History around Schenectady

Upstate New York History.

Location: New York, United States

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Howe School Mrs Wagenheim 5th Grade 1977

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Bright Ideas Catch on Quickly

From the March 2, 1946 issue of the Saturday Evening Post.


Sunday, September 28, 2014


The extraordinary reception of music from the General Electric Company station, WGY, on a two -foot loop in London, England, is commented upon as follows by E. Blake, A. M. I. E. E., in the London (England) Daily Mail of January 1.

"The challenge palm for the reception of long-distance broadcasting undoubtedly belongs for the time being to Captain H. J. Round, of the Marconi Company, for his performance on Christmas Eve. Using a six-valve Marconi-phone plus two `Note Magnifiers' (i. e. low frequency amplifiers), he received music and speech from several United States stations. A pianoforte solo broadcast from WGY (Schenectady, United States) was received at Captain Round's house at Muswell Hill, N., fairly uniform in strength and of about the same audibility as the Manchester Broadcasting Station, also received at the same place.

"Two facts in particular render this result remarkable. First, the aerial employed was a frame 2' square; that is quite a moderate size for a frame aerial, even for amateur use, and I wish Captain Round would measure the electromotive force it acquires from the Schenectady generator, for it must be easier to measure than to imagine. Also I should like to know whether he elected to sit up to the small hours with that pathetic little frame out of pure optimism or because he had what Schenectady would term a `hunch.'

"Much trouble was experienced as the result of jamming by harmonics from Leafield, Oxfordshire and Northolt, Middlesex, which stations are evidently competing keenly with each other in the `jam' trade. Hence amateurs will do well to give further study to the possibilities of frame aerials, for these will enable them to escape a certain amount of interference.

"The other interesting fact about Captain Round's Christmas Eve -Christmas Morning vigil is that there was no mere `pig's whisper,' but a loud speaker in full blast. Now, one needs quite a respectable volume of sound to make a loud speaker shout about the house, so, although eight valves were at work. the result is really surprising, and should give a fine fillip to amateur endeavor. I may mention, for the benefit of those who wish to repeat the experiment, that the wave -length on which WGY was sending was about midway between those of the Manchester (385 meters) and Birmingham (425 meters) Broadcasting Stations, and that the signals were heard before 2 a. m. (Greenwich)."

From Radio News, May, 1923.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

A New Use For Radio

"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.


Friday, September 26, 2014

$2,000 Damage Bill for Freshman Dinner

Seems that "He- Who Would Dance Must Pay the Fiddler" - Lawyers on the Case

All that remained of the Union College freshman dinner held at Amsterdam last Monday are a few pleasant memories and unpleasant bills yet to be paid - just whom remains to be seen. The amount for damages alone total more than $2,000, according to the chairman of the dinner committee.

The damages to the Moose hall total $300. John Vassll, proprietor of the raided Splendid lunch adjoining the hall, values his missing stock at $1,500, and the trolley company is yet to be heard from in the matter of compensation desired. And there are lawyers in the case, too. James Ferguson of Amsterdam desiring to collect the coin for the injured persons in the case.

Failing to find anything more exciting that throwing rocks at the cops, all of '.m. and running the risk of slipping off a four-story roof, the sophomores decided to visit the Splendid lunch room, a few doors away, from whence were issuing the rations for the forbidden dinner. A record in quick salesmanship was set $1,500 in stock going in four minutes. When the visitors left there was nothing left - that is if the stove, which was too hot to carry, and the goldfish are overlooked. The stock ranged from grapefruit and cigarettes to roast turkey and penny slot machine, all auctioned in the small space of four minutes.

It is also strange that a large part of things dear to the heart of the Moose are among those missing. Whether or not some one intends to start an I. O. O. M. at Union or their home town is problematical, but the fact remains that little of the paraphernalia has returned to its original home.

From the Schenectady Gazette, January 19, 1920.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014


Are radio broadcast stations responsible for late summers and early winters? A Pattersonville, N. Y. farmer believes so and promises frost in August because of the activity of radio stations. In a letter to WGY, the Schenectady, N. Y., station, he expounded his interesting and novel theory as follows:

"This broadcasting of music is good entertainment for the people in different parts of the country. But why is the weather so cold?

"I think that transmission of power through the air freezes all the heat out of it. Think, 20 broadcast stations in the New England States alone! Why, we have had cold summers for three years, ever since they started broadcasting music and entertainments. Four or five years ago when there wasn't any station transmitting power we had warm summers. You know yourself when it is hot in the summer there are thunder storms. Now there aren't any, and why?

"When it is a hot day and a thunder storm goes over, the lightning burns most of the heat and after the storm it is nice and cool. Now, when about 10 or 15 stations get a-going for about five hours each day, the electricity from these stations burns more heat than 50 storms. The weather is altogether different from what it was years ago. What are the farmers going to do?

"I may be wrong, but that is the cause of this cold weather, I think. Please try and get all the stations in the New England states and more besides to stop the broadcasting during the summer months and see if we dolt get the good old warm days back again."

From Radio News, October, 1924.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

September 23, 1908 - Hudson Valley Railroad Collision near Fort Miller

 from the book "Saratoga Through Car, A History Of The Hudson Valley Railway" by David F. Nestle.

Saratoga, N.Y., September 23. - Four men were badly injured, one fatally, in a rear-end Collision during a heavy fog on the Hudson Valley Railroad near Fort Miller today. Motorman Aubrey, of Glens Falls, died in the hospital, and motorman Kane is not expected to survive his injuries.

From the Montreal Gazette, September 24, 1908.

Fatal Collision in Fog.

Saratoga, N.Y., Sept. 23. - Motorman Aubrey was killed and three other men badly injured in a rear-end collision during a fog on the Hudson Valley Railroad, near Fort Miller today. Conductor Kane was so badly hurt that he will die. James H. Cosgrove and James Dowd, of Fort Miller, traveling salesmen, were less seriously hurt.

From the Morning Oregonian, September 24, 1908.

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