Iowa Heritage Digital Collections
State Library of Iowa

1915 Yearbook

1915 Yearbook


1915 Yearbook


The College Wireless Station
ABOUT a year ago, last October, the agent of a Chicago scientific
supply house came to spend a day at the College. He had been
sent out to take an inventory of the material in the physical laboratory, with a view to ascertaining what extra apparatus might
be necessary or desirable. After an order had been prepared
and an estimate made of its cost, the latter was found to be well
within the limits of the appropriation allowed by the College.
Partly at the instance of the agent and partly at the suggestion of some of
the professors, it was decided that the remaining available funds might very profitably be employed in the installation of a small experimental wireless station,
whose sending and receiving apparatus were then promptly included in the order.
The apparatus soon arrived, and, with the willing and active cooperation of the
students, the antennae and other outside parts of the station were soon completed. But the results which the manufacturer's guarantee had taught one confidently to look for were far from being realized. The longest distances over
which messages were received was five miles and the only stations heard were
amateur or experimental stations within the above range. So this first tentative
effort to connect the College with the outside world by means of wireless telegraphy was only indifferently successful.
This year, shortly after the opening of the school, plans were made for the
reconstruction of the entire station. The work began late in October; the antenna
was now made on the "loop" style; i. e., its four wires were connected in a manner
to make of their combined length one continuous wire of 300 feet; all connections
were gone over carefully, and, lastly, a defect in the receiving apparatus was at
length discovered and speedily remedied.
And now came some measure of well-earned success. On November 9, at
7:55 P. M., the time signals sent out at this hour by the Illinois Watch Company,
at Springfield, 111., were heard for the first time. This meant a distance of 150
miles. Two nights later, at 8:55 P. M., the Government station at Arlington, Va.,
was distinctly heard over the distance of 1,200 miles. After this every evening
brought in new stations until there were more than we could keep track of. The
apparatus had now come up to the mark, receiving up to 1,000 miles and over.




St. Ambrose University, 518 W. Locust St., Davenport, IA 52803