Electrical Review, September 6, 1919, page 397:
DEVELOPMENTS OF POULSEN WIRELESS SYSTEM SHOWN.
Expert Evidence for and Against the System Given at the British Marconi Inquiry.
During the hearing of the claim of the British Marconi Co. against the British Government for $35,000,000, some very interesting evidence, new to English minds, probably owing to war-time restrictions on the circulation of wireless technical developments, was given respecting the Poulsen system.
Wm. Elwell, in the course of a detailed statement, said that he was employed by some San Francisco millionaires to investigate all the existing wireless systems and in 1909 he came to the conclusion that the most promising system was the Poulsen. After ascertaining that the rights were for sale, he went to Denmark and had the system demonstrated to him between Lyngby and Copenhagen. He made a contract with the owners to purchase the patent rights for America, and on returning to America he organized the Poulsen Wireless Telephone & Telegraph Co. with a capital of $5,000,000. This company in 1911 was merged into another company known as the Poulsen Wireless Corporation. It was a large company, and to avoid taxation in different states it was reorganized and operated under the name of the Federal Telegraph Co. with a nominal capital. The Federal company built many stations, starting from 5 and 12 kw. which he purchased in Denmark to demonstrate the system. After that date he manufactured arcs of increasing power--15, 30 and 60 kw. In 1912 he built a station in San Francisco and one in Honolulu, which he constructed with 30-kw. arcs, and inaugurated the system which had been spoken of in Lord Parker's report. Towards the end of 1912 he took a 30-kw. arc to Arlington, where he demonstrated to the American Navy that it was superior to the 100-kw. Fessenden spark. He was asked by the American Navy what he would recommend at a station, and his proposition was to put up three 600-ft. towers and install a 100-kw. arc. This contract was signed in April, 1913. That was at Darien, on the Panama Canal. During the demonstrations he showed that with an arc of 100 kw. reliable communication could be given over a distance of 2000 miles. In 1913 he became chief engineer of the Universal Radio Syndicate, who were then building the Danish design stations at Ballybunion and Newcastle, New Brunswick. These were destined for Transatlantic commercial work. He did not design these stations, but he was called in towards the end of 1914 with a view to making them work. He modified the design of the generator and satisfactory communication was carried out. In 1915 he was invited to Paris and for the French Government put up an arc on the Eiffel Tower. In 1916 he put up an arc generator at the Lyons station for the French Army, which has been in work with America, or about 4000 miles, for over two years. In 1917 he went to Rome and designed a plan for communicating direct from Rome to America, a distance of some 4200 miles. In 1918 he installed a still larger arc in the Lyons station. The largest arc he had worked was 405 kw., the communication being over some 3000 miles. He had no hesitation in saying he considered the Poulsen system the best wireless system in use today.
E. H. Shaughnessy, staff engineer to the British Post Office Engineering Department, and in charge of the wireless section, expressed the opinion that the Poulsen arc was at present the best known working system for wireless transmission. It became so at the middle of 1918. He said that the development of the Poulsen arc had been pretty rapid, and larger power arcs had been built in various parts of the world. The plan of the alternative receiving system which had been put in on behalf of the Post Office was perfectly free from any existing Marconi patent. It was quite as efficient as any other receiving system. The Poulsen arc generator for transmitting which was shown on the same plan was fully covered by expired Poulsen patents. An efficient working Poulsen generator could be made to deal with the requirements of the Imperial wireless chain without infringing.
Another witness, H. A. Madge, technical wireless expert to the British Admiralty, said he had been responsible for the general technical planning of over 500 Poulsen installations, mostly for small power, though a dozen were capable of communicating over 1000 to 1500 miles. He held that a Poulsen installation, if properly designed, was more efficient than any wireless spark known to or heard of by him. The largest Poulsen arc installation he had seen working was that at Nantes, of 200 kw. He could design a 200-kw. arc which would be a perfectly practical proposition and thoroughly satisfactory for long distance commercial wireless.
Other evidence was given by Capt. C. R. Payne, R. N., concerning satisfactory experience with the Poulsen system while on British battleships. He said that day and night communication was better by the Poulsen system than by the spark system. Commander J. F. Commerville, R. N., testified to very satisfactory accuracy of transmission and small interference, during practical experience in the war.
The Marconi company followed up the foregoing statements by calling evidence of a different kind from Emile Girardeau, radio officer engineer to the French Government, who said that the Poulsen arc system had not been a success in French stations and very little was left of the original design. He said that neither the French War Office nor the French Navy had been satisfied with the working of the system. He said further that none of the French stations was capable of conducting a regular commercial service even with the improvements made.