This is the opening portion of the article--the full article is at: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030273/1920-05-02/ed-1/seq-12/.
New York Sun, May 2, 1920, page 12:
ATLANTIC FLEET HERE FOR REST
Fifty Fighting Ships Anchor in Hudson After Practice in West Indies.
15,000 SAILORS IN TOWN
Secretary Daniels Talks Over Wireless Telephone and Vessels Pick Up Speech.
Mr. Josephus Daniels of Raleigh, N. C., Lord High Admiral of the Navy, steamed up the North River yesterday and anchored off Ninety-sixth street. Mr. Daniels was accompanied by eight steel frigates, a quantity of destroyers and enough mine layers, supply ships and other auxiliaries to bring the fleet strength up to an even fifty vessels.
Mr. Daniels's outstanding "stunt," as the gobs call those interesting or diverting episodes that are variations from the commonplace, was to carry on a wireless telephone conversation with Rear Admiral J. D. McDonald, the Secretary speaking from the flagship Pennsylvania off Ninety-sixth street and the Rear Admiral replying from the commandant's office at the Navy Yard in Brooklyn, the places being about two miles apart.
The odd thing about this experiment in wireless telephony was that while Mr. Daniels's voice was clearly audible over the face of the waters, sounding in strong and true to the receivers and amplifiers of the big and little ships all about, it did not carry over land very satisfactorily. The newspaper reporters in the wheelhouse of the mine sweeper Owl picked up the dulcet tones of Mr. Daniels and ships distant as much as a mile heard his short speech of praise for the navy and of compliment for New York. Rear Admiral McDonald over in the Yard caught the speech pretty well, but the rooftops in Brooklyn and Manhattan that tried to absorb the Secretary's words could make nothing of the electrical jazz that tortured the air.
Daniels Gets a Wireless Hazing.
Somebody was jazzing the secretary of the Navy. At all events, that is the gossip that was zipping around professional and amateur wireless circles last night. It was too much of a good thing to have been accidental or coincidental, for when the placid accents of the Secretary began to take the air it sounded very much as if every spark transmitter for many miles around was having a fit. The air shook and quavered under the burden of such unusual discordancies, for the effect was what might be imagined if a swarm of gigantic hornets was released in a lunatic asylum. The big transmitter at the navy yard itself, the monster at the Bush Terminal, the distance devourer at Sayville, the Tuckerton flash flinger, dozens of big commercial plants and scores of one horse amateur rigs took up the crazy chorus the instant the Secretary commenced his amiable platitudes, and of course they just drowned him out.
Nobody on land could hear more than a broken syllable or two of his whole speech. Naturally a voice amplifying experiment that was tried by an uptown newspaper wasn't very successful. They say that Mr. Daniels was considerably annoyed by the tremendous interruption of his much advertised wireless phone talk, and that there may be an inquiry to see what navy operators were guilty of butting in upon the boss.