The original copy of this article comes from www.fultonhistory.com. Geneva (New York) Daily Times, May 13, 1920, page 7:
HEARING THINGS AT NIGHT
Some of the Marvels of Wireless Telephony
Experiments at Deal Beach, N. J. Last Night Were Distinctly Heard Here
Long distance wireless telephone messages have been received nightly in Geneva for the last two or three weeks. These have been heard by several of the local amateur wireless operators on their receiving instruments. The messages are experimental ones sent out in the effort to determine the distance at which the present instrument can send and be heard. They have been sent out from two sources. The first ones were sent two or three weeks ago from the General Electric Company at Schenectady, and the present ones are being sent out by the Western Electric Company from a wireless station at Deal Beach, New Jersey. Last night conversation was heard as well as a number of musical selections from this station. Deal Beach is on the Jersey Coast near Asbury Park.
Henry Wheat, son of H. A. Wheat, has for some time had an extensive wireless equipment. Last evening a number of friends were invited to come to the house and listen in on the experiments. Young Mr. Wheat has been getting a lot of entertainment recently out of his instruments by listening to the experiments every evening. He is an expert wireless operator and the first he knew or had heard of any wireless telephone experiments was one evening two or three weeks ago when he was listening and taking wireless messages when suddenly he was startled by hearing voices in his instrument and some on say "Hello" followed by music. He could scarcely believe his ears, for he had never before heard anything of the kind on his wireless instruments and he did not have the slightest idea of where the sounds emanated from. He had to pinch himself to be assured that be was not in a trance or dreaming. Then further conversation was heard, making some explanations that wireless telephone experiments were being made. These were followed by similar demonstrations or experiments on succeeding evenings. Sometimes they have been very distinct, and other times faint and difficult to catch, according to atmospheric or other conditions.
Last evening proved a pretty satisfactory evening for hearing the experiments and a number of Mr. Wheat's friends enjoyed the sensation of hearing talking and music from the Deal Beach station. The writer was one of those in the party. The experiments began promptly at ten o'clock, according to an announcement which had been made the night before. Just at the hour a voice was heard, first rather faintly, then more distinctly until it was quite clear. Announcement was made that a number of experiments would be made and the request was made that all wireless operators who heard would report to the station how they heard and which sounds or things they heard most distinctly. It was stated that they wished to find out how far the messages were heard and how well.
After this preliminary announcement it was stated that the program of the evening would begin with some musical selections, three in number of different character. First was an orchestral selection. This was faint at first but soon the sounds became plainer and it was easy to follow the to distinguish the different instruments, such as the violins or the wind instruments.
The second number, it was announced, would be a vocal selection. The first notes of this came clearly and only a measure or two had bean heard before it was very plain to hear that the famous sextette from "Lucia" was being sung. After this was completed a banjo was played and the familiar twang, twang, twang of this instrument came through the air.
At the conclusion of these three selections it was stated that a rest of three minutes would be taken, after which more experiments would be made. Promptly at the end of this period the program was resumed. The person speaking stated that for the information of any who had not heard the first announcement the person speaking was at wireless station, number so and so, Deal Beach, New Jersey, and that more musical numbers would be given to test the instruments.
"We will not tell you who the singer of the next number is to be," came into the receiver. "We think you will know before he has sung very long." Then started in a rollicking, popular song in a dialect that was unmistakable and it was no guess at all to say that it was Harry Lauder, the popular Scotch singer and entertainer. When the song was over the speaker in charge said, "I think you all must have known that the singer was Harry Lauder." Then followed two or three more songs by the same singer.
Other rest periods followed for the next hour and more conversations and songs were heard. Sometimes they were heard clearly and other times not. Sometimes there was a buzzing or scratching sound in the instruments which came from static electricity and which is something that is always more or less troublesome with wireless telegraphy. Sometimes the sounds would be very distinct then they would fade away, then return and then recede, but on the whole most of the conversation and music were quite clear, and similar to that heard over an ordinary telephone.
Of course, coming through the air or 300 or 400 miles made it marvelous and one might say almost uncanny, especially when realized that here was nothing on which to catch the sound waves except a few wires strung out in a yard as an aerial and through a receiver on the ear connected up with the usual wireless outfit.
How far the messages and music of last evening were heard cannot be said, but Mr. Wheat says that some nights ago it was announced that they had been heard as far as Kansas, which would be in the neighborhood of 1,500 miles.
During the experiments and while listening one could also hear a multitude of wireless telegraph messages being sent from land stations and some ships at sea.
The instruments that Mr. Wheat are the regular wireless instruments. They are not equipped with any telephonic sending device, such as the station in New Jersey had. Hence no conversation back and forth could be had. One could hear but not talk back. It was possible to communicate with the station by the wireless telegraph but one must first know and understand the code to do this.
Whether the music heard last evening was rendered by musicians on the spot or were records produced on the victrola was not stated. The sound was much like that of a phonograph instrument and the interference was that the music was of that character.
It will be possible for any amateurs to hear these experiments if they have instruments of sufficient power, and they will no doubt hear the sounds in proportion to the power of their receiving equipment.
These experiments strike the uninitiated as wierd and sensational but they no doubt presage the practical development of long-distance wireless telephony, which seems even more marvelous and inexplicable than the wireless telegraphy which has become common and accepted means of communication.