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History of Communications-Electronics in the United States Navy, Captain Linwood S. Howeth, USN (Retired), 1963, pages 167-186:
Early Growth of Naval Communications
1. THE UNITED STATES NAVAL RADIO SITUATION IN 1908
Radio equipment had been installed in all naval surface vessels and most of the low-powered shore radio stations had been in operation for 4 years by mid-summer 1907. Accustomed as we are, in the mid-20th century, to rapid technological development, it would be expected that use of radio would have increased quickly as a means of intrafleet communication and also as a means of controlling fleet operations from the seat of government. Unfortunately, this did not occur. Increase in knowledge of the science was extremely limited and the lack of improvement of apparatus suffered correspondingly. There was little quantitative knowledge of the requirements, and equipment was assembled by the trial-and-error method. Frequency was controlled by constructing antennas with a natural period approximating that to be used. No single firm held, or could legally use, all the worthwhile patents to improvements. Once a patent was obtained, the patentee or his assignee held it tightly and refused to license others in its use because of the desire to eliminate competition and establish a monopoly.
Along our continental coastlines the Navy had erected and was operating several chains of radio stations each of which could relay a message from one station to another for the full length of each coast. On the Atlantic seaboard a message could be sent, under favorable conditions, as far as the Canal Zone. There were no means of connecting the east- and west-coast chains except by landlines. Installations had been completed in our insular possessions but, with the exception of those in the Caribbean, the only interconnections between them and the continental stations were the cables. Generally speaking, there was some, but not sufficient, supervision over these stations. Since naval installations and many others all operated in a band close about 750 kc., there was much unintentional interference between adjacent naval stations and considerable intentional and unintentional interference between naval, commercial, and amateur stations. No attempt was made to use several different frequencies, and if such had been made it would have been useless, for the wide-band transmissions of the old spark apparatus emitted at least one additional wide-band frequency almost equal in intensity to the primary and their combined emissions covered most of the spectrum in use. The stations with high power and large antenna systems were somewhat like the "bull in the china shop." Their transmissions carried through to their limited range but in doing so they "broke up" all others in the vicinity. No efforts were made to limit the power used to that required for the distance involved.
Following Evans' limited attempts to develop radio for strategic usage, no further training had been carried on for this purpose. No endeavor had been made to develop it as a means of tactical communications. The original installations, with poor internal communications with the bridge, did not readily lend themselves to such purpose. Seafaring men, accustomed to fighting the elements and navigating uncharted waters wherein often floated unknown obstructions, have by custom, tradition, and training become a conservative group under peacetime conditions. They are slow to accept innovations. Commanders were familiar with maneuvering their ships in close formation by flag-hoist signals. They themselves could readily see, during periods of good visibility, when all their ships had received and understood the orders for the evolutions. They were not prone to use a signaling method they could not see, nor understand, and one which they certainly distrusted. Without considerable training and development of standard operating procedures during periods of good visibility, this strange, chattering device was of no value during poor visibility. Moreover, most officers sincerely believed that the large topside antennas would quickly be damaged in battle, either by blasts of our own gunfire or by enemy action, and that it was nothing short of folly to depend upon such a system. Within the fleet no central authority exercised control over radio use nor specified periods of maintenance. An installation could be secured at the will of the commanding officer or operator without knowledge of a unit commander. This did not add to its reliability as a means of tactical communications. Without the exercise of central control it became more and more unreliable and disdained, and rapidly became merely a seaward extension of the telegraph system. Even for this purpose it was extremely limited in range. The range was often further reduced by some commanders who secured their equipments as soon as they were at sea in order to eliminate what they considered an undesirable shore contact. Under these conditions shipboard radio quickly developed into a toy for the radio operators and a means for passing personal and often frivolous messages ashore. These conditions could only be corrected by positive action on the part of a fleet commander who, in turn, lacked a technically qualified staff to assist in performing this function.
From this analysis it is readily apparent that many requirements had to be met before radio could be adopted as a satisfactory mode of intrafleet tactical and strategical communications. Improved and reliable narrow-band transmitting equipment, both low and high powered, capable of being quickly shifted to any of several different frequencies, was necessary, but there appeared little likelihood of such becoming available. In view of this, the most immediate need was a central authority capable of educating officers in the proper use of radio and of establishing a controlled operating organization from which a disciplined use of the medium might be evolved. Next in importance was the establishment of a scientific group to study and evolve the theories underlying radio and radio-wave propagation in order to meet the requirements for improved apparatus and its more knowledgeable use. Another very important requirement was for a system which could be adapted to tactical usage within the fleet, utilizing a smaller antenna and without creating interference to other radio circuits and capable of being located where it could be in instant and reliable communication with the commanders of ships, units, or fleets. These requirements were all well understood by the personnel of the Radio Division of the Bureau of Equipment.
2. BUREAU OF EQUIPMENT RADIO PLANNING
Late in 1906 Lt. Comdr. Cleland Davis,1 USN, became the head of the Radio Division and continued in this post for better than 3 frustrating years. His predecessors, Hudgins, Jayne, and Robison, had built up the existent system. Requirements for new equipments of existent types were limited to those necessary for fitting newly constructed naval vessels, replacement of damaged equipments, or for a small increase in the number of shore stations. Davis was in a position to devote much of his time to the improvement of equipment and in planning to eliminate uncovered ocean areas. Both he and his assistant, Lt. George C. Sweet,2 USN, possessed considerable vision and early in their tour of duty evolved a plan for a system of high-powered stations which would cover all necessary ocean areas and which would be intercommunicable and supported by the existent relatively low-powered shore stations as a secondary system. Their long-range planning was so excellent that its results remain apparent in the present U.S. Naval Radio System. The only major changes are the result of the increased ranges, obtainable by utilization of higher frequencies, improved apparatus and the necessities created by changing world conditions and modes of defense. Realizing the antagonism of many officers and the indifference of most of the remainder, Davis made no effort to force an organization upon the fleet. He contented himself with the planning for the future and with the endeavor to improve equipment to the end that this mode of communication might be more readily accepted. Through his entire tour of duty he was constantly berated by most of the firms which were unsuccessful in obtaining naval contracts and was beset by threats of infringement suits as well. During the period of his tenure the Senate refused to ratify the Berlin convention and the several Congresses would not enact legislation controlling the use of radio. None of his planning bore fruit during this period and several of his efforts were failures, some due to too hasty action on his part. It is probable that he welcomed his relief, happy to leave such a thankless and unsatisfying billet.
3. THE RADIOTELEPHONE FAILURE
One of the first mistakes of the Davis regime was that of becoming too quickly convinced of the capabilities and promises of the radiotelephone equipment developed by De Forest in the summer of 1907. This apparatus appeared to be the answer to the requirement for fleet tactical radio equipments. Two sets were purchased and installed in the U.S.S. Connecticut and U.S.S. Virginia and hasty and incomplete, but fairly successful, tests of this apparatus were conducted in September of that year.3 The Bureau of Equipment, departing from its usual conservative policy, ordered 26 sets of the equipment for installation in ships scheduled to depart Hampton Roads, Va., on 26 December, for the famed "Around the World Cruise." Only 40 days were allowed for the manufacture of this equipment.4 Under ordinary circumstances De Forest equipment was noted for its lack of engineering design and perfection and under such hurried procurement the equipment delivered was far below this normal poor quality. A news item of December 1907 contains a statement by Evans that the sets were being installed at his insistence.5 Subsequent events indicate that this statement was obtained and provided newspapers by the publicity-minded De Forest, who saw the possibility of enhancing his equipment and stock sales by publicizing the Navy contract in this manner.
