Electrician and Mechanic, January, 1913, page 58:
WIRELESS OPERATORS RUSH TO GET LICENSES
Veterans and Amateurs Must Comply with Federal Law by December 13
Since the first of the month the office of the electrical school at the Brooklyn Navy Yard has daily been crowded with veteran, neophytic and embryonic wireless operators, all panting to write down what they know about radio communication, its uses and abuses, and so get a license from the Department of Commerce and Labor.
All this rush is due to the fact that on December 13 there goes into effect an act for the regulation of radio communication, whereby all wireless operators and all apparatus which work across State lines or can communicate with ships at sea are required to be licensed.
This act is one of the by-products of the Berlin international treaty, ratified in April by the Senate.
Examinations are being held at United States navy yards and army posts all over the country during this month, and according to reports thousands of operators are availing themselves of the opportunity of getting themselves registered as regular flashers before December 13.
The fact that there are some 10,000 wireless stations, most of them amateur ones, around New York accounts in the minds of the examiners at the Brooklyn navy yard for the daily crush in their office. The amateurs know that the act doesn't pass them by entirely.
The veriest beginner amusing himself on a housetop in Flatbush by sending burning messages to his up-to-date friend in South Brooklyn is aware of the fact that he must get a second grade license right away if he wants to practise radio communication, or run the risk of having his precious paraphernalia pulled down by a stealthy inspector.
Anybody who wants a license must first go to the Custom House or to the electrical school at the navy yard and present an application, telling whether he knows anything about the Berlin International Radiotelegraphic Convention and regulations, the Continental and Morse telegraph codes, how much experience he has had and a dozen other things. Then he must let the examiner at the electrical school fire a lot of questions at him. His answers must be written ones, and they are corrected by the examiners under the supervision of the Department of Commerce and Labor.
One of the questions which is likely to hit a trembling beginner in the face is: "How can you tell if your antenna is radiating?"
The applicants for commercial licenses of which there are now five grades, may be asked to "describe in detail the adjustment of a transmitter for a certain wave-length (as 600 meters) so that only a single hump would be present."
Applicants for third grade licenses, which is the technical class for experiment and instruction, also have a little leeway in the matter of questions.
Everybody, regardless of class or grade, swears to keep secret any messages he may pluck out of the air, unless ordered to divulge those messages by a court of competent jurisdiction.
This stipulation was embodied in one of the most important amendments made by the House when the administration bill for Federal control of wireless operations passed through its hands. Furthermore, the beardless dabbler in sparks solemnly vows to cease troubling the air with his machinations when there are important messages flaring around the sky.
Apparently the amateurs about New York are right up to the scratch when it comes to swearing or knowing their business, for 90 per cent. of all the applicants examined at the navy yard during the first three weeks passed, according to one of the examining officers.
One fact the officers have noticed with surprise during the kaleidoscopic comings and goings of applicants; that is, that there have been no women in the line.
One recalled yesterday, however, that when the wireless division of the Commercial Telegraphers Union of America was fighting the regulation bill last July, one of the chief objections mentioned was that the bill placed no bar upon the employment of women operators.