Expects to Simplify the Process of Transmission So That Any One May Operate the Instruments--Talks With Edison About New Developments.
A child will be able to operate the Marconi system of wireless telegraphy within a year or two if experiments now being made prove successful, Signor Marconi himself so predicted last night.
"One of the principal difficulties with wireless telegraphy thus far," said Marconi to a SUN reporter who saw him at the Holland House, "has been the fact that only the most skilful operators could be employed at the instruments. But several details on which I am working now will so simplify the mystery, I hope, that any person of ordinary education, in fact, even a child, can send or receive wireless messages. The employment of cheaper operators will of course mean lessened expense. This is one of the means by which wireless telegraphy can be made practical for commercial purposes."
Signor Marconi had then just returned from Orange, N.J., where he had spent the day with Thomas A. Edison, who is the consulting engineer of the Marconi Wireless Telegraphy Company. They had discussed chiefly the new developments in the science of wireless telegraphy which Marconi has not yet made public.
"I had a very pleasant day with Mr. Edison. I consider it an honor to meet him," was all that Marconi would say of the meeting.
Asked if they had talked over the inventions on which he is experimenting Marconi would only repeat:
"All I can say is that the conversation was very valuable and pleasant to me."
As to these new inventions in wireless telegraphy which he described as "matters of mere detail, which the public would hardly notice," Marconi said that besides securing simplicity from them he hopes to make his system of wireless telegraphy far more regular and dependable than at present.
"I can't go into any more details than that," he declared, "my employers have forbidden me to tell what the inventions are until they are all patented."
Marconi will be at the Holland House for three or four days. Then he will go to Montreal, and from there to the Marconi station at Cape Breton, where he hopes to try many of the new improvements. Then he will return to England trying as many of the inventions as possible on the Lucania on his way over.
"You see," he said yesterday, "to perfect a system of wireless telegraphy is entirely different from doing anything else. If a man invents a sewing machine he locks himself up in his room until it is perfected. But I have to travel several thousand miles to accomplish anything. An experiment may turn out all right in one place; but to make it complete no matter how small and insignificant the thing may be, I have to go five or six thousand miles to look after the other end of it. That's one reason why it takes so long to perfect our system. The people who get the greatest benefit from my experiments are the steamship companies. I guess they are wishing me all kinds of success."
Marconi had a number of callers last night, including several officers of his company.
Mr. Edison said last night that he had a heart to heart talk with Signor Marconi, the first talk they had had since he became Marconi's consulting engineer about wireless plans for the future.
"Marconi," said Mr. Edison, "is going right ahead and will have his system in good shape for general operation soon. Our conference was just a general review of work and methods, and nothing special was accomplished. Of course we will have other meetings from now on."