When delivered, the equipments were hastily installed. Those for many of the ships were shipped to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where they were installed by the radio personnel of the individual ships. No instruction in the operation of this apparatus had been provided the watch officers who were supposed to utilize it on the bridge in a manner somewhat similar but more complicated than the ordinary telephone, nor had any effort been made to encourage their acceptance of it. It had been designed to use approximately the same frequency as that used by other shipboard radio equipment; therefore, it could not be used simultaneously with that equipment.6 At the time, this was not a serious problem because the fleet was, for the greater part of the time, out of range of communications with shore stations.
Bean, one of the chief petty officers who had gone to Europe with Hudgins to study radio apparatus and who was closely associated with the development of radio in the Navy, recalled that the U.S.S. Ohio was detached from the fleet during part of the cruise and, being alone, was allowed to "experiment" with the telephone, but the rest of the fleet was not, for as soon as they left port "old Admiral Evans ordered the sets dismantled and the antennas taken down. This was because there was too much playing with the new toy; also, too much interference with the regular spark operation."7 This does not support the contention that Evans insisted upon the installations of this apparatus.
H. J. Meneratti, who later retired as a captain, USN, was a chief electrician's mate aboard the Ohio. In a recent discussion of the radiotelephone, he conceded that it was tricky. It was difficult to keep the arc, made up of carbon and copper electrodes which were contained within a chamber filled with hydrogen-carbon gas, in adjustment. By 12 January 1908 they had managed to keep the Ohio's set in operation for several hours at a time, during which periods they broadcast music from the ship's band. As time went on they were able to increase the operable intervals. When they arrived in San Francisco a phonograph and a collection of records were obtained and, throughout the remainder of the cruise and during their visits to various ports, they broadcast music, much to the amazement of those who chanced to hear it.8
However, the equipment was never used for the purpose for which it was installed. No singular authority pressed it into service for tactical purposes or endeavored to develop a plan for its usage. De Forest had just developed the three-element tube and he had little knowledge of why or how it operated and he was always prone to place equipment under manufacture prior to obtaining a satisfactory engineered design. This, coupled with the 40 days allowed for the manufacture of 26 sets, most parts of which were made by hand, was sufficient to insure delivery of unreliable equipment. Added to this, the sets were placed on ships which would be distant from their home ports for months without the necessary engineering maintenance and supply of spare parts. In view of these facts, it is doubtful that all equipments could have been kept constantly operable, and certainly this lack of reliability largely nullified its use. Had the Bureau of Equipment followed the orderly procedure of procuring a few sets and of testing these exhaustively, while simultaneously training both officers and men in their usage, it is probable that the apparatus could have been satisfactorily redesigned and engineered to produce a radiotelephone set that would have proved reliable. The failure of this project did much to increase the convictions of many naval personnel that radio could not be developed into a reliable means of intrafleet communications. Upon the return of the fleet to the United States, the equipment was turned into store at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and from that time until 1917 the Navy was without radiotelephone installations.9
4. ESTABLISHMENT AND EARLY ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE NAVAL RADIO RESEARCH LABORATORY
The radiotelephone fiasco helped to point out the necessity of the Navy's having its own radio scientific and engineering personnel to prevent similar blunders and to provide continuity of personnel. A decision was reached to establish a research laboratory for the investigation of the various problems involved in development and engineering of naval, radio equipment. Discussion of this with Dr. S. W. Stratton, Director of the Bureau of Standards, brought forth the offer of quarters for the proposed laboratory, together with a portion of the required apparatus and the use of the general equipment of the Bureau.10 Dr. L. W. Austin, noted physicist and an international authority on radio, was then conducting tests under the auspices of the Bureau of Standards. He was transferred to the Navy Department to head the newly established U.S. Navy Radio Laboratory. Arrangements for beginning the research activities were worked out during the summer of 1908.
In his recommendations, Austin separated the work of the Laboratory into two divisions. The first included the experiments to be conducted in the Laboratory. The second consisted of experiments to be planned and supervised by the Laboratory but carried out at operating stations.11 As planned the initial task of the Laboratory was to produce primary high-frequency inductance and condenser standards. Tests in connection with the sensitiveness of different types of receivers with their telephone headsets and other ancillary apparatus under varying conditions of damping and frequency were to be made at the laboratory where they could be conducted much more accurately and expeditiously. Additionally assigned Laboratory functions were a study to reduce the damping losses in the transmitting circuits; a study of dielectric losses in various glass and oil condensers; investigations to determine the best form of spark gap; studies to determine the best ratios of inductance and capacity for different frequencies; the most efficient coupling to be used between the receiving circuits; a determination of the best method of connecting the receiver to obtain maximum efficiency in order that a receiver giving maximum signal strength with sharpest tuning might be obtained; studies in connection with the production of radio waves by the arc transmitter and the high-frequency alternator; and training personnel in the proper methods of testing the efficiency of equipment at the operating stations.12
The tasks assigned for accomplishment at shore radio stations included a study of the efficiency of different types of transmitting devices such as the arc, the high-frequency alternator, and various types of damped spark apparatus; a determination of the best forms of antennas, both transmitting and receiving; quantitative determination of ground resistances under various conditions; a study of the action of waves between transmitter and receiver, including a quantitative study of atmospheric absorption; and the study of methods of eliminating atmospheric disturbances.13
To provide advice relative to radio engineering and to give a desirable continuity of effort, which could not be supplied by officers because of the necessity for their rotation between sea and shore billets, a small corps of civilian radio experts was established at this time. After qualifying by technical examination, Mr. George H. Clark, who since his graduation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1903 had been in the employ of the Stone Telephone & Telegraph Co., was given the first appointment to this corps.14 His original title was "subinspector of radio." During the years he was, as he termed himself, "a Government pauper," he contributed greatly to the improvement of equipment and gave valuable assistance in the studies on wave propagation and other research projects.15 Dr. Austin's sole assistant during the first year was Clark, who aided him whenever he could be spared from his other duty as an adviser to the head of the Radio Division. Later, a number of chief electrician's mates were assigned, either as assistants or for training, and some of these, despite lack of university education, showed considerable aptitude.16
The first investigative work of the Laboratory was begun in September 1908. Prior to beginning the work as planned, Austin was directed to conduct tests of the Poulsen arc. Two sets of this equipment had been purchased in Denmark in 1907 on the recommendation of Rear Admiral Manney,17 who had witnessed this apparatus in operation prior to returning to the United States after the conclusion of the Berlin Conference. The transmitter produced fairly sharp, undamped waves by an arc formed in alcohol vapor, the current being supplied by a 500-volt direct-current generator. Fair results were obtained over distances up to 40 miles, but it was concluded that the equipment required more skillful attention than would be readily available and that it was too bulky for shipboard installation. These conclusions were unfortunate, for this type of equipment remained neglected for the next 4 years. It was an earlier version of the transmitter which was to become and remain the Navy's standard for many years before being supplanted by electronic equipment.
