In spite of the broad plans evident in this review, Lewis Yeager and his "Newsophone" appear to have disappeared without the service ever going into operation.
Electrical Experimenter, June, 1920, pages 147, 207-208:
Newsophone layout
Instead of Reading a Newspaper We May Tomorrow Call Up "Via Telephone," and Ask for the Latest "Special," "Sport" or "Financial" Information and Hear the "News" Spoken Over the Telephone from a Phonograph. This Invention Will Be a Great Boon to the Blind in Many Ways, and Instead of Having to Read by Raised Letters, Besides Missing the Latest News, Those Whose Sight is Deficient May Hear the Latest News When the Newsophone as its Inventor Calls it, is Put into Service.

"Newsophone"  to  Supplant  Newspapers

Latest  Electrical  Invention  to  Provide  "News"  via  Telephone  at  Low  Cost
INSTEAD of chasing out "Bill" the office boy for a copy of the latest "Ux-tre-ee-e" detailing with horrible fidelity, the latest murder, scandal and I. W. W. outrage, you will in the near future, with the "Newsophone," the latest scientific distributing idea created by Mr. Lewis Yeager of Spokane, Washington, simply call up on your regular telephone and ask for the specific news wire you are interested in.
    The present plans call for a comparatively simple arrangement of the news wires which may be centralized at either the newspaper headquarters, or at the offices of some large news distributing syndicate such as the Associated Press offices in the larger cities. The telephone subscriber who wishes the latest Social, Sport or others news will simply call "Central" and ask for the news wire. In a moment, the operator at the news headquarters will ask which news the subscriber desires, and having ascertained this, will immediately connect his line with the proper Newsophone instrument, and the newsophone is nothing more or less than our old friend the phonograph brought forth with a new dress,--in other words the news that you now read is recorded vocally on a wax record so that when you want to hear all about the latest suicide, divorce scandal, or what is happening to little Mary Pickford and "Doug" Fairbanks, or how many points B. & O. stock dropt today, it will be spoken to you, in a pleasant voice.
    Apparatus and plans for voluminous newsophone service have not reached a stage where the particular voice used has been decided upon, but eventually it may be possible to ask for any register of voice you like, tenor, baritone or bass,--with male voices for the ladies and delicately shaded female voices for the "gents."
    Think what a boon the newsophone will be, once it is put into regular service during the summer, when the baseball fans pester the life out of telephone operators, and also the fifty-seven other varieties of "telephone bugs" who want to know all the latest doings from what the weather is going to be a week hence, down to the latest gossip on the "Mexican situation."


    The newsophone as outlined by Mr. Yeager, possesses some very fine possibilities and while the service rendered by it might seem to entail a very large expenditure of money to make the initial installment of the apparatus, distributing switchboards, etc., this is not so gigantic as it might at first seem. This is so for one reason, and that is, that the various kinds of "news" furnisht would be limited to probably a few dozen different varieties such as stock news, social news, steamship arrivals and sailings, accidents, marriages, deaths, etc. Moreover, but one phonograph record containing any of these specific news items is required to supply any number of subscribers with news simultaneously, should a number of them call up at the same time.
    Simply explained, this can be conceived of in this way: In the old Edison type phonographs, especially when it was first introduced, there were many times when instead of reproducing the music thru a horn, a multiple set of rubber ear tubes was fitted to the reproducer chamber on the phonograph, and each member of the family placed a set of the tubes in their ears. Thus, as many as five or six could listen at the same time and enjoy the music.
    The Newsophone is nothing more nor less than a glorified phonograph and which in its final development, will require some of the best electrical talent available. One of the problems which has to be solved in this direction, is the production of a large amount of electrical energy or else its control by the single phonograph reproducer, so as to supply any number of subscribers, from one to one hundred or more, who might call up simultaneously. It must be remembered of course, that to actuate the electrical circuit and telephone receiver at the other end of each line, requires a certain amount of energy, say five watts. Thus, if a hundred subscribers should all be put on the line, it takes 500 watts or one-half kilowatt!
    A few years ago, it would have been almost impossible, as simple as the problem might seem electrically, to have done this, even with the most elaborate apparatus and telephone amplifiers,--but now, thanks to the wonderful properties of the versatile de Forest audion, such as used for telephony and radio amplifiers today, it is a relatively simple matter when properly worked out, to cause the phonograph reproducer of the Newsophone to control several or even several hundred horsepower of electrical energy, if necessary.
    In the Newsophone, as shown in one of the accompanying drawings, Mr. Yeager shows an arrangement which he has tried out very successfully in some of his experimental work, whereby a carbon grain microphone (or sound-sensitive electrical regulating apparatus) is acoustically and mechanically joined to the mica diafram of the phonographic reproducer, carrying the unusual saffire stylus which runs in the groove corresponding to the voice record on the cylinder.
    Some time ago, when Secretary Daniels of the United States Navy spoke from America to the President's ship, the George Washington lying in Brest Harbor, France, a microphone the same as in your regular telephone into which he spoke, regulated or controlled energy nearly 100 horse-power in strength, at the powerful Arlington radio station and with this gigantic power, the radio waves corresponding to his voice, vibrated thru the ether across the Atlantic, over 3000 miles.


