nearby stations, although their short range probably limited the amount of damage done. The simpliest Telimco receivers used primitive tapping-coherers, which had all but disappeared from commercial work in 1910, and, lacking any tuning circuits, would have picked up the dots-and-dashes from any and all transmitting stations that happened to be operating nearby. It is doubtful that Marconi would have felt particularly threatened by someone who was using the same basic equipment that he had used back around 1897. Still, the Telimcos provided young experimenters with an economical opportunity to send and receive radio signals (over relatively short distances), and to learn the telegraphic code used by all operators at this time.

Electro Importing Company: Catalogue No. 7, First Edition 1910, foreword:

I M P O R T A N T .
Please  Read  This.
IN OUR three previous catalogues we issued a separate discount sheet, giving a discount on the list prices of the catalogue. As we deal direct with the consumer however, we have adopted a better method, namely, to give no discounts at all, but offering our customers the lowest possible prices direct. As the party who buys in quantities (to resell) is of course entitled to a better price, we print at the same time prices in quantities. We believe this to be a straight forward method; it will give the buyer an idea on what little margin of profit we work.
      We buy our material in large quantities and can consequently well afford give our patrons the advantage we derive from this. Other firms charge high prices for the same articles; they make a big profit,--and the customer gets robbed. We charge low prices for the same articles; we make very little profit--but the customer is treated fair--and we have made the valuable acquisition of a new friend.
      Of course all this sounds very nice and good--but we don't ask you to take our word for it, in fact we want to "show you."
      We would much rather prefer, before you order from us to get the catalogues of other firms and compare their prices with ours, and their guarantee with ours. Then send your order; you will know best where to. Can we do more?
      However, let us warn you of one thing: Every year around Christmas, Mail Order "Houses" which grow up like mushrooms, start in advertising and send you a quickly gotten up, cheap catalogue. They will promise you anything and everything, as long as they think they can get your good money. If they are honest enough, they will send you some second handed goods, bought at a low price from somebody who was glad to get rid of them, as the goods were worthless and not fit to be used. Of course you are "buncoed", but it is too late. With other "concerns" you fare still worse. You will send them your money and that will be the end of it. You will write them threatening letters, which trouble you might save yourself. The "concern" who made his (or their) pile, cleared the town very quietly shortly before Christmas.
      If you deal with us you know you are in safe hands. Our guarantee is the best any house could possibly give. We have had our goods on the market for SEVEN years and have created a reputation of being The Electrical Mail Order House.
      Furthermore, to show you our advantages over other firms, please bear these facts in mind:
      Of the goods which we list, a great many are manufactured by ourselves. Twenty-five per cent of our other goods are imported directly by us. You consequently buy direct, not through two or three middle hands. The rest of the other articles are nearly all manufactured in New York. With us you have not to pay freight cartage, packing, etc., which other houses, not located in New York must add to their already high prices.
      This is why we undersell everybody and give you first-class material at the same time. We do not sell you goldbricks--we cannot afford it!
Pages 78-88:
Wireless  Telegraphy.