Following the completion of the tests of the Poulsen equipment, the Laboratory began the development of methods for the exact measurement of circuit variables. Some methods for accomplishing this were adopted from European practices. Among these devices were ones for determination of (1) current flow in receiving antennas, when the current was too weak to be measured quantitatively by existing methods; (2) the sensitiveness of telephone headsets and detectors; (3) the comparative efficiency of receiving sets; and (4) antenna resistances. A systematic study was made of current distribution in coupled receiving circuits under varying degrees of damping of transmitted waves. This work indicated the necessity for using variable coupling to obtain maximum signal intensity with satisfactory sharpness of tuning.18
5. UTILIZATION OF NEWLY DEVELOPED APPARATUS
During this time advantage was taken of the newly developed IP76, crystal-detector, receivers developed by Pickard of the Wireless Specialty Apparatus Co. These were recommended by the Laboratory and large quantities were purchased to replace the obsolescent Slaby-Arco, De Forest, Shoemaker, Massie, and Stone equipments of earlier purchase. The IP76 was a simple two-circuit receiver, with so-called untuned secondaries (secondary coils of fine, closely wound wire, whose natural period could be roughly approximated to that of the incoming signal by selection of turns). It was improved within a few months by B. F. Miessner, a naval radio electrician's mate stationed at the Washington Navy Yard, by the addition of the popularly named "cat whisker," a fine metal point maintained in light contact with the crystal. These "Navy standard" receivers were installed in practically all ship and shore stations.
Almost from the beginning of radio, engineers realized the advantages of undamped waves, especially for telephony, but the problems of generating and receiving them were not immediately surmountable. The arc transmitter which generated continuous waves was introduced by Poulsen in 1903, but it was many years before it was simplified sufficiently to make it generally usable. The three-element tube as a generator of undamped oscillations did not become available until after 1912. Unable to devise satisfactory continuous-wave transmitters, radio engineers had constantly sought to devise a means of reducing the damping of the spark transmitter's oscillations. The first of these transmitters had produced a 60-cycle, or less, output. This was gradually increased, as in the case of the Navy modification of the early Slaby-Arco transmitters, by increasing the number of segments in the mercury interrupter, again and again, until finally they produced a "sweeter note" at about 500 cycles. Next, the spark gap was enclosed and operated under pressure, and this was followed by the quenched gaps of Chafee and Wein and the synchronous rotary gap employed by Fessenden. These made it possible to provide an initial impulse to the antenna, after which it was disconnected for an infinitesimal period of time to permit it to oscillate at its natural period and thus reduce the damping. Fessenden had been granted U.S. Patent No. 706,740 on the heterodyne method of reception in 1902.19 The early use of this method was cumbersome, and the idea laid almost dormant until the National Electric Signaling Co. was forced to use it as a method of reception in an endeavor to fulfill their Navy contract for the 100-kw. synchronous rotary spark transmitter. This proved to be the most satisfactory method for the reception of continuous waves.
The only other means available for the reception of continuous waves was Poulsen's "tikker" or the variations of this device developed by Goldschmidt of Germany and by Austin of the Naval Radio Research Laboratory. The Poulsen device utilized a mechanical vibrator in the secondary circuit of the antenna coupler in series with a telephone headset and a condenser connected in parallel. The condenser was charged and discharged at a rapid rate by the vibrator rapidly opening and closing the circuit. The condenser charging current was controlled by the antenna oscillations, and this produced groups of audible sounds corresponding to the transmissions of the station being received.
6. PORTABLE SETS
Following the failure of the radiotelephone, there remained a primary requirement for a small portable set for fitting on ship's bridges for tactical usage. Secondarily, such equipment could be used by the landing force of a ship or for fitting in small boats. The National Electric Supply Co. of Washington, under the supervision of the personnel of the Radio Division, designed and built such a set, and the Bureau contracted for a small number for service tests. These were designed to provide a light, easily adjusted equipment which, at the time a ship was "cleared for action," could be set up in a sheltered position and connected to a small antenna to provide intrafleet communications during battle with some degree of freedom from interference by the enemy. It was transportable and was contained in a single case approximately the size of a dress suitcase. Late in 1908, several of these sets were delivered to the Atlantic Fleet for service testing conducted under the supervision of the fleet signal officer, Lt. W. R. Wurtsbaugh, USN.20
Before conducting the experiments, Wurtsbaugh made a thorough analysis of the problem to determine requirements and to study unknown factors. For long-distance communications the location of the antenna in an exposed and lofty position was necessary, as was, at that time, the location of a radio room above deck. For short distances involved during an action it would be of great advantage to shift to a battle radio station protected from enemy fire. Considering these factors, it was recommended that a complete battle radio apparatus be installed below the protective deck in two of the vessels of the fleet, preferably two flagships, to conduct experiments using a secondary antenna, which could be rigged on either side of the ship and protected by the armor belt. It was recommended that this proposed battle radio room be near the central station and have voice tube and telephone connections with the conning tower. In his letter Wurtsbaugh stated that the importance of a well-protected battle radio room could not be underestimated in view of the vulnerability and slowness of flag signals under battle conditions. He considered that the matter of interference could be overcome by the use of simple codes in which a signal is given by repeating a single letter or two letters until understood by all the ships of a fleet. The analysis presented two pertinent questions: (1) Can an antenna be so located as to be reasonably safe from danger by gunfire of the enemy? and (2) Will the firing of the ship's battery interfere with the receiving of messages?21
These recommendations were approved, and experiments were conducted for the purpose of providing answers to these questions. The U.S.S. Connecticut and U.S.S. Virginia were fitted, by means of outriggers, with short single-wire antennas, about 20 feet in length, along the side of each ship which would be considered unengaged during a forthcoming battle practice. These antennas were entirely below the armor belt and reasonably safe from damage during action. Because of the reduced lengths of these antennas they did not prove completely satisfactory, but messages were exchanged between the two ships at distances up to 5 miles. During the battle practice a portable receiving set was installed below the protective deck and free from the noises incident to firing. Utilizing these installations, the Virginia transmitted messages which were received by the Connecticut while the latter was firing. Since it appeared that an antenna of greater length was desirable, the Connecticut rigged a two-wire antenna, of the same length as the regular antenna, just clear of the ship's side, beginning at the height of the lower bridge. After successfully receiving at a distance of 15 to 20 miles, it was lowered by successive stages until it was just clear of the water and of the ship's side. The results demonstrated that, for fleet work within a radius of 15 or 20 miles, a fully protected antenna similar to this could be used satisfactorily.22
Later, portable sets were delivered to the Special Service Squadron for additional tests under tropical conditions. Sweet, having been relieved of his duties in the Radio Division, was then serving in this unit and he was assigned the responsibility of conducting the tests. His report, forwarded by the Commander, Special Service Squadron, to the Navy Department in August 1910, was comprehensive and indicated that the equipment had been most thoroughly tested.