    One of the great possibilities for the newsophone,--a field in which it seems to have practically everything to itself it would seem, is in its aid to the blind! Mr. Yeager early in his plans for the possibilities of the Newsophone, thought of this great boon to humanity especially because of the many blinded war veterans, and has proposed this matter to several leading people in charge of the welfare of blinded soldiers and sailors in various countries, and received favorable comments on it from such prominent men as Mr. Arthur Pearson, Chairman of the Blinded Soldiers and Sailors Care Committee, of England, and several other people of note.


    The Newsophone switch board for distributing the news to the various subscribers resembles the regular telephone switchboard, with which most of us are familiar, with the exception that on the front panel of the switch-board, there is mounted in rows, the various phonograph units. Each phonograph unit comprises a record shaver, a recording phonograph and reproducing phonograph. The recording is done by one of the attendants speaking thru the flexible tube, the same as on a business type Dictaphone. Each day or at each change of the news period, the same as when new editions of the newspaper come out, the message records are removed from the reproducing machine and new ones inserted. The old ones are then shaved at any convenient time which makes them ready for the next news recording. The phonographs, are of course, all driven by electric motors and started and stopt by the press of a button controlling electro-magnets actuating on the necessary clutches and brakes. The various sections of the switch-board panels assigned to the respective news topics, would be labelled,-- Social news, Sports, Stock Markets, Marriages, etc., and the incoming calls from subscribers for these different classes of news could thus be instantly switched to the respective switch-board section, and the operator having jurisdiction over this particular news.
    For smaller localities, the inventor has several other ideas which could be worked out for a lower priced equipment, with a small switch-board. For these small districts it would not be necessary to have a complete phonograph record for each news item, and one record could then take care of several items such as Financial, Social and Sport news. The machine would of course be calibrated so that the operator would know on what part of the record each news item was recorded in the same manner as the regular business Dictaphone is calibrated, so that you can tell on what part a certain letter is recorded by knowing between what scale numbers along the record, the letter was recorded.


    Thus far we have seen that the Newsophone presents itself in a very practical manner and one that can be adapted to the requirements of practical inter-communication at a reasonable cost, when used in connection with the regular telephone service. However, there is another aspect of the Newsophone, and that is to use it in conjunction with wireless telephony.
    As Mr. Yeager has pointed out, and has seen suggested many times in the past few years by some of our leading radio experts, including Signor Marconi himself, it will probably be only a very short time before it will be possible for anyone to intercept wireless telephone messages from a considerable distance, thanks to a pocket wireless receiving set which can be carried in the ordinary coat pocket. In fact some of these sets have been built so small that they will easily go in the vest pocket, exclusive of the watch-case receiver which is held to the ear. A great dream of the future, which we would like to mention here so that it goes on record, and which most probably the readers of this article will live to see before a great while, is the radio distribution of news by central news agencies in the larger cities, to thousands of radio stations in all parts of the world. Then any one can simply "listen in" on their pocket wireless set, connected to the nearest metal body such as a radiator, iron bed or umbrella, and receive the "Latest News."