      It is now well known all over the country that we are the largest makers of experimental Wireless Material in the world.
      When, after two years of experimenting, in 1905 we put on the market our first wireless outfit, the "Telimco No. 1", we knew well that it would make a hit, as there was a great demand for a cheap outfit which would work well for short distances. Little, however, did we know the demand: we were virtually swamped with orders, and we could not keep up deliveries for months. In 1906 we consequently had to open a bigger manufacturing place to keep pace with the orders. About this time we introduced our present "Telimco No. 2." which has by far proven the most successful apparatus ever placed upon the market
      Up to January 1st, 1909, we had sold over 8,000 complete outfits, and thousands of satisfied customers give us the assurance that our great efforts have been appreciated. telegraphic codes
      Of course, we admit there were "kicks" once in awhile from persons who could not make the outfit work on account of them not being familiar at all with electricity. In every instance, however, were we successful in pointing out their troubles by means of an explicit letter, and we are satisfied to know that for strict and careful attention towards our patrons we have made a great many friends who invariably stand by us.
      Wireless telegraphy must be studied. It is unreasonable to expect to do "stunts" when you know nothing about its working. It is the same as if you were to blame the piano manufacturer after you had received a piano and did not know the first thing about playing it.
      There is no other apparatus in the world which has more whims than a wireless. This is easy to understand: As no connecting wires are used between the stations, the apparatus must be enormously sensitive, and, as is well known, anything that is extremely sensitive will easily be affected. aerial
      Furthermore different operators have their own ideas about the apparatus, and we have often witnessed the curious case of an expert in wireless being unable to receive messages with a particular outfit until he had worked over it for hours. He then acquired the "knack," after which everything ran well. We can compare this with a good violin player who owns a violin out of which he can get sounds nobody else could ever get. He simply studied his violin and got the "knack," which probably required a good deal of experimenting.
      It is the same with wireless; one must get used to it. Of course, mostly anybody can make our outfits work for short distances--from 100 to 200 feet. The difficulty arises when the distance gets greater, as now we are confronted with natural phenomenae which tend to dampen the effect of the Hertzian waves. The sunlight, for instance, on account of the ultra-violet rays, tends to absorb the waves. It is well known that during the night one can exchange signals with ease where the same apparatus could not be made to spell a dash during the day.
      We have found that a double wire, horizontal aerial, as shown in illustration, gives best results under ordinary circumstances. This aerial is used on ships a great deal and is very efficient. The elevation of such an aerial does not need to be as high as if a net or single wire were to be used. The stretch between the two posts or supports should be not less than 25 feet, or better 50 feet. It is of course not absolutely necessary to have two posts from which suspend the aerial. Trees, tall chimneys, etc., may be used very successfully.
      The construction is very simple. On a slat 2¼ feet wide two copper wires, No. 14 B & S., are fastened, 2 feet apart. At the other end a similar slat is attached to the wires. From the center of each wire another wire is soldered, which drops down. The two wires before entering the station are connected together (see illustration). The two wires on the boards are NOT metallically connected together.
      An insulator is placed in the center of each board and a wire is fastened to it. This wire serves to support the antennae, and to insulate it.
      For further particulars on antennae, see article, "Aerials," October, 1908, issue, Modern Electrics.
The  "Telimco"  No.  2  Wireless  Telegraph  Outfit.
(Copyrighted 1905. Patent Pending)
1086 Telimco No. 2
      The "TELIMCO" Wireless Telegraph Outfit has been taken up by us only after long and costly experiments with a view towards satisfying a general demand for this wonderful apparatus, which is by far the most interesting creation of modern science.
      In response to many requests from our numerous customers, we have at last succeeded in perfecting an outfit which not alone is very reasonable in price, but which will do the work just or nearly as well as the costly apparatus used to-day in sending aerograms hundreds of miles over the country and the sea.
      Of course to solve this problem was no easy task, as everybody knows who is familiar with the intricacies of wireless telegraphy. Nevertheless, after many fruitless attempts we succeeded, and are now in a position to place on the market a complete working outfit at a price never heard of before.
      We wish to impress upon you the fact that the "TELIMCO" Wireless Telegraph Outfit is not a mere toy, but a high grade class of scientific instruments assembled and designed after the latest improvements in the art. Only the manufacturing on a very large scale allowed us to sell the outfit at such an unprecedented price, and we feel sure that every wide-awake American boy and every young man will feel the necessity of procuring one of these outfits, because he fully realizes that wireless telegraphy will play a very important role in the business world in the immediate future.
      Wireless telegraph operators--a very recent creation,--are drawing incredible salaries, principally for the reason that they are as scarce as diamonds. And why? Simply because the majority of intelligent young men have no means of learning the art, as there are no wireless telegraph schools as yet, and complete wireless outfits cannot be had under $100.00. We give you the opportunity to tick yourself up to the head of a future wireless telegraph company as did Marconi, DeForest and others.
No. 1086  Complete  "Telimco"  No.  2  Comprises:
1 one-inch spark coil, special high tension, polished hardwood case; French improved vibrator, all trimmings polished brass (Not mailable) No. 1088. $4.50
1 pair adjustable brass jump spark balls, 1 ¾ inches diameter, including polished supporting stands, binding posts and two "send" wires. No. 1111..90
1 coherer with Automatic Decoherer and Sounder combined, including two "catch" wires. No. 1097.1.00
1 Seventy-five Ohm, Sensitive Relay, No. 1108.1.10
5 Cells Dry Battery (Not mailable) 2½ x 6 inches, No. 1001, @ 16c..80
      Where two complete sets for intercommunication are ordered we furnish 2 extra D. P. D. T. Switches, No. 1313, free of charge. See diagram, page 64.
May  be  shipped  by  Express  or  Freight  to  any  part  of  the  world.
Weight  complete,  boxed,  18  lbs.
      If outfit is ordered without batteries we allow 10 cents per battery.
Range of this outfit is from one to two miles guaranteed.