In commenting upon and making recommendations for the improvement of the transmitter, he noted that the secondary and discharger circuits performed their functions satisfactorily and that the singing spark was, without doubt, the best form of that type of equipment yet supplied. He recommended that two gaps be supplied with each equipment in order that one would always be available while the other was being cleaned or overhauled; that the Leyden jar condensers be replaced by plate condensers made up of tinfoil and paraffined paper; that the induction coils should be capable of stepping up the voltage to 5,000 volts and of maintaining their full capacity for at least 24 hours; and that the primary of the coil should be better proportioned for a frequency of 500 cycles. Continuing, he commented that the arrangement of obtaining the 500-cycle current from the brushes of the primary coil and having the operating key in series with the field of the alternator proved successful, but it made little difference in the speed regulation whether that method was used or one of keeping the field constant and placing the key in series with the brushes. In view of these factors, he recommended the use of the latter method because the delivered voltage was more constant. He also recommended inclusion of a means of providing three constant alternator speeds of 300, 400, and 500 cycles.23
In commenting on the design and construction of the receiver, Sweet mentioned that the sealed carborundum detector was unsatisfactory because the steel burned at the contact; that the tuning coil should be improved by constructing it similar to the one in the transmitter in order to provide selective secondary tuned circuits; and that appropriate condenser capacity should be provided so that frequency could be shifted by a single action.24
The apparatus was tested using various types of antennas from one of about 705 kc. natural frequency down to a single insulated No. 20 copper wire hoisted half way to a signal yard by a halyard. Experimentally, it was determined the best battle antenna for these low-voltage sets was a single flexible insulated cable suspended from a height of about 80 feet. Such an antenna had the advantage that, if shot away, it could be easily and quickly replaced and, additionally, that it helped to eliminate interference from stations using antennae of longer lengths.25
The report recommended placement of the equipment in the conning tower where it would be afforded adequate protection and where the rubber-insulated antenna could be led out a sight slit and hoisted to the yardarm. In this location the operator would have immediate and positive communications with the commanding officer.26
The report closed with the recommendation that these improvements be incorporated and the equipment again be service tested. It further recommended that, when proven satisfactory, several sets should be provided each ship likely to engage in battle.27
The improvements suggested were incorporated in the specifications for portable equipment and the new apparatus proved to be a rugged, capable equipment. It was the forerunner of the auxiliary or battle radio set, landing force and small-boat equipment and, what is more important, it stimulated study and experimentation which led to the production of more rugged and compact equipment and also pointed the way towards the eventual equipping of aircraft and submarines.28
7. INITIAL TESTS OF THE FESSENDEN 100 KW. SYNCHRONOUS ROTARY SPARK TRANSMITTER
Although the plans for a chain of high-powered stations, capable of intercommunicating with each other and of delivering messages to ships regardless of where they might be operating had been completed, no equipment had been found which would meet the requirements. Prior to going before Congress with a request for the necessary appropriation, it was necessary that satisfactory equipment be available. It was at this time that Firth offered the Fessenden equipment with satisfactory guarantees of performance. As previously related, this equipment was purchased, subject to its performance meeting the required stipulations. This purchase also resulted in an averment of collusion by the De Forest interests.
The contract called for conducting experiments with the transmitter while it was still located at the National Electric Signaling Co. station at Brant Rock, Mass. Because of the power available there, it could only be operated at 60 percent of its rated capacity with the antenna supported by a single 400-foot tower. Hence, no final conclusions were reached at Brant Rock. The final acceptance of the equipment was deferred awaiting the construction of the buildings, towers, and antenna at Washington. In the meantime, in order to gain information concerning the apparatus, experiments were conducted utilizing the U.S.S. Salem and Birmingham, each of which was fitted with a Fessenden 10-kw. transmitter of the same type as the 100-kw. During these experiments, conducted during December 1909, the Salem and Birmingham were each stationed 1,000 miles from Brant Rock and the same distance from each other. There was a severe storm during most of the period of this experiment and the results were not satisfactory.29 Following these experiments the two cruisers put into the Norfolk Navy Yard to have new topmasts fitted to increase the antenna height to 156 feet and span to 175 feet.30 Further experiments were conducted during July 1910, at which time the cruisers were able to maintain communication with each other for a distance of 600 miles by day. The U.S.S. Birmingham received messages from Brant Rock during daylight when distant 900 miles, and on one occasion maintained communication with that station during darkness when distant 2,186 miles and copied press at night at a distance of 2,271 miles. During these experiments it was determined that the 10-kw. transmitters were more powerful than required for loading any antenna with which the cruisers could be fitted.31 A similar 25-kw. transmitter, which had been installed in the U.S.S. Connecticut, had also been determined to be too powerful and was removed for later installation at Key West, Fla. The experiments at this time indicated that the 100-kw. transmitter, even when properly installed, would not meet the contract requirements. However, it would be superior to other available equipment and would suffice for long-distance intercommunications between shore stations because of the availability of larger and more directional antennas.
One of the most important results of the Brant Rock-cruiser tests was the determination of the mathematical law governing the strengths of received signals at specific distances. From the data thus obtained, Dr. Austin, assisted by Dr. Louis Cohen, of the National Electric Signaling Co., empirically established the Austin-Cohen formula. So thorough was this work that, with minor variations, correcting for solar activity, time of day, and frequency attenuation, it is still used for the determination of field strength at long distances.32
8. THE MARCONI INTERESTS AGAIN INVADE
The Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. of America had made no protestation when the contract for the Fessenden transmitter was made, but after the tests in July 1910 they addressed a letter to the Secretary of the Navy requesting information concerning the carrying out of the contract with National Electric Signaling Co., stating that they had been informed that both the secrecy and the distance tests were unsatisfactory. In case the Department contemplated erecting a tower in Washington for the purpose of communicating distances up to 3,000 miles, the company protested against the award of any new contract without the Marconi Co. being given an opportunity to prove its ability to meet the specifications.33 The Department replied that the proposed Washington towers were necessary to carry out the contract with the National Electric Signaling Co., the height of the Brant Rock tower and the power available there being insufficient to determine satisfactorily whether or not the contractor could fully carry out the provisions of his contract.34 Replying, the Marconi Co. stated that the conditions of the contract with the National Electric Signaling Co. appeared totally different to those required on the schedule on which the Marconi Co. had bid; that its tender would have been on a totally different basis and bids for the radio equipment of the station would have been submitted which they believed would have been satisfactory to the Department; and that the 190-day time limit set for the completion of the station had long been passed. With the view of obtaining the contract for apparatus for long-distance communication in the contemplated station in Washington, the company renewed its offer to permit the Government to use its own high-powered stations already erected in Nova Scotia and Ireland to make tests. If such arrangements could not be made, they believed that the schedule should be recalled and bids for the installation of radio apparatus in the Washington station should be readvertised for general competition.35 To this the Department replied that the contract with the National Electric Signaling Co. was made on the basis of its bid which complied with the specifications and requirements prescribed by the Department; that the change in the contract whereby the tower called for was to be erected by the Government instead of by the contractor was made in view of the circumstances occurring subsequent to the award of the contract, which in the Department's judgment required such modification in the interest of the Government; that the contracting company undertook in good faith to supply the Department with apparatus possessing the characteristics and power called for in the specifications issued to prospective bidders; that in certain respects the delay in the completion of the station had not been without advantage to the Government; and that it was not considered that the public interests required the making of other arrangements or cancellation of the contract.36
9. RADIO (ARLINGTON), VIRGINIA, SELECTED AS SITE OF HIGH-POWERED STATION
Action was instituted to determine a location for the new radio station in the vicinity of Washington. After considering sites at the Naval Observatory, the Old Soldiers' Home, and Fort Myer, the latter was chosen, and the land was transferred from the War Department to the Navy.37
10. NAVY DEPARTMENT REORGANIZATION AND THE NAVAL RADIO SYSTEM
