The Electrical Experimenter, December, 1915, page 393:
By Wireless 'Phone from Arlington to Paris
THE spoken word uttered in Arlington, Va., has been heard in Paris, France, on three different occasions recently, and particularly on the evening of Oct. 20 last. On that memorable date the human voice was projected across the Atlantic for the first time in history, and "Hellos" and "Good-byes" spoken in Arlington were heard and understood in the French capital, 8,800 miles from the point of transmission.
Announcement of the epochal achievement was made officially by the American Telephone & Telegraph Co., following cabled confirmation of the success of the wireless telephone experiments received in New York and in Washington from the company's engineers in Paris.
H. E. Shreeve and A. M. Curtis, of the staff of John J. Carty, the chief engineer of the American Telephone & Telegraph Co., went to France to represent the company in the transatlantic experiments.
Owing to the fact that France is at war and that wireless is playing a most important part in the working out of the French military communication system, it was with extreme difficulty that officials were persuaded to permit the use of the 1,000 foot Eiffel Tower station at Paris for the receipt of the radiophone messages from Arlington.
Only a few seconds at a time, in periods far apart, were allowed the American engineers, during which they were permitted to listen for the greeting from far away Arlington. In order that there could be no doubt of the genuineness of the tests, officers of the French Government, two or more of whom represented the army, were with Messrs. Shreeve and Curtis in Paris, while Colonel Samuel Reber, of the United States Army Radio Service; Captain W. H. G. Bullard, head of the United States Naval Radio Service, and other American army and navy officers watched intently the experiments at Arlington.
Mr. Carty, who not only heads the engineering staff of the telephone company but is president of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, directed the experiments. Following the announcement of the success of the tests, he predicted that wireless telephonic communication between New York or any other American city and all the great cities of the world was but a matter of time.
The announcement given out at the offices of the American Telephone & Telegraph Co. follows:
"Transatlantic wireless telephony is an accomplished fact. Observers listening at the Eiffel Tower in Paris have heard speech sent out by engineers of the American Telephone & Telegraph Co. from apparatus developed by that company and the Western Electric Co. and installed at Arlington, Va. The equipment used was that employed a few weeks ago in talking 4,900 miles by wireless telephony to San Francisco and Honolulu."
That speech has actually been transmitted from Arlington to observers stationed at the Eiffel Tower, Paris, marks the conclusion of another chapter in the experiment undertaken by the American Telephone & Telegraph Co. When Mr. Carty's engineers commenced work on the long-distance wireless telephone experiments observers with receiving apparatus were sent not only to Panama, San Diego, Mare Island and Honolulu, but also two engineers, H. E. Shreeve and A. M. Curtis, were sent to Paris. Through the courtesy of the French Government, limited facilities for listening at the Eiffel Tower station were placed at their disposal.
Full appreciation of the interest and extreme courtesy of the French Government can be understood when the great value of the Eiffel Tower station for military purposes is remembered. Due to the military necessities, the amount of time available for the wireless telephone experiments was so limited as to constitute a serious handicap to a speedy completion of the work. Added to this was the handicap resulting from the fact that all regular communication between Mr. Shreeve and the engineers in America had to be by cable and was subject to long delays.
Notwithstanding the difficulties of communication, the limited amount of time available for receiving, and despite heavy interference from high-power stations in the neighborhood and from static disturbances, speech was successfully transmitted on several occasions since.
In a cable message received by Mr. Carty concerning the results of the tests, Mr. Shreeve reported speech received by him and the time of its reception at Paris. The matter received at Paris was that sent from Arlington, where R. A. Heising, B. B. Webb and other telephone engineers were manipulating the apparatus at the transmitting station. Mr. Webb did the talking throughout the final experiments.
Simultaneously with the reception at Paris, speech sent out from Arlington was received on the wireless antenna at the Western Electric laboratories in New York and at the temporary station of the American Telephone & Telegraph Co. at the Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, Honolulu. Mr. Espenschied at Honolulu reported that he heard the conversation throughout the entire schedule and that Mr. Webb's voice was easily recognized.
After the announcement was issued Mr. Carty, who was in Chicago, was called up on the long distance telephone and asked to tell the story of the achievement.
"Tell us all about the Paris achievement," said an officer of the company in New York.
"Is anybody 'listening in ?' " Mr. Carty asked, quickly guessing that newspapermen also were at the New York end of the line.
Mr. Carty laughed when told he had guessed rightly, and after a little persuasion told the story of the test.
"It was on the night of Oct. 12 when the first signal from Arlington was caught by Shreeve, in Paris. Shreeve heard the 'Hello' of Webb at Arlington several times. Again, the following night, the words were heard, and on Oct. 20 the words were again heard, not only in Paris, but in Honolulu, by Lloyd Espenschied, who cabled to-day that he heard the 'Hello, Shreeve,' and the 'Good-bye, Shreeve,' uttered by Webb in Arlington so plainly that he was able to recognize the voice as that of Webb.
"How long was it before Webb in Arlington was able to establish communication with Shreeve in Paris, and what test words were used?" Mr. Carty was asked.
"The announcement of the success of the experiment was deferred through courtesy to the French Government, and it was not until Oct. 22 when further cable confirmation of the success that has attended our efforts made it possible for us to take the public into our confidence and tell what has taken place.
"While Webb was talking to Shreeve he repeated the 'Hello' and 'Good-bye' several times, and they were heard each time in Paris and also in Honolulu.
"We have now heard from all our expeditions, and it is interesting to note that the circle of the area covered by these expeditions was about 10,000 miles in diameter. Never in history was such an expedition ever undertaken as was this one."
"Owing to the very limited time at their disposal, it was necessary to cable the exact minute during which the Eiffel Tower plant was available," he replied, "and in those few seconds Webb did his talking. Signals had been previously arranged, first by numbers, and then followed by words. Shreeve was to cable what he got after each test--that is, provided he got anything--and, as you know, the signals were heard on three different nights. Owing to the fact that there is now in existence only one set of transmitting instruments, and that at Arlington, the talk, of necessity, as was the case with San Diego, Honolulu and the other places reached by the expedition, had to be one-sided."