New York Times, December 31, 1916, page 4:
DANCE TO WIRELESS MUSIC 40 MILES OFF
Phonograph at Highbridge Heard All Over House in Morristown, N. J.
USE DOUBLE AMPLIFIERS
Inventions of Dr. Armstrong of Columbia and Lee de Forest Make Experiment a Success.
What was declared to be the world's first wireless dance was held last night at 29 Morris Avenue, Morristown, N. J., the home of Theodore E. Gaty, Vice President of the Fidelity and Casualty Company of this city. His two sons--John P. and Theodore E. Gaty, Jr., the latter home from Cornell for the Christmas holidays--got up a dance and throughout the evening the seven or eight couples who had been invited danced to music that was played on a phonograph in Highbridge, at the northern end of Manhattan, about forty miles away from Morristown by air line.
Mr. Gaty and his sons are enthusiastic amateurs in the science of radio telephony and telegraphy. A friend, P. F. Godley, of Montclair, who is a radio engineer, made use of the Lee de Forest audion detector and the sound amplifier invented by Dr. Edwin H. Armstrong of Columbia, the inventions which made transcontinental telephony possible, as well as a wireless telephone message to Honolulu. Mr. Godley, who is only 27 years old, adapted the two devices to amateur use and attached them to a phonograph horn in the Gaty home.
The phonograph that furnished last night's dance music was played in the Highbridge plant of the de Forest Radio Telephone and Telegraph Company, and the musical sound waves were received by the amateur receiver over Mr. Gaty's house.
The faint sounds, which, coming from the receiver could scarcely be detected by the ear, passed through the combined sound amplifiers and then through the megaphone they could be heard all over the house.
To show how clearly the sound was transmitted, Mr. Gaty telephoned to the de Forest company's office at Highbridge and the operator of the phonograph listened to the ground wire telephone. The music, when it got back to him by this route, he said, was even louder than the original sounds from the phonograph. A TIMES reporter called up Mr. Gaty's house and the megaphone was placed near the receiver at that end. The music, transmitted about forty miles through the air and then nearly the same distance by ground wires, could be heard distinctly. The phonograph was telling how she could yacki hacki wicki wacki woo in Honolulu.
Mr. Gaty was enthusiastic. He said that the operator in the de Forest building announced the number of each record, its name, and so forth when he was about to put it on the phonograph, and that the spoken announcement could be heard in every corner of the Gaty house. Mr. Godley, at his home in Montclair, had not taken the trouble to ask if the experiment was successful. He took it as a matter of fact that it should be.
"It's very simple," Mr. Godley said to a TIMES reporter. "Dr. Armstrong of Columbia has been doing research work along these lines for many years, and he has at last turned out a device that will multiply sound 500 to 1,000 times. The de Forest amplifier multiplied sounds twelve to eighteen times. The principle is somewhat the same, the difference being that the Armstrong instrument has a complex repeating action, while the de Forest instrument has single repeating action.
"Together, the instruments make it simple to telephone by wireless, and there's no reason why New Yorkers should not be telephoning to Chicago regularly except that the instruments have not yet been put to commercial use. That is because of the many legal fights that are taking place over the fundamental radio patents, and because of the field being practically tied up at the present time by the Marconi Company. But there's nothing to prevent amateurs from using these instruments,
"It would be just as easy to transmit the music of an entire opera from the Metropolitan Opera House as to transmit this phonograph music that is being played tonight. It would only be necessary to have the sending apparatus within range of the voices in the Metropolitan. With the amplifiers now being used the music could be transmitted about 200 miles."
Mr. Godley said that the amplifier perfected by Dr. Armstrong resembled the headlight of an automobile. Instead of the light filament, there are two electrodes. There is a vacuum in the bulb, and in an incandescent light, and the weak sound enters on one electrode, while the powerful sound issues from the other.
For some time the de Forest Company has been sending out wireless music from its High Bridge establishment, to be picked up by any amateur who has the right sort of receiving apparatus. The radio class at the Asbury Park Young Men's Christian Association invited the Mayor and City Commissioners to listen to the music at the Y. M. C A. on Wednesday night. Previously, however, it has been necessary to keep the receiver, resembling a telephone receiver, to the ear in order to hear the music.
Amateur wireless stations equipped with the new amplifiers, it was said last night, have been made so sensitive that they have recently picked up messages sent from the main radio station near Berlin when these messages were too weak to be picked up by more powerful receiving stations.