Early in 1910 plans were being made to reorganize the Navy Department in accordance with congressional legislation. The Bureau of Equipment was to be abolished and its functions were to be divided among materiel bureaus and the naval operations agency, the Bureau of Navigation. At this time the Chief of the Bureau of Equipment informed the Secretary of the Navy that there were recent definite improvements in radio equipment and that a point in its development had been reached where it would not become obsolete and require replacement before giving adequate service for the money expended.38 He further stated that it was incumbent upon the Department to modernize the apparatus on board all important ships and at all shore stations and that the necessary steps to effect this were being taken. To ensure the installation of proper improved apparatus in all the stations, both ship and shore, it was requested that the Bureau be informed of the strategic and tactical requirements and the ranges necessary for each shore station and for the several types of vessels. It was suggested that some new shore stations be established and that a few of the existent ones might be closed. Guidance in other matters was requested concerning the effect of the changes on the administration and operation of the naval radio system, with the bureau suggesting the establishment of an operating and administrative organization district and separate from the technical one. A decision was requested as to whether it would be advisable to employ civilian operators for shore stations instead of enlisted men.39
This letter was referred to the Navy General Board which, in its endorsement on the basic letter, observed that the Board believed that the general administration of radio shore stations maintained by the Navy and the operational control of radio communications should be a function of the Division of Operations, Bureau of Navigation, with the material and personnel functions remaining under the cognizance of the appropriate bureaus. The Board advised that, since the coast radio stations and all radio communications to and from them must be under naval control in time of war, it did not consider it desirable to employ civilian operators for these stations at any time. The ranges of the stations should, in all cases, only be limited by the capabilities of the apparatus. The Division of Operations should decide the number and location of shore stations.40
In his endorsement, the Acting Secretary of the Navy stated that the Division of Operations would assume the operational control of naval radio communications and would decide all questions concerning the establishment, abandonment, location, and relative importance of radio stations and the tactical requirements of fleet units. He further directed that the Bureau of Navigation would fix their complements and issue necessary regulations for their control, and that the new Bureau of Steam Engineering would be responsible for providing stations and equipments and for maintaining them.41
The new organization became effective on 1 July 1910, with Rear Admiral Hutch I. Cone,42 USN, as Chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering, and Lt. Comdr. D. W. Todd,43 USN, as Head of the Radio Division of that newly established Bureau. Unfortunately, the Chief of the Bureau of Navigation did not deem it necessary to establish a radio section in his Division of Operations so no central authority was established to direct radio operations or to evolve policies. Forced by this default, the Bureau of Steam Engineering continued to handle radio matters much as it had in the past.
Throughout his tour of duty, which ended in 1913 when he was relieved by Lt. Comdr. A. J. Hepburn,44 USN, Todd was fully occupied with the tasks of obtaining the passage of legislature for Federal control of radio and in the preparation for and of being a delegate to the Third International Radio Conference.45 Since the resolutions of the problems concerned with these activities, all of which reached fruition under his guidance, required the exercise of maximum tact and diplomacy but left little time to attend to the details of material improvement, he accepted the planning of his predecessor and left to his assistants the work of implementing such plans.
11. THE NAVAL RADIO SYSTEM IN ALASKA
The Army Signal Corps was early assigned the responsibility for interior telephone and telegraph facilities in Alaska and the Aleutians. Radio communications between these areas and continental United States was, by the Roosevelt edict of 1904 and in the absence of commercial facilities, the responsibility of the Navy. Commercial and Government business necessitated the establishment of radio stations to provide rapid communication between these areas and Seattle, Wash.46 In the spring of 1911, material for three stations was embarked in the U.S.S. Buffalo with a construction force from the Mare Island Navy Yard.47 Temporary stations were set up at Kodiak, Dutch Harbor, and St. Paul. The station at Kodiak was totally destroyed by fire when struck by lightning on 8 June 1912.48
Another expedition departed Mare Island on 20 May 1912 under the Command of Lt. E. H. Dodd, USN, assisted by Expert Radio Aid George E. Hanscom, to make permanent installations. Under most trying and difficult weather conditions, with winds of gale strength and torrential rains, this expedition, which was to be away from Mare Island Navy Yard for a period of 6 months and 3 days, erected and established stations at Unalga, St. George, Kodiak, and Cardova, and refitted the stations at St. Paul and Dutch Harbor. All of these stations were equipped with the latest quenched-gap transmitters and could maintain communications with stations on the Pacific coast at night each utilizing frequencies between 165 and 300 kc.49 It is of interest to note that these frequencies were considerably lower than those used by other Navy coastal and insular chains.
12. ENDEAVOR TO FORCE THE FLEET TO USE RADIO FOR TACTICAL PURPOSES
Todd was extremely cautious in his endeavor to develop the tactical use of radio within the fleet. His personal friend, Lt. Comdr. T. T. Craven, USN, had been assigned the fleet training desk in the Division of Operations, Bureau of Navigation. Craven, who like Todd, later became a Director of Naval Communications, shared his concern over the lack of radio organization, both ashore and afloat. In an attempt to point out the deficiency, Craven decided to write into the "Target Practice Instructions, 1912,"50 the requirement that all visual, signals made during the practice would be paralleled by radio signals. To write up the necessary instructions, he procured the services of Lt. S. C. Hooper, USN, who at that time was an instructor in the Electrical Department, U.S. Naval Academy.51 The final draft of the radio portion of these instructions required each ship to key its transmitter from the bridge and to install a receiver in that location, connected to a separate small antenna, in the manner described in the previous tests conducted by the U.S.S. Connecticut, and the assignment of a separate frequency for each of the participating battleship divisions.52
13. THE FIRST U.S. NAVAL RADIO FREQUENCY PLAN
The requirement for the use of separate frequencies for each of the battleship divisions as contained in the "Target Practice Instructions, 1912" necessitated the formulation of a standard frequency plan. In midsummer 1911, the Bureau of Steam Engineering issued the first U.S. Navy radio frequency plan. As compared with later ones, this was extremely simple and only designated the use of specific frequencies for calling purposes, with the remaining ones to be assigned by the fleet commanders. In accordance with international usage, 500 kc. designated "F", was assigned as the frequency for calling ships and shore stations. Three hundred kc., designated "J" was provided shore stations as a calling frequency. Exceptions were made in the cases of the U.S.S. Birmingham, Salem, Delaware, North Dakota, Michigan and South Carolina, fitted with lower frequency transmitters, in that they also were permitted to use 300 kc. for calling distant ships or stations. The portion of the radio spectrum from 1,000 down to 37.5 kc. was divided into 26 frequencies designated "A" through "Z". Frequencies "A" through "E", separated by 50 meters,53 were assigned ships fitted with "short-wave" apparatus and "G" through "I", separated by 100 meters, to ships fitted with "long-wave" apparatus. Frequencies "K" through "P", spaced 100 meters apart, "Q" through "V", spaced 400 meters apart, and "W" through "Z", beginning at 60 kc. and separated by 1,000 meters, were authorized for the use of both ships and stations in the transmission of messages. Frequencies midpoint between those already cited were designated by a combination of the enclosing designations, such as "AB", "BC", etc., and were authorized for the use of ships fitted with transmitters which could not be tuned sharply.54
It is of interest to note that this plan called for the elimination of the transmission of secondary frequencies by proper adjustments and calibrations of transmitters to provide sharp tuning.55
The directive stated that, at such time as a sufficient number of ships had been fitted with quick frequency changing devices, instructions would be issued on the shifting of frequencies, but in the meantime calling frequencies "F" and "S" could be utilized for the transmission of messages. This weakened the directive but, without its inclusion, it is most probable that radio communications in and with the fleet would have become completely disorganized as there was insufficient qualified talent to insure its accomplishment. To assist the various ships in meeting the requirements, the Bureau sent Ens. Charles H. Maddox, USN, to aid in calibrating the transmitters.56
14. THE RADIO (ARLINGTON), VIRGINIA, STATION
Construction of the two buildings and one 600- and two 450-foot towers comprising the station then known as Radio, Virginia was begun in 1911. As designed, one building was for housing the transmitter and providing spaces for offices for the Superintendent of the Naval Radio Service. The other building was for housing the receiving facilities and providing operating spaces and quarters for the crew. The original design had called for three 600-foot towers, but lack of funds necessitated the limiting of the height of two. The contract for these stipulated a completion date of 30 March 1912, but a steel strike delayed their completion until 10 December of that year. The buildings, which were constructed under the supervision of the Bureau of Yards and Docks, were completed prior to that date. The main flattop antenna, triangular in shape, consisted of two sections 355 feet in length and one of 240 feet. The shorter section contained the "downlead" at its center. The natural period of this antenna system was about 137 kc.
