The American Jeweler, December, 1912, page 503:
NOTES ON WIRELESS TIME.
The various nations of Europe have recently held a meeting of astronomers, geographers and government officials which considered various matters and among them were resolutions adopted by the 80 delegates, representing 16 different nations, which provide that the expenses necessitated by a complete system for transmission of the exact time by wireless telegraphy should be borne by the various nations in proportion to the number of their population. These expenses will amount to between $80 and $240 a year for each nation. International Time Bureau, to be a central authority for the whole world, has been recommended to be established at Paris and provision is to be made so that the time signals transmitted by wireless stations will be identical on and after July 1st, 1913. It is expected that there will be at that time at least 12 great wireless stations in Europe, Africa and America which will be capable of transmitting time signals over more than half the globe. The conference has also advised that the distribution of meteorological and other reports should be widely extended. It has also suggested that the wireless telegraph companies in each country should endeavor to establish time centers in a large number of their offices and should consider the means of giving the exact time to private persons.
A Committee of the National time conference has been appointed to draw up and submit to the approval of the various governments the resolutions voted by the conference. Until this approval has been obtained, the Paris Observatory will act voluntarily as the central time office. It will be remembered that the time is now being sent by wireless from the Eiffel Tower, the signals being transmitted from the Paris observatory and as this tower has the largest range of any station in Europe, it is already practically acting in consonance with the resolutions, the difference being that heretofore the signals have been regarded as official only by the Navy department of the French government.
The next most powerful station is that which is now rapidly nearing completion at Alexandria, Va., being operated directly by the United States Government.
This station commenced testing at 9:00 p. m., Monday, October 28, 1912, and tests are now being made daily, except Sundays and holidays, and when changes are being made in the aerials or transmitter. The present hours of working are from 10:00 to 10:30 a. m. and 1:00 to 2:00 a. m. Test letters are sent and then the various stations, including, generally, Key West, Colon and the Pacific Coast Stations are called on a wave length of 3,800 meters. All important Atlantic Coast Stations from Portland to Colon, except San Juan, are able to reply direct at night at this season of the year, which is particularly favorable to long distance night work. Colon reads signals from this station, but the signals are not loud enough to be read with reliability through local interference. The army station at Fort Leavenworth and one or more private stations in Chicago received signals without difficulty, and they have been heard at Mare Island and San Diego. The call letters of the Arlington Station are "NAA."
The station is not yet working at full power and will not use full power until the large aerials are in place. The spreaders for the latter are 88 feet wide and one section is now being hoisted. Up to the present a temporary aerial with 30-foot gas pipe spreaders has been used, the form being a system of three "flat-tops" between the tops of the towers. No regular work has been attempted as yet.
A very complete description of this station has appeared in the American Jeweler for June, and it is expected that a final description will be published when more is known of the capabilities of the station. It is situated on the southwest corner of the Fort Myer Military Reservation, on land obtained from the War Department, about one mile from the buildings at Fort Myer and the Fort Myer entrance to the Arlington Cemetery.
It is expected that time signals will be sent out regularly, commencing January 1, next. The character of the signals will be the same as those now sent out from the Observatory, for the present, and, should another system be adopted, due notice will be given. It is proposed to send signals at noon and at some hour before midnight, at Washington. This hour will be published in the newspapers and the maritime interests will be informed by a "Notice to Mariners" sent out from the Hydrographic Office of the Navy Department.
In the meantime, the coast signal service of the United States Navy (through its present wireless telegraph station) is furnishing time signals daily, as well as hydrographic information, to all vessels with receiving apparatus that may be within range of one of these stations. The signals are sent from the Naval observatory, Washington, for the Atlantic Coast, between 11:55 a. m. and noon of the 75th meridian west of Greenwich. They are also sent simultaneously from the towers at Portsmouth, Boston, Cape Cod, Newport, Fire Island, New York, Cape Henlopen, Norfolk, Beaufort, Charleston, Key West, Pensacola, and New Orleans on the Atlantic and gulf coasts; and from Table Bluff North Head, Mare Island and Point Loma on the Pacific coast, the latter stations being served from the Mare Island Navy yard between 11:55 a. m. and noon of the 120th meridian west of Greenwich.
The sea radius of these stations is about 200 to 225 miles on the average for day light signals. The probabilities are that this will be considerably reduced for overland signals. The signals are transmitted from Washington to the stations on the Atlantic and Gulf Coast and from Mare Island on the Pacific Coast by the Western Union Company in the same manner and at the same time as the company distributes signals on its land lines. That is, the wireless sending. or relay key, in each wireless station is connected to the Western Union Lines by a relay at about 11:50 a. m., and the signals are made automatically direct from Washington or Mare Island.
Signals from each of the observatories mentioned, begin at 11:55 a. m. standard time and continue for five minutes. During this interval, every tick of the clock is transmitted except the 29th second of each of the first four minutes and the last 10 seconds of the last minute. The noon signal is a longer contact after this longer break.
Any retail jeweler within the range of any of these towers may therefore put in receiving apparatus adjusted to the wave length of that station. and receive the signals exactly as if he were on one of the Western Union wires. Any of the retailers, within probable range of any of these stations can therefore start receiving time immediately by wireless without waiting for the completion of the large and powerful stations projected by the Government.
It is expected that the Navy department will establish a powerful station near San Francisco at an early date and this station will have a radius that will probably cover the entire Pacific Coast of the United States, but of course it must be understood that the problem of communicating into the interior is one about which no predictions can be made, as local conditions have so much to do with the transmission of wireless time signals over land. When this station is established, however, it would not be at all surprising if most of the jewelers on the Pacific Coast could receive the signals.
Professor James Money before the Archeological Society of Washington, at its meeting in the National Museum, has stirred up a heated controversy. Professor Money declared that the Gaelic alphabet, or the Ogem system, as it is known, was actually the basis of the so-called Morse code. He insisted his contention was fully carried out by the records of the ancient Irish people as found in stone and wooden carvings.
"There were 17 letters in the Gaelic alphabet," he declared, "and they began with one dash, went up to five dashes, then from five dashes down to one dash and then began the dots, very much the same as the Morse alphabet used in telegraphy."