Radio Broadcast, May, 1922, pages 74-75:
FOUND BY RADIO
BY PIERRE BOUCHERON
ONE of the most romantic stories of the power of radio is the story of the finding of Cleo Archer. In January, 1920, Lester Archer was a young radio amateur living in Toledo, Ohio. This was before the day of widespread radio telephone broadcasting. With his radio set using the Continental Morse Code this young man accomplished in a short time what his mother, lawyer, and private detective agencies had been trying to do for thirteen years. At the age of five, Cleo Archer, Lester's sister, had been secretly placed in the Allen County Children's Home of Ohio by unfriendly relatives. To find Cleo became the life aim of young Archer and his mother, Mrs. Dorothy Archer, and to this end, they visited other cities and towns in a vain search, meanwhile conducting a legal battle to compel the home authorities to divulge Cleo's whereabouts.
In 1910, this young man, then but a boy in knee pants, became interested in amateur radio, and in a short time he had done what many thousand boys have since duplicated; erected a complete sending and receiving station enabling him to converse at ease with local enthusiasts. For the next few years he spent a great deal of his spare time experimenting and improving his installation so that he was able in 1920 to send as far as 1,000 miles with his home-made transmitter, as well as to receive from the long distance high power stations at Nauen, Germany; Stavanger, Norway, and Lyons, France.
In talking, or rather telegraphing, through the ether, Archer's radio acquaintances reached considerable proportions, until they included many amateurs from neighboring states. The greater portion, of course, he had never seen, but they nevertheless all belonged to the great fraternity of the ether. One of these radio friends was Mrs. Charles Candler, of St. Marys, Ohio, who, with her husband, operates the powerful amateur station "8ZL" now well known throughout the United States for its long distance records.
One evening of January, 1920, young Archer was "talking" with Mrs. Candler in the comradery which radio boasts as its very own when he conceived the idea of asking for her cooperation in broadcasting the "call" for his sister, Cleo. With the aid of the multitude of amateurs within the reach of "8ZL," Mrs. Candler thereupon offered to transmit a general message bearing the girl's description and asking for information regarding her whereabouts. The first radiogram of this nature was sent late in January and was, of course, picked up and relayed by hundreds of other amateurs throughout the country who were only too willing to help in the search. Archer, meanwhile, sat night after night at his receiving set listening for a possible encouraging reply. Weeks passed and it began to look like a hopeless task when one evening, the faint call "8KV" (Archer's registered call signal) came from another amateur located at Van Wert, Ohio. Following this call, came some words hardly discernible, so faint were they, and in which young Archer was able to distinguish the words "your sister." Late at night of the same day, when most amateurs had closed for the night and local interference had subsided, Archer was again able to establish communication with the Van Wert station and was informed that a young girl answering the radioed description of his sister was living at the home of a near-by farmer at Rockford, Mercer County, Ohio. Moreover, this amateur flashed back that he had been trying to reach Archer for the past two weeks but without success, owing to the limited range of his sending equipment.
Needless to add, it did not take long for Archer and his mother to investigate the radioed report. Much to their surprise and joy, the report proved correct and the girl was recognized instantly as the long lost one.
The story of Archer and his unique use of the ether is indeed an achievement to amateur radio of this country. To-day, with our great and far reaching radio telephone broadcasting stations throughout the country, we have at our disposal, probably, the most effective and inexpensive means of locating absent ones yet devised, and as the fame and worth of radio spreads far and wide it is quite reasonable to expect police officials to resort to its use for a multitude of purposes, whether for seeking the whereabouts of lost ones or for hunting criminals.