Scientific American, June 4, 1921, page 449:
A New Era In Wireless
What Is Being Done With the Radio Telephone By Way of Broadcasting News, Music and Sermons
By L. H. Rosenberg
FOR years commercial stations have been using the wireless telegraph successfully and amateurs, experimenting with the art, have spent hour after hour on this interesting subject. The mystery of the dots and dashes received from the ether after having traveled hundreds of miles, has interested thousands, and many boys and even grown men have painstakingly spent hours in order to master the wonders of radio and to learn perfectly how to send and receive code messages.
But now there is a new era, and we have radio in a new rôle. No longer is this fascinating subject confined to the expert, for today all may enjoy its many benefits. Radio telephony has developed to such an extent that one does not need to be an expert to receive the messages of the air.
From many plants all over the United States music and actual talking can be picked up as broadcast from efficient broadcasting radio telephone stations. One of the most successful of these stations is the experimental broadcasting station of the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company at East Pittsburgh, Pa. Concerts are given nightly from this station and they are heard over an area of three million square miles. In this territory there are hundreds of thousands of persons who hear these concerts. The programs for the evenings usually consist, in the main, of phonograph music and national and international news. The great success of this scheme which is attracting wide attention, is the care taken in the selection of the program. For instance, a careful study has been made of phonograph music. Records which sound exceedingly well when played on the ordinary talking machine may be entirely unsuited for this character of music. The best records are tenor and contralto solos and it has been found that instrumental music such as the xylophone, saxophone, the accordion and the cornet are very clear. The program for each night is carefully considered and a selection is made of instrumental and vocal, classical and popular.
Not only is phonograph music transmitted from this station, but the sending out of a complete church service is the feature of each Sunday night. In the church and pulpit of the Calvary Episcopal Church of Pittsburgh are installed several transmitters. These transmitters are connected to a private telephone line which runs to the radio station seven miles from the church. When the choir sings, or the rector preaches, these transmitters respond to the sound waves and the music or sermon, as it may be, is transmitted to East Pittsburgh via the telephone line. There it is broadcast by means of the radio apparatus, thus allowing thousands of people to hear the service in their own homes. Think what this means to many people: the invalid, unable to go to church can enjoy its benefits without leaving his bed or wheel chair; the farmer, too far from town to go to church has the service brought to him; and the sick in the hospital are encouraged to get well by the wonderful words of the preacher. It is marvelous, this transmitting of church services by radio. One can almost imagine being in church. The blending music of the sixty men and boys lifted in song and the ring of the deep-set voice of the preacher all make the service seem realistic.
So many of the innovations with radio have proved successful that the possibilities of the radio broadcasting plan seem unlimited. When Herbert Hoover visited Pittsburgh to tell his story about the starving children in Europe, arrangements were made for sending this appeal broadcast by radio. A special speech was not necessary. Immediately in front of Mr. Hoover at the dinner, held at the Duquesne Club, was a transmitter. It was arranged in such a manner that it was unseen by both Mr. Hoover and the audience but this did not prevent it from working perfectly. Instead of making his plea to one or two hundred men gathered at dinner, Mr. Hoover was able to reach thousands of people who stayed at home listening to their wireless receiving sets.
A short time ago Prof. Vladmir Karapetoff, professor of Electrical Engineering at Cornell University, who is also a noted musician, gave a lecture piano recital at the Westinghouse Club. Although this event was held in a large hall, the attendance was limited. Here was wonderful music and a discussion of the great composers, which were limited to hundreds--that is it would have been limited to hundreds if it had not been for the wonder of radio broadcasting.
Besides the transmission of the concert music, the church service, the speech of prominent men, broadcasting of a more material nature is forthcoming. The farmer can receive the crop report at the present time; this is sent from Washington, D. C., and the tired business man can get the high points of the latest news. When he gets his morning paper, if he lives in the city he reads more about the happenings given in brief the previous night by radio.
And let us predict further. When the radio broadcasting has reached a higher stage of development and is more fully utilized, the benefits will be enormous. It will be like a three-ring circus. If you look in one direction, you see clowns performing antics, or you may see acrobats, chariot races and what-not.
Soon in radio you will be able to get popular music if you desire, or classical music, or church service, or speeches, or crop reports or news. These will all be sent out at the same time and it will merely be a question of "looking in the proper direction" for the reception of your choice. This will be accomplished by transmitting in what is known as "wave lengths."
One wave length will convey one kind of entertainment, and another wave length will convey another kind. By a simple adjustment of the receiving apparatus, any wave length reception may be selected.
The apparatus necessary to receive this radio broadcasting is exceedingly simple and can be purchased from a few dollars up, depending on the quality of reception desired and the distance from the broadcasting station.
The original idea of the necessity of the telephone headset has been bettered and now by the addition of a loud-speaking horn to a good set of apparatus, many can hear the broadcasting from the same outfit.
Although much has been done with respect to these radio telephone experiments, in a few years we will wonder that we were ever able to exist without enjoying its many benefits.