Telimco layout
      Connect the three batteries B in series as per sketch, i. e. carbon of one battery with zinc post of next, until all are connected up except posts 1 and 3. The cotton insulation must, of course, be scraped from each end of every wire used in making connections, for a distance of about ¾ of an inch, and the bare wire thus exposed should also be slightly scraped until it presents a shiny appearance, which insures a good connection.
      Now connect binding post 1 of battery with post 2 on spark coil S; next, connect post 3 with post 4 on key; then connect 5 with 6. This completes the wiring for sending station.
      To wire the receiving station proceed as follows: Connect post 7 of coherer C with post 8 of relay R; now connect 9 with No. 10 of battery B; then connect 11 with 12, completing main circuit of receiving station. To wire local circuit connect 13 of decoherer D-S with 14 on relay R; connect 15 with No. 10 of battery B; lastly connect 16 with 12 and your entire wiring is complete.
      It will be necessary to adjust the relay armature by the spring (marked A-S) so that when there is no spark from the coil, the relay armature will just barely stay "open," i e. will not complete the local circuit.
      It must be adjusted very carefully, as upon this the whole success depends. A mere breathing against the relay armature should close the circuit and operate the bell.
      Now adjust the coherer by either widening or narrowing the space occupied by the steel and silver filings inside the glass tube until the filings barely fail to cohere and complete the "main" circuit, i. e., move the relay armature. (The more filings used, the more sensitive the coherer will be. If, therefore, after careful adjustment the decoherer gives signals, after a spark has been given, take out some filings until satisfactory results are reached. Never under any circumstances touch the filings with your fingers, as the natural oil of the skin will make the filings absolutely worthless.)
      Now depress the sending key K and make a spark (the spark-balls on S should be about ½ of an inch apart). If you have adjusted the coherer and relay properly you may proceed to widen the distance between your sending station and receiving station almost indefinitely.
      To have the apparatus give the best results, and especially for distances over 200 feet, one wire of both sending and receiving station should be "grounded," that is, connected to water or gas pipes, and shown by dotted lines G. Where there are no water or gas pipes with which to connect the ground wires, you can easily do that yourself by driving a piece of iron pipe, or an iron bar, into the ground where there is much moisture, soldering the ground wire to top of same to insure good connection.
      For distances of over 300 feet it will be necessary to erect a pole at each station at least 20 or 25 feet high (and high enough to clear intervening objects) and run the aerial wires A to top, letting a bare uninsulated end protrude a foot or so from top of poles, but being careful that all the rest of the aerial wires are thoroughly insulated by glass from any contact with foreign objects or the ground. Always use as few insulators as possible in order to lessen diffusion of current. It will be understood that a complete "TELIMCO No. 2" outfit has only one sending and receiving station. To work both ways, that is for intercommunication, two complete sets are required. We will mail free of cost to any one our treatise on telegraphy; also telegraphic alphabet, on receipt of 2 cents to cover postage.
The  "Telimco"  No.  3.

      This outfit is exactly the same as the "Telimco No. 2," only we furnish the "No. 3" with a ½" coil instead of the 1" coil. Also we give out a 20 Ohm relay of exactly the same construction as the 75 Ohm one.
      The same directions to operate the "Telimco No. 3" are observed as for the "No. 2."
      An ideal outfit for demonstrations, schoolroom, etc.
 No. 1290  Complete  "Telimco"  Wireless  Telegraph  Outfit  No.  3 (Patent applied for,) consists of:
"1087One-half inch special high tension Spark Coil, enclosed in polished hardwood box, with automatic double adjustable vibrator, brass posts and trimmings; size 7 x 4¼ x 4 inches $3.10
"1097One Coherer, with Decoherer and Sounder combined, with nickel plated posts and trimmings, all mounted on polished base, and 2 Receiving Wires.1.00
"1107One Fifty Ohm Sensitive Relay, brass trimmings, bases polished wood.1.00
"1111Two polished Brass Jump Spark Balls, Two "Sender" Wires; and Stands..90
"1118One "Strap" Key, nickel trimmings..20
"1001Four Extra Strong Dry Cells, 2½ x 6 in. Three for sending and one for receiving station, 16 cents each..64
 All necessary wiring plans, diagrams, etc..20
      May be shipped by Express or Freight to any part of the world.
Weight complete, boxed, 16 lbs.
      If outfit is ordered less batteries, we allow 10 cents per battery and no more.
Range  of  this  outfit  is  from  ½  to  1  mile  guaranteed.

"Telim"  Wireless  Telegraph  Outfit.

