Although not explicitly stated in this article, this appears to have been one of the first tests by American Marconi of a transmitter utilizing the newly developed method of using vacuum-tubes to generate continuous-wave signals for audio transmissions. And although he would later ascend to the presidency of the Radio Corporation of America, at this point David Sarnoff was obscure enough that this article misspelled his family name as "Saranoff".
New York Times, June 12, 1916, page 11:
WAFT MUSIC INTO AIR BY WIRELESS PHONE
Phonograph Playing at Aldine, N. J., Heard on the Steamer Bunker Hill 60 Miles Away.
TALKED FOR TWO HOURS
Test Conducted by Marconi Station in Jersey to Ship Moving Up Long Island Sound.
The first public demonstration of the Marconi wireless telephone took place last night when the experimental station of the company at Aldine, N. J., talked to David Saranoff, its chief engineer, on the steamship Bunker Hill, which is taking the members of the New York Technology Club to Boston to attend the dedication of the new building of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on the Charles River.
The conversation lasted from 8 until 10 last night at a time when the steamship was more than sixty miles up Long Island Sound and getting further away every moment.
Those on the vessel heard the voices through the Marconi receiver and the conversation was carried on by both wireless telephone and wireless telegraph. The Bunker Hill was not equipped with a sending apparatus, and answered the voices and music that came out of the darkness by wireless telegraph.
In addition to Mr. Saranoff, Orville Wright, Alan R. Hawley, Rear Admiral Capps, and Alexander Graham Bell all listened to Aldine in the wireless room of the steamship. All were amazed at the clearness with which the voices of those in the experimental station could be heard. R. B. Weagant, the experimenter at Aldine, talked to each in turn and then repeated back the talk by wireless telegraph for the purpose of verification.
Owing to the special wireless equipment installed on the Bunker Hill for the experiment, the questions and answers of the conversation were carried on almost as quickly as if the wireless telephone had been used both ways.
Send Music Into Space.
After conversing for some time, during which all on board the Bunker Hill took part in the demonstration, Weagant announced to them that he would now play the phonograph. There was a few moments' silence and then, clear as a bell, came the strains of "The Star-Spangled Banner," played by a full orchestra. The music was so loud that the crowd standing on the deck outside the wireless room of the Bunker Hill all heard it, and when the final crescendo rang out they greeted it with cheers.
Then came the stirring strains of the "Marseillaise," which was also cheered to the echo. By this time those on the Bunker Hill began to think they were attending concert, and there were cries of "Encore!" Mr. Weagant responded, for the final selection, with "Tipperary," the strains of which, while perfectly clear, began to become faint, owing to the distance the vessel had traveled since the demonstration began. At the end of the demonstration he received a message of congratulation from Mr. Saranoff, who felicitated him on the success of the experiment.
George W. Hayes, Superintendent of the Marconi factory at Aldine, said late last night that the test on board the Bunker Hill had been arranged so hurriedly that there was no time to equip the vessel with the sending apparatus.
Test Is a Big Success.
"Mr. Saranoff, our chief engineer," he said, "decided to install a receiver in the wireless room of the steamship and make a partial test by talking to the experiment room beneath the wireless tower here in Aldine. So far as it went, the test was very successful. Mr. Weagant talked at intervals and his conversation was plainly heard by those on board the Bunker Hill, who answered all his questions regarding the weather and kindred topics by wireless telegraph. The questions and answers came so quickly that it was exactly like holding a conversation over an ordinary telephone on shore.
"They told us that the phonograph was distinctly heard and the tunes were recognized and cheered."
The Bunker Hill was specially chartered for the voyage by the Technology Club and every berth was occupied by the 400 members. When the club members arrived at the gangway they found a Reception Committee waiting for them dressed as Father Neptune, Father Knickerbocker, and Puritan Boston.
On the way up the Sound the Bunker Hill was stopped off the Stepping Stone Light by a "submarine" in charge of a German naval officer in uniform who fired a gun across her bows and ordered all hands to take to the boats. When Father Neptune went to the bow and waved a big stein filled with foaming beer at him the submarine commander deserted his craft and came up the ladder to join the merry passengers on their way to Boston, where the celebrations will commence today and continue until Wednesday night.