The Fessenden 100-kw. synchronous rotary spark transmitter and a 35-kw. Federal arc transmitter were installed prior to the end of 1912. On 13 February 1913 this first Navy high-power station was placed in commission.57
15. FINAL ACCEPTANCE TESTS OF FESSENDEN TRANSMITTER AND COMPARATIVE TESTS OF FEDERAL ARC TRANSMITTER
The U.S.S. Salem sailed from the League Island Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pa., on 15 February 1913, for Gibraltar with National Electric Signaling Co. and Navy experts embarked. This voyage was for the purpose of conducting the final acceptance tests of the Fessenden apparatus and for making comparative tests between that transmitter and the Federal arc. During the tests Arlington transmitted on prearranged schedules, alternately using the Fessenden and the Federal transmitters. The receivers installed in the Salem were Fessenden's new heterodyne, the Wireless Specialty Apparatus Co.'s IP76 with crystal detector, and the Federal Telegraph Co.'s "tikker." The latter consisted of a fine wire held against a segmented rotating metal wheel which "chopped up" the incoming continuous waves into a mushy, nonmusical sound which spoiled the effect of the arc's signal. The spark transmitter signal was received by the heterodyne with a "shushing" sound but even with the "shush" it provided far better detection than the crystal. The arc transmissions as received by the heterodyne produced a still more efficient and pleasing musical note which the operator could vary to suit his own ear.58
The Naval Radio Research Laboratory's digest of the measurements taken on the Salem indicated that the arc, which induced only half as much current into the antenna as the spark, gave signals of approximately the same intensity at 1,500 to 2,000 miles when received by the "tikker" and were even superior when received by the heterodyne. Messages were continuously received from both the arc and spark in the daytime up to 2,100 miles, and on one occasion the arc was heard during daylight while at anchor off Gibraltar. Both were heard at night at all times during the voyage to Gibraltar and return.59
In connection with these tests, it is of interest to note the comments quoted below which were made to Hooper in later years by Hepburn:
When the Salem sailed, George Clark was on board with his paraphernalia to begin the tests that were to determine the cost of the Fessenden set in Arlington. He had been out many days, carrying out both day and night tests and he had just about reached, as we thought, the limit of clear reception from the original Fessenden set when I received a rather cryptic message from him. I knew he was trying to tell us something but I couldn't determine what. A little bit later I mentioned it to Dr. Austin and he couldn't make anything of it either. I said, "We will soon know when he gets to Azores." When he got to the Azores we received the same cryptic message from him. It was in a language he thought I would understand. I studied it over and said to Dr. Austin, "You know, Doctor, I think he is trying to tell us that the arc set in connection with the heterodyne is the very thing we and everybody have been looking for. Don't you think it would be a good idea now if we get in touch with Elwell and ask him if he can make a 100 KW arc. If he says he can, feels confident, and is willing to guarantee us certain reasonable minimum performance, then put up this proposition to him. If he will agree to supply us such a set at practically cost price on open bid, then let us immediately get out an advertisement for bids for 100 KW or 150 KW sets specifying continuous wave operations, not of course mentioning an arc, but naturally it would be the only equipment that could meet the specifications." We, on the other hand, would probably get a set at such reasonable cost that if it worked, we could look forward to building and outfitting the rest of the six high-powered stations for which we had an appropriation of one million dollars.60
Undamped waves, as emitted by the arc transmitter ("the Navy's darling"), were eventually to sound the "death knell" of the spark transmitter to the extent that, in time, it would be illegal to intentionally utilize such equipment. However, the arc alone did not bring this to pass, but it did pave the way. As previously foreseen, the Fessenden apparatus failed in maintaining communications with ships up to 3,000 miles. Since it was not capable of meeting the contractual specifications, a compromise settlement was effected.
. . . No other high-powered overseas installation of that sort had cost less than two and a half millions. When I proposed this to Austin he threw up his hands and would have none of it. He said all he had was his reputation and he couldn't think of lending approval to a proposition of that sort on the basis of such information as he then had. Well, I said I had no reputation to lose and I thought I would put it up to the Chief of the Bureau, Admiral Cone, and see if he was willing to take a flier. When I explained it to Admiral Cone he laughed and said that it did look like a killing if it would work and he was willing to trust my judgment in the matter. I told him we would have the contract drawn in such form that we could walk out of it without much monetary loss if it didn't work. Insofar as the Bureau's reputation for good engineering practice was concerned he could blame that all on me. I also warned him that if we did ask for these bids within forty eight hours he would have every responsible manufacturer of spark sets in the country descending on him to learn what he was trying to celebrate. They would all say it was ridiculous and they would all think we had some trick up our sleeve. He said he could handle them, go ahead. I don't recall now why it was a matter of importance to get this advertisement out so quickly, but we did, and not only that, we advertised for the bids to be submitted within the least time the law allowed. As I had predicted to Admiral Cone, he did have an avalanche descend upon him to protest
. . . . The long and short of it was that it went through and the arc did work . . . .61
16. DEVELOPMENT OF TRANSMITTER FREQUENCY CHANGER
Other than testing the battle radio sets, the Navy had as yet made no attempt to utilize more than one transmitter at a station. The normal practice was to make contact with a station on a calling frequency and then to shift to another for the delivery of messages. Transmission and reception were never accomplished at the same time. The "Target Practice Instructions, 1912" were slightly in variance with the previously planned use of the battle sets in that the main transmitter was to be used, keyed remotely from the bridge. With but one transmitter, frequency shifting, a bothersome, time-consuming process, was required quite often. The antenna lead had to be plugged or clipped to the proper turn on the antenna coil for the desired frequency, the same thing had to be done with one lead from either the condenser or spark gap, and then the antenna coupling had to be varied until the proper amount was obtained as indicated by an ammeter in the antenna circuit. Often, when these positions had once been determined, various means were used to speed up the shifting process, but even these took time. This was bad enough under normal conditions but in wartime would have been absolutely impractical.