      This outfit, which is as cheap an outfit as can be made of first-class material for practical purposes, will work up to one mile, providing the antennae or aerial wires are of proper height and insulation. This outfit will not work a relay or sounder, as the autocoherer used with this outfit decoheres itself, and consequently needs no mechanical tapping. The current going through this coherer is not sufficient to operate a relay, but as a high grade especially sensitive telephone receiver is used in connection with this instrument, the apparatus as a whole will be found more sensitive than our Telimco Outfit No. 2. It has the advantage of being very easily adjusted, and the auto-coherer does not need to be regulated as carefully as the filings coherer. In fact, once adjusted, it will work just as well for a distance of 500 feet as for 10. It has also the advantage that the coherer will not be disarranged by atmospheric disturbances. For an outfit where no loudly audible call signal is necessary, this apparatus will be found ideal. One of the interesting features of these instruments is that all kinds of wireless signals can be "picked up" with them. In fact, signals from any other wireless "line" can be "caught" with our auto-coherer, which makes it especially interesting for amateurs in the study of wireless telegraphy.
      When this apparatus is set up and everything is connected and adjusted properly there will be a continuous buzz in the telephone receiver, and the dots and the dashes of the telegraph code will be audible by respective short and long clicks. Complete instructions and diagrams with each set.
 The "Telim" outfit comprises the following parts:
 No. 1088  1 One inch Spark Coil, as per page 47. $4 50
"11112 Adjustable Jump Spark Balls, 1¾ inches diam., with rods and stands.90
"10981 Auto-coherer with catch wires.80
"11181 Strap Key.20
"10241 Pony Telephone Receiver.35
"10014 Dry Batteries, each 16 cents.64
 All necessary wiring, instructions, diagrams, etc. necessary for setting up.10
1120   Complete "Telim" Wireless Outfit.7 35
      When two complete stations for intercommunication are ordered, we will supply the necessary switches, three point keys, extra diagrams, etc., free of charge.
No. 1120A   "Telim Outfit" with ½ in. coil, No. 1087, complete.6 00
     The rest of the apparatus the same as No. 1120.
     This outfit will work up to about 600 feet.
"Electro"  Jump  Spark  Balls.
(Patent  Pending)
1111 'electro' Jump Spark Balls
      These balls are carefully made of best spun zinc. A small brass tube is inserted, extending from surface to centre of each ball. This serves to receive the "sending" rods, which, being inserted in this tube, are made movable and can readily be taken off for shipment, and can also be turned on their axes if it should be necessary to "direct" the waves towards a given point.
      These balls can be adjusted for any desired length of spark by simply loosening one of the binding posts which hold the sending rods and sliding same backward or forward. These balls will prove very satisfactory if the coil is used for other purposes aside from wireless telegraphy, by enlarging the distance between the two balls to such an extent that no spark will "leap the gap." Wires may then be led from the two binding posts which hold the sending rods to the apparatus which is to be used, i. e. Geissler tubes, X-Ray tubes, etc.
No. 1111  One Pair Double Adjustable, Polished Zinc Jump Spark Balls, 1 ¾ inches diameter, Two Brass Sending Rods and Two Connection Stands finished in polished brass. $0.90
 By mail, extra..20

1097 Coherer
      Our coherer, which is simplicity itself, has been created by with the intention of offering to people of moderate means this wonderful instrument at prices which are within the reach of all. We, of course, do not claim that these instruments will replace the very expensive and delicate ones which are used for long distance work, but for distances not exceeding four or five miles these coherers will perform their work exceedingly well. They are made as simple and strong as possible to construct them. The glass tubes used are of special tough imported Bohemian glass, and will not break under the effect of the decoherer tapping against them. This is an important point in saving trouble for the operator and simplifying the instrument.
      All instruments are mounted on seasoned, polished quartered oak bases, and all metal parts are heavily nickel plated. The coherer arms are all silver plated and contact tips amalgamated, as we find this increases the sensitiveness to a very great extent. We employ for filings, mixtures that we have found best suitable after an extended series of careful experiments.
      The "Telimco" Coherer and automatic decoherer and sounder consists of a coherer as described above; it has an extended base which carries a very strong 4 Ohm decoherer, which, in striking against one of the coherer posts, decoheres the filings as soon as an electric wave causes the filings to cohere. This decoherer in striking against the coherer produces enough noise to act as a sounder at the same time, and the telegraphic characters can be easily deciphered by the respective long or short tapping of the decoherer. We especially recommend our Rheostat-Regulator in connection with this coherer to regulate the battery current. Referring to cut on page 64, connect one post of the regulator to No. 13 and the other post to No. 14. The results will surprise you.
      For tuning the coherer use one more Rheostat-Regulator. Connect one post of same to No. 7, the other to No. 8.
No. 1097  Telimco Coherer with Decoherer and Sounder, 7 x 3½ inches, including two "catch" wires, one package extra filings and glass tube. $1.00
 In 6 lots each..90
 By mail, extra..25

