Despite Lee DeForest's enthusiastic prophecy, although Alexanderson alternator-transmitters would be employed for trans-oceanic radiotelegraph service, the perfection of vacuum-tube transmitters meant they were never extensively used for radiotelephone communication or broadcasting. The particular station which at this time so impressed DeForest was the 200-kilowatt NFF in New Brunswick, New Jersey, which had been developed during World War One for the U.S. Navy by General Electric.
An original scan for this article is at:
New York Sun, February 10, 1919, page 14:
PREDICTS 12,000 MILE RADIO PHONE
Dr. Lee De Forest Says New Invention Will Be in Use This Year.
AN AMERICAN CREATION
Credit Given to Dr. Alexanderson for Marvel in Electrical Engineering.
It will be possible during 1919 for the human voice, spoken into a transmitter of a radio telephone, say in New Jersey, to be heard 12,000 miles away, or nearly half way round the world, according to the prediction of Dr. Lee de Forest, made public yesterday by the De Forest Laboratories in High Bridge. This feat would extend the present wireless telephone distance by 6,000 miles at one leap.
Dr. de Forest is the inventor of the three electrode, vacuum tube, otherwise known as the audion, the principal agent which since the first wireless work by Marconi has made possible the distant telephone line and also through Hertzian waves.
"It may be of interest to the lay people as well as to those scientifically inclined," Dr. de Forest said, "to know that as a result of American engineering ability the world is about to see another distinct advance in the rapid progress of radio engineering.
Dr. Alexanderson's Work.
"The proposed advance in radio communication, in my judgment, is already assured for the year 1919 as a result of the experiments conducted by Dr. Alexanderson of the General Electric Company, an American engineer. Dr. Alexanderson has been the world's pioneer in the construction of high frequency alternators generating alternating current which can be directly applied to the antenna and radiated for wireless signalling.
"His latest creation is a 200 kilowatt generator which produces alternating current of approximately 15,000 meters wave length, which has been for several months in operation at the big navy control station at New Brunswick. The former large spark set, which was installed at this station by a British owned wireless concern, was, as all radio engineers predicted, a complete failure and they were compelled to call upon an American engineer to save the situation.
"Dr. Alexanderson can now put 150 amperes or 80 kilowatt high frequency energy in this huge antenna and has under certain tests raised this as high a 550 amperes. All this energy is controlled by special magnetic control device which he has invented, and this in turn can be controlled by a bank of high power audion amplifiers ranged in 'pyramid' connection, so that an ordinary microphone controlling the first audion amplifier which in turn controls a larger number is able through the magnetic control to modulate in perfect conformity with speech waves the entire 80 kilowatts in the antenna.
Utility of the Audion.
"This means that in a short time we can expect a voice spoken in the transmitter in New Jersey to be heard half way round the world. Here also will be another evidence of the astonishing utility of the audion, first as an amplifier to modulate or control practically unlimited amounts of energy at the transmitter; second, to receive and detect the infinitesimal energy received half way round the globe; third, to amplify this received energy to any degree desired so that it can be heard throughout a large auditorium, if this be desired.
"The possibilities of this radio advance can at once be readily imagined. It means in effect that by telephone communication without wires the human voice will be heard just as plainly between New York and New Zealand as between New York and Brooklyn. It means that the music lovers of New Zealand or any other country equally distant will be able to enjoy the pleasures of vocal or instrumental concerts given in New York or any part of the world."