The Electrical Experimenter, June, 1917, page 110:
Remarkable Radio Outfit Built By German Spy
A LITTLE black box of mystery, seized recently by the police in the belief that it was nothing more than a modern adaptation of a time worn contrivance for swindling unsophisticated persons out of their savings, was revealed as a clever wireless telegraph outfit, capable of receiving messages from as far away as Berlin.
Police and government experts who examined the mechanism in the box declared it to be as perfect in construction as any they ever had seen. It is (or was) the property of Max Hans Ludwig Wax, a German citizen, and graduate of the University of Berlin. Wax, as soon as he found the police had learned the real nature of the intricate contents of the box, assumed an air of stolid indifference, denied he knew the box could be of service either in sending or receiving telegraph messages or that he knew anything of telegraphy, and asserted that apparently useless bits of paraphernalia contained in the box had been placed there by him merely to make the contrivance "look pretty."
Then, the police say, Wax informed prospective dupes that the little black box contained machinery devised by German scientists for reproducing American banknotes and currency bills. If he would place a one-thousand dollar bill in the "press" inside the box the contrivance would print ten duplicates of that bill. It then was the duty of the "loyal" German, the police say they were informed, to pass the spurious notes off for American gold, so that eventually this country would be flooded with counterfeit notes and persons loyal to Germany would be in possession of most of this country's gold.
Just after Wax was arrested the police learned that he had left the box in a machine shop in New York City. The police finally located the box in a trunk which they said was equipt with a false bottom. It was not until Sergeant Pierce, in charge of the police wireless station, rigged up as part of the scheme for military defence by Arthur Woods, Police Commissioner, looked at the contrivance that it was recognized as a genuine and extremely effective portable wireless outfit.
The box is about two and a half feet square. It is covered with black enamel and has silver handles and brass hinges and clasp. It must have cost at least $800, according to the estimate of experts.
As soon as Sergeant Pierce recognized the use to which the queer arrangement might be put the outfit was rigged up, its batteries were set in motion, and in a moment the hissing sounds and sputtering and flashing sparks that attend the operation of a wireless outfit were in evidence.
Wax persisted, despite the effectiveness of this demonstration, in his assertion that the batteries, tiny dynamo and intricate coils were placed in the box by him to make the apparatus "look pretty." Eventually he said he intended to use them to give color to a motion picture scenario he intended to write.
Persistent questioning, however, drew from Wax, according to the police statement, the admission that he, having bought the materials, the box and its outfit were put together for him by a seaman on board one of the interned German ships lying at Hoboken. He refused to reveal the identity of the man, asserting he knew him only as "Frank" and had met him only a few times.
When the examination of Wax had proceeded that far L. R. Krumm, chief radio officer of the federal government for the New York district, arrived at Police Headquarters. He examined the machinery contained in the box carefully and then verified Sergeant Pierce's declaration that it was a wireless outfit of great strength. He agreed with Sergeant Pierce that the apparatus was easily capable of receiving messages from as far away as Berlin. Both experts, however, declared the apparatus probably could not be used to send a message much farther than one hundred miles.
Despite the readiness with which Mr. Krumm and the police wireless operators were able to set the wireless outfit in motion, many contrivances in the box were a mystery to them. It appeared as if there were three sets of batteries, where only one was necessary. The operators exprest the belief, however, that any one of the three battery sets might have been connected with the rest of the apparatus, so that, even if two batteries failed, there still would be power to keep the contrivance in operation.
The only incomplete thing about the outfit was that the police were unable to find a sending key and a transformer, both of which would be necessary if the machine were to be used for sending wireless messages. Wax, however, is described by persons who stayed in the house where he lived as having been in the habit of carrying a small hand grip. The grip has not yet been found.
After the police were satisfied of the nature of the equipment in the box they asked Wax to operate it. He fingered several parts of the mechanism for a moment or two and finally succeeded in causing a short circuit, which effectually put the whole thing out of commission. The damage, however, can be repaired easily.
In the examination of Wax the police drew from him the statement that he came to this country from Germany in June, 1914.
He denied he had served in the German army, asserting he was rejected for military service because he had a weak heart. Dr. Baker and Dr. Hamilton, police surgeons, were called in to examine the prisoner. They pronounced him an almost perfect physical specimen and said there was no indication that he ever had suffered from heart disease.
Considerable interest was manifested by the police and federal investigators in papers and letters found in Wax's possession. They declared some were written in code. All of them were in duplicate. One of the papers, according to the police, was a draft for $12,000 and another was for 2,300 marks. The latter was drawn on the Deutsche Bank, of Berlin. It was declared by the police that Wax received some of these papers thru the office of the German Consul in this city several weeks ago. The money, the police said they learned, was sent to Wax by relatives in Germany, who the prisoner declared were both wealthy and influential there.