"E XCUSE me a minute, Officer, till I switch on the wireless music. Then we can leave the baby alone while we go for a stroll."
Such a statement, coming from a nurse maid, may sound rather far-fetched or the prediction of a scientist of what we may have 25 years hence, but such is not the case in Schenectady, N. Y. It is a reality there; the Union College Radio Club has made such a feat possible. The wireless baby-carriage has already been demonstrated, wheeled thru the principal streets of that city and thru the parks, with lullabys pealing forth from the radio receiving horn attached to the carriage just as plainly as tho coming from a fonograf a few feet away.
The music is sent from the Union College radio station, the sounding tube of a small victrola being attached to the mouth piece of an ordinary telefone, which carries the music to the aerials, where the sound-waves are sent out thru the ether. It can be picked up in Chicago, in fact in any city within a radius of 1,200 miles, just as easily as by the baby-carriage in Schenectady.
This wireless baby carriage, devised by the college boys, has an antenna of three wires, stretched across the top from two pieces of a bamboo fish pole. Underneath the carriage-body is the storage battery, and hidden under the canopy in such a way that it in no way interferes with the baby the amplifier, which multiplies or adds to the volume of the music as it is sent to the horn. an ordinary megafone secured by wires to the front antenna pole. The tuning box is attached to the rods leading to the handle of the carriage.
After thoroly testing the carriage in the electrical laboratory at the college, the tour of the city was started early in the evening. The music was turned on as the boys with the carriage left the college grounds and it is doubtful if a circus parade ever created more attention and curiosity than this musical baby-carriage as it was pushed thru the streets. After an hour's tour it was stopped in the park.
Some at first thot there was a fonograf hidden somewhere in the carriage, but such ideas were dispelled when, without anyone going near the carriage a voice from the horn would immediately announce upon conclusion of one selection the name of the next, with the information "by the Union College Radio Club" and then the music would start.
The baby-carriage stunt is not all that the Union College Radio Club has done in Radio. For months it has been giving weekly concerts every Thursday night; and for the last few weeks, sermons, prepared by Dr. C. A. Richmond, president of Union College, have been sent out at 8 o'clock Sunday nights. These are preceded by a hymn played on the fonograf and followed by another, and then the doxology is read-a real church service at home heard by amateur operators in no less than 24 states of the Union, in four provinces of Canada and by ships 700 miles from New York, at sea. This fact is attested by the hundreds of letters and cards received by the Radio Club from amateurs telling of having listened in and
complimenting the Club on the clear tone in which the music or sermon are received.
Radio is not a regular study at Union College, but rather a side issue with the boys, most of whom became interested in the science during the war. Equippt with the most modern of apparatus, including six of the new type 5o-watt and two 250-watt Radiotrons, the most powerful sending vacuum tube in use, for amateur work. Union's Radio Club has been heard by more than 2,000 amateurs to date. The sending is done on a 35o meter wave-length, interesting information for those amateurs within a radius of 1,200 miles of Schenectady who have not yet listened in on the concerts or sermons.
Some of the letters received in reference to these concerts are interesting. One from Beloit, Wis., from Glen Franz, said:
"Heard you fine tonight. Using only one tube. Keep up the good work."
Another from a little town in North Carolina, signed by Taylor M. Simpson, reported that the concert was very loud in that place. C. W. Carter of Shawinigan Falls, Quebec, said:
"I've just been listening to your Radio concert, and it was very good indeed. Wish you could give one every night."
A little rivalry is evident from another communication sent by R. J. McKnight of Springfield, Ohio. He said he heard the concert and that it carne in a good deal louder than either "NSF" or "KDKA". The former is a Government station at Washington and the other is a station in Pittsburgh.
A correspondent from Fort Wayne, Ind., reported hearing the radiofone concert very distinctly, and a similar report was received from Keyser, West Va. Another report received from Francis Duffey of Cabery, Ill., said:
"Very loud here; heard your concert last night. I could hear you all the time about to feet from fones and at times 30 feet from fones."
Another message from Ontario congratulated the Club, saying:
"Your concert was heard here frightfully loud. This fone is the finest I have heard to date. It beats 2QR and NSF."
An interesting message came from the steamship Peeksville, 700 miles out of Ambrose Channel. It follows : "Thanks for your concerts. I never knew that `Annie Laurie' could sound so well."
From Radio News, June, 1921
Labels: Union College