Precision  Coherers.
1295 Precision Coherer
      These coherers are used where greater accuracy is desired or for distances up to 30 miles. The silver plated, amalgamated coherer plugs are fitted with micrometer screws, which allow to move the screws forward or backward. The regulation is so correct that the plugs can be moved less than 5/1000 inch at a time. All parts are made of burnished brass highly finished. The base is mahogany.
      Made in two styles only: namely, Coherer alone, complete with filings and extra glass tube. (This coherer can be used with our graphite-carbon-grains as an auto-coherer, if desired). No. 1295 Coherer and Decoherer is made adjustable, so that the strength of the tapper can be regulated.
No. 1294  Coherer alone complete. $1.35
 By mail, extra..25
No. 1295  Coherer and Decoherer complete.2.25
 By mail, extra..38

The  "Telim"  Auto-Coherer.
1098 'Telim' Auto-Coherer
      This form of coherer is called Auto-Coherer, as it does not need any mechanical decohering. It is especially designed to work with a telephone receiver, and is mounted on a round polished oak base having our regular nickel plated posts which carry the silver plated coherer arms, the tips of which are amalgamated. No filings are used in this coherer. We use polished granulated graphite-carbon grains, which, giving a good contact, upon an arrival of an electric wave readily coheres and will decohere instantaneously upon the cessation of the wave, as the surfaces of the grains are polished as stated; there is, therefore, no sticking together. These carbon grains, which we import, are made after our own specifications, as the ordinary carbon used in transmitters is absolutely worthless for wireless use. This auto-coherer, in connection with the telephone receiver, is the most suitable receiving apparatus for distances of over four or five miles. The coherer once adjusted must be so sensitive that a watch laying nearby on the table is heard plainly in the telephone receiver. Fig. 1
      To get the best results, however, use our Rheostat-Regulator as indicated in Fig. 1.
      A-C is the auto-coherer, A the aerial, G ground, T.R. telephone receiver. One dry cell is sufficient for operation. Post 3 is connected with the Rheostat-Regulator, post 2 with the telephone receiver. The other connections are indicated clearly.
      Some operators prefer carbon coherer arms (cc), and we furnish these therefore free of cost. Some others like one metal and one carbon coherer arm. The coherer works best when a drop of mercury of the size of a pin head is sandwiched between carbon grains. The most sensitive combination however, is as follows: One iron coherer arm, a drop of mercury; one carbon coherer arm. The mercury must touch both the iron and the carbon. Size of mercury drop never bigger than 1/16 inch. The iron plug must be polished bright with fine emery cloth before using. This combination necessitates the Rheostat in every case. Stations 50 miles distant can be heard with this combination if aerials are of right length. The Rheostat, which is nothing but a tuning coil, can be so regulated as to receive messages from tuned stations.
No. 1098  "Telim" Auto-Coherer, 3 inches diameter, with catch wires, 1 bottle of mercury, 2 carbon coherer plugs, 1 package of extra graphite-carbon-grains, 1 iron coherer plug. Complete price. $0.80
 By mail, extra.15

Graphite - Carbon - Grains.

      These grains are imported and absolutely uniform. They are highly polished, and will not "cake" together. They are used in all standard auto-coherers.
No.  1296  Polished Graphite-Carbon-Grains, small package. 15c
 By mail.17c

The  "Electro"  Ground  Clamp.

      The most ingenious clamp ever invented. Invaluable to every wireless experimenter.
      "A wireless is not better than its weakest part"--which is usually a poor ground.
      Fifty per cent. of all wireless troubles are due to a poor ground.
      Our new Ground Clamp is, of course, not used only for wireless work, but for telephone bells, telegraph and lighting work; in fact, everywhere where a good ground is desired on which YOU CAN DEPEND.
      It fits any gas or water pipe from ½ in. to 2 ins. diameter. Binding post provided to attach wires. Clamp is installed in less than two minutes. Tools needed to install: A screwdriver--that's all! No Soldering to be done, no wires to be wrapped around pipes, which method positively always gives trouble. The contact-band of our clamp (1 in. wide) is of pure copper.
No. 10003  "Electro" clamp, as described, each. $0 10
 By mail, extra.04
 In dozen lots, 85 cents.
 Special prices in quantities.
'Electro' Ground Clamp