Clark began work on this problem in 1911 and designed a crude device to eliminate the cumbersome procedure. Essentially, he replaced the physical movement of the antenna coil by an equivalent electrical movement, in which both the antenna and ground contacts were moved up or down along a stationary coil until the proper coupling was obtained. Additionally, a single dial controlled the movements of three insulated arms, which made the correct contacts on the primary coil and for the ground and antenna on the antenna coil in such a manner that by one simple movement the circuit was immediately tuned to a frequency as indicated on a calibrated dial. This idea was later improved by Mr. Guy Hill, Radio Aid at the New York Navy Yard. Navy Frequency Changers, Marks II and III, soon became standard on all Navy spark transmitters. These devices were later modified for use with the arcs.62
17. APPROVAL OF NAVY HIGH-POWERED RADIO SYSTEM
Although the early tests of the 100-kw synchronous rotary spark transmitter indicated that it would fail to meet the manufacturer's contractual guarantees, they did prove that it could, for lack of one better, be used to provide the interlinkage between stations of the planned high-powered network.
In appearing before the House Naval Affairs Committee, in February 1912, in support of his requested budget for fiscal year 1912, the Chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering asked for funds for these stations, stating:
. . . I would like very much to have added to this appropriation an item of $1,000,000 for the construction of wireless telegraph stations . . . A part of the naval policy of the United States . . . is looking toward preparing to protect our interests in the Pacific. The distances are long, the communication is very uncertain, and cables are very expensive. I have had men working on this for a year and a half now, and they report to me that we can cover the Pacific with wireless, so as to have communication at any time day or night, and I can get guarantees from wireless-telegraph companies that they will install apparatus that will do this. The whole project will cost about $1,000,000. . . .63
As a result of this request, the Act of Congress of 22 August 1912, contained this provision:
Toward the purchase and preparation of necessary sites, purchase and erection of towers and buildings, and the purchase and installation of machinery and apparatus of high-power radio stations (cost not to exceed one million dollars), to be located as follows: One in the Isthmian Canal Zone, one on the California coast, one in the Hawaiian Islands, one in American Samoa, one in the island of Guam, and one in the Philippine Islands, four hundred thousand dollars to be available until expended.64
In later legislation and prior to completion of all high-power stations listed, the authorization of one million dollars was increased to $1,500,000.65
The work of the Bureau of Steam Engineering and its U.S. Naval Radio Laboratory created considerable interest and stimulus in radio as a means of reliable long-distance sea communications. The quantitative measurement methods devised by Dr. Austin were in use by radio engineers and were aiding in the construction of more satisfactory equipment by the firms interested in producing improved apparatus. No finer tribute can be paid than the statements contained in the Electrical World early in 1913:
. . . With the establishing of reliable data relating to transmitter power delivery, signal intensity, distance and character of country separating the sender and the receiver, this branch has become a matter of engineering very nearly as exact as any other division of electrical science. The adoption of uniform operating methods of generation and more rugged receivers--which are of surpising sensitiveness--together with high-musical sparks for penetration of atmospheric disturbances, has made long-distance wireless telegraphy fit for management on business like principles . . . By the use of transmitters generating sustained streams of waves, working in connection with very delicate yet very stable receivers, and operating at the high speeds of automatic telegraphy, a new era of commercial radio communication seems likely to break upon us at any moment.
The Navy's installation of quenched spark gaps and its endeavors to utilize various frequencies for correspondence and tactical purposes had accomplished much toward the reduction of interferences.
. . . Arlington's piercing high-pitched whistling spark has already been heard in Nova Scotia, in the Canal Zone and on the Northern Pacific coast . . . Salem is expected to receive from Arlington over more than 3000 miles, and upon its completion our Government will be in possession of the first link in the group of installations, which are expected to be models of efficiency and certainty in operations.66
1 Davis was born in, and appointed a naval cadet from, Kentucky. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1890. On 22 May 1916 he retired as a commander but was subsequently appointed a captain on the retired list. He died 20 Oct. 1948.
2 Sweet was born in, and appointed a naval cadet from, New York. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1898 and was later designated a naval constructor. During his career he was expressly interested in both aviation and radio. He was retired as a commander on Mar. 1915 because of a physical disability. He returned to active duty during World War I and was decorated by the French Government for services rendered that country in construction of Lafayette, Radio Station. He died 6 Aug. 1953.
3 Lee De Forest, "Father of Radio" (Wilcox & Follett Co., Chicago, 1950), p. 232.
4 "Radioana," Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cambridge, Mass., SRM 100-10.
5 Globe and Commercial Advertiser, New York, 3 Dec. 1907.
6 This was an error on the part of the Radio Division in that they should have specified a different frequency for this apparatus.
7 William H. Medd, Gunner, USN (retired) "Pioneering in Radio" (private issue, 1958), p. 17.
8 Substance of a statement made by Meneratti to the author on 16 Dec. 1955.
10 L. W. Austin, "The Work of the U.S. Naval Radiotelegraphic Laboratory," Journal of the American Society of Naval Engineers, vol. 24, February 1912, p. 122.
11 Letter, dated 15 June 1908, Dr. Louis W. Austin to Lieutenant Commander Davis, USN, Bureau of Equipment, files, Bureau of Equipment, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
12 Austin, op. cit., pp. 124-141.
14 Letter, dated 4 Aug. 1908, Naval Examining Board to Secretary of the Navy, files, Bureau of Equipment, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
15 "Radioana," op. cit., CWC 4-3481A. Clark resigned his position with the Navy in 1920 to accept employment with the Radio Corp. of America. He eventually became the historian of that organization and collected volumes of information on early radio matters which eventually were reposited in the Engineering Library of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. Electronics historians are indebted to him for this collection of "Radioana."
16 Austin, op. cit., p. 123.
17 Letter, dated 23 Jan. 1907, H. N. Manney to the Chief of the Bureau of Equipment; cable, 27 Mar. 1907, from the Chief of the Bureau of Equipment to F. M. Barber, files, Bureau of Equipment, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
18 Austin, op. cit., pp. 124-125.
19 Fessenden was granted two additional patents on the heterodyne method in 1913.
20 Letter, dated Jan. 1909, W. R. Wurtsbaugh to the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, files, Bureau of Equipment, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
23 Letter, dated 2 Aug. 1910, G. C. Sweet to the Commander, 5th Division, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, files, Bureau of Steam Engineering, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
28 Hooper, op. cit., pp. 502-503.
29 Electrical World, (McGraw-Hill Publishing Co., New York.), vol. LV, no. 1, 6 Jan. 1910, p. 27.
30 Ibid., 31 March 1910, p. 807, vol. LV, no. 13.
31 Letter, dated 2 Aug. 1910, W. B. Fletcher to the Secretary of the Navy, files, Bureau of Steam Engineering, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
32 S. C. Hooper, "Navy History--Radio, Radar, Sonar," transcript of recordings, pp. 26-27, Office of Naval History, Washington, D.C.
