The original scan of this article is at: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1910-12-21/ed-1/seq-1/.
The San Francisco Call, December 21, 1910, pages 1-2:
LOCAL MEN IN WIRELESS COMPANY
San Franciscans Incorporate a $25,000,000 Company in Arizona
BEACH THOMPSON IS HEAD OF GIGANTIC ENTERPRISE
Stations Are Already in Operation in the South and Nearby Cities
WILL OPERATE UNDER THE PATENTS OF POULSEN
MYSTERY OF THE BEACH STATION IS SOLVED
Two Big Iron Masts Will Be Used by the Wireless Corporation
$250,000 Has Already Been Expended by San Francisco Capitalists
A $25,000,000 corporation, designed to operate throughout the United States in wireless telegraphy and telephony, has been organized by San Francisco millionaires. Already they have expended approximately $250,000 in the enterprise, and such is their faith in the patents they have acquired that they are preparing to finance the project along gigantic lines. Working quietly and keeping their plans from the public, they have erected and equipped stations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Stockton and El Paso, Tex.
Beach Thompson is the president of the new company. Thompson recently sold the Stanislaus river power company to the United Railways investment company for $5,000,000. Among those associated with Thompson are the following well known local capitalists: E. W. Hopkins of the Hopkins estate, president of the Union ice company, and director of the Bank of California; George A. Pope of the Pope estate, member of the lumber firm of Pope & Talbot, and director in several local banks; Howard P. Veeder, formerly interested with Thompson in the Stanislaus river power company: J. Henry Meyer of the banking firm of Antoine Borel & Co., and director of Wells Fargo Nevada national bank and the Union trust company, and S. E. Slade of the Slade lumber company.
Incorporate in Arizona
Connected with the new company are also Charles D. Marx, professor of civil engineering at Stanford university, and C. F. Elwell, an electrical engineer recently graduated from Stanford.
While these constitute the main financial and scientific personnel of the company, it is understood that several other local businessmen are interested in the big enterprise.
The concern has filed its articles in Arizona under the name of the Poulsen wireless company. It takes its name from the Poulsen patent, which forms the distinguishing feature of the company and the special element which its promoters believe will bring success.
A year ago C. F. Elwell, the electrical engineer, and some of the professors in the engineering department at Stanford became deeply interested in the wireless device of Valdemar Poulsen, the Danish inventor. Through a series of experiments they demonstrated to their own satisfaction its value as a means of successfully commercializing the wireless system. They formed a little company among themselves. Later Elwell visited Poulsen in Copenhagen, made an intensive study of his invention and obtained the American rights. Upon his return he and his associates at Stanford interested Beach Thompson, who in turn interested his fellow capitalists.
Have Station at Beach
It was not the intention of the promoters to divulge their plans at this time, but through the incorporation in Arizona their purpose was disclosed.
It was stated yesterday that the company would not be ready to enter the commercial field for some months yet. Its work at present, it was said, consisted of a series of experiments and tests. Communication, both by wireless telegraphy and wireless telephone, has been established between San Francisco and Stockton. Messages have been exchanged with the station at El Paso.
The local station, has been established at the beach and has been an object of mystery as well as interest since its construction a few weeks ago. It consists of two mighty masts and receiving apparatus.
The Poulsen patents have been acquired in France and Germany by the respective governments and installations have been begun. Its value, according to the local wireless magnates, lies in the fact that it has been able to surmount three obstacles that have to the present hindered commercial wireless. These three obstacles have been: Inability to transmit messages during the daytime, failure to transmit over the land, and the openness or lack of privacy of communication. Heretofore, it is said, the wireless system has been successful only at night, and then only over the water. The sun has exercised a peculiar effect on the electrical waves, either absorbing or nullifying them.
Now it is claimed that the Poulsen patent overcomes all three objections, that it permits communication by day, over the land, and can be keyed to transmit only to selected stations.
Method Radically Different
The chief difference between the old systems and the Poulsen method, say the new promoters, is that under the old a series of separate electric waves were sent out, while under the Poulsen method a continuous wave emanates from the station. This effect is obtained by a continuous arc in hydrogen vapor. The circuit is never broken in sending messages, and signals are sent merely by breaking the wave lengths. These waves go out at the rate of from 500,000 to 1,000,000 a second, which makes them really continuous. The wide range of the wave length and the delicate tuning are such that it is claimed that only stations equipped with the Poulsen apparatus can pick up the messages. To other stations they will be merely a buzz. In this way, it is stated that no outsiders can interfere with messages.
The intention of the San Francisco millionaires is to equip a number of stations and to demonstrate the practicability of their system and then to go into the business commercially. The plans provide for an extension of the equipment until the entire United States shall be covered.
The men who are putting their money in the enterprise believe that in time they will build up a telegraph company that will rival the Postal and the Western Union.
It is one of the first instances in which California capital has tackled anything daring since the construction of a transcontinental railroad was undertaken.