33 Letter, dated 29 July 1910, Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. of America to the Secretary of the Navy, files, Bureau of Steam Engineering, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
34 Letter, dated 1 Aug. 1910, The Secretary of the Navy to the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. of America, files, Bureau of Steam Engineering, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
35 Letter, dated 12 Aug. 1910, Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. of America to the Secretary of the Navy, files, Bureau of Steam Engineering, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
36 Letter, dated 10 Oct. 1910, the Secretary of the Navy to the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co. of America, files, Bureau of Steam Engineering Archives, Washington, D.C.
37 Letter, dated 14 Sept. 1910, Bureau of Steam Engineering to the Secretary of the Navy; Memorandum, dated 5 Oct. 1910, S. S. Robison, USN, to the Chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering, files, Bureau of Steam Engineering, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
38 This statement is difficult to understand. The only improvements were utilization of quenched gaps and Wireless Specialty Apparatus Co. receivers.
39 Letter, dated 6 April 1910, Chief of the Bureau of Equipment to the Secretary of the Navy, files, Bureau of Steam Engineering, 1910, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
40 Ibid., first endorsement.
41 Ibid., third endorsement.
42 Cone was born in, and appointed a naval cadet from, Florida. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1894. He continued to serve as Chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering through most of World War I. For services during that war he received the Distinguished Service Medal and the French Legion of Honor. He retired on 11 July 1922 and died on 12 Feb. 1941.
43 Todd was born in, and appointed a naval cadet from, California. He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1895. He was Director, Naval Communications during World War I and for his services he received the Navy Cross and the French Legion of Honor. He retired 31 Mar. 1930 as a captain and died 21 Aug. 1946.
44 Hepburn was born in, and appointed a naval cadet from, Pennsylvania. For World War I service he received the Distinguished Service Medal. He was Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet 1937-38. Following this he was Chief of Naval Operations until his retirement on 1 Nov. 1941.
45 Supra, ch. XII.
46 Letter, dated 30 Jan. 1911, the Secretary of the Navy to the Secretary of War; report of interdepartmental conference between representatives of the War Department, Navy Department, Treasury Department, and Department of Commerce and Labor convened at the request of the Secretary of the Navy, dated 11 Feb. 1911, files, Bureau of Steam Engineering, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
47 Letter, dated 18 April 1911, the Secretary of the Navy to Commandant, Navy Yard, Mare Island, Calif., letter, dated 24 Aug. 1911, commanding officer, U.S.S. Buffalo, to the Secretary of the Navy, files, Bureau of Steam Engineering, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
48 E. H. Dodd, "Alaskan Naval Radio Expedition, 1912," Journal of the American Society of Naval Engineers, vol. 25, 1913, p. 295.
49 Letter, dated 4 Dec. 1912, Radio Officer in Command of Alaskan Radio Expedition to Commandant, Navy Yard, Mare Island, Calif., files, Bureau of Steam Engineering, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
50 These were for the fiscal year, beginning 1 July 1912.
51 Hooper had become interested in radio as a result of the utilization of the U.S.S. Chicago's radio following the San Francisco earthquake. Shortly after that incident he was transferred to the U.S.S. Yorktown and, when in Mare Island, contacted Lt. E. H. Dodd USN, who was in charge of Pacific coast radio stations. Through him he obtained the necessary parts to construct both a transmitter and a receiver, and while on the Yorktown constructed the receiver. However, before he was able to assemble the transmitter he was transferred to the U.S.S. Perry. He took the receiver and the parts for the transmitter with him to the Perry where he found the commanding officer sufficiently interested in his project to offer such assistance as the destroyer could afford. The transmitter was soon assembled and was given some official tests with the flagship, but due to use of the electrolytic detector these were unsuccessful, because the vibration on the destroyer was sufficiently intense to break the contact between the wire and the fluid. Later on he related his experience to Dodd, who pointed out the error, but encouraged Hooper to continue and to endeavor to obtain a radio assignment or his approaching tour of shore duty. He applied to the Bureau of Navigation for a postgraduate course of instruction in radio, and in answer received this classic: "The Bureau appreciates your interest in improving yourself in applying for a postgraduate course but regrets to state that it is not the intention to order an officer to postgraduate course in radio, as this branch will not require the services of officers. Therefore it is suggested that you might desire to apply for a course in broader engineering." This did not appeal to him so he let the matter rest for a few months, after which he decided that since there were only two officers assigned to full-time radio duties, Todd at the Navy Department and Dodd on the Pacific coast, the only possibility of obtaining such a shore assignment would be to become an instructor in the Electrical Department at the Naval Academy. He was successful in obtaining this but on arrival was chagrined to find that he had been assigned as an instructor in the Seamanship Department. However, after a few months he was able to get assigned to the Electrical Department as the instructor in the small radio course which was given midshipmen. In endeavoring to qualify himself as an instructor he obtained Todd's permission to visit the U.S. Naval Radio Research Laboratory for talks with Dr. Austin. Todd became interested in Hooper and when Craven was looking for someone to draft the instructions for the target practices he recommended him. (Hooper, "Navy History--Radio, Radar, Sonar", transcript of recordings, Office of Naval History, Washington, D.C., p. 15).
52 Infra, Ch. XV.
53 Under this plan in consonance with the practice at the time, these frequencies and the spacing between them were specified in wavelengths. Translated into frequencies the spacing is not uniform.
54 Letter, dated 25 July 1911, Bureau of Steam Engineering to All Ships and Stations, files, Bureau of Steam Engineering, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
57 D. W. Todd, Lt. Comdr. USN, "The Arlington Radio Station," Journal of the American Society of Naval Engineers, vol. XXV, no. 1, Feb. 1913, pp. 60-63, The disestablishment of Radio Arlington was ordered on 28 June 1956, effective 1 July 1956. Deactivation ceremonies took place on 14 July 1956 at the site of the station. During the latter part of the 43 years of its existence it had been retained in a reduced operating status. (News Release, 28 June 1956, Department of Defense, Office of Public Information, Washington, D.C.)
58 Letter, dated 15 May 1913, Subinspector Naval Radio Stations to Chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering, files, Bureau of Steam Engineering, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
59 Ibid., p. 1.
60 Hooper, op. cit., pp. 262, 324.
61 Ibid., pp. 324-325.
62 "Radioana," op. cit., Clark, "Radio In War and Peace," pp. 112-113.
63 "Estimates Submitted By The Secretary Of The Navy 1912", hearings before the Committee on Naval Affairs of the House of Representatives, appropriation bill subjects 1912, 62nd Congress, 2nd sess., 1912-15. (Washington Government Printing Office, 1912), p. 472.
64 Compilation of Annual "Naval Appropriation Laws from 1883 to 1912", "Navy Yearbook 1912," compiled by Woodbury Pulsifer (Washington Government Printing Office, 1912), p. 718.
65 "Navy Yearbook 1916," Compiled by B. R. Tillman, Jr., (Washington Government Printing Office, 1916), pp. 394-395.
66 "Long-Distance Radio-Telegraphy", Electrical World, (McGraw-Hill Pub. Co., New York), vol. 57, no. 2, 11 Jan. 1913. At the time this article was written the Federal arc transmitter had not been comparatively tested by the Navy.
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