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fact that it is almost impossible to make an ordinary telephonic system work satisfactorily over any circuit that is connected with the ground. Lines with such circuits are subject to serious difficulties, chief among which are the strange noises heard in the receiving instruments. The cause of these noises, by the way, is not very well understood. But the new plan makes it practicable to connect a telephone circuit with the earth at both ends without inviting the slightest suggestion of such disturbances—a very important feature of the invention, in Major Squier's own opinion.
The high-frequency telephonic messages and the local battery messages may exist on the line simultaneously without a trace of any "cross-talk" or disturbing noises from other external sources. Earth or ground connections form a part of the tuned circuit, and no noises from the earth are permitted to pass, because all such ground connections are tuned to frequencies far above the human auditory limit.
Very essential is the fact that the condensers used are of a capacity so small as to be measured in terms of thousandths of a microfarad, and they block all currents of such low frequencies as the ordinary telephonic currents, or those which bring disturbing noises from external sources.
The whole range of electro-magnetic vibrations is viewed by Major Squier as a spectrum extending from the ultraviolet, which is a region of high frequencies, to the exceedingly slow oscillations of the infra-red, such as are used on long-distance submarine cables. One might say that these are terms of light: and so, indeed, they are. Rut, as the inventor explains, light and electricity are the same thing. Vibrations within certain limits of frequency, as already stated, can be heard over a wire. Above 20,000 a second they become inaudible to the human ear. When they have got up to 700,000,000,000,000 to the second,
they become visible to the eye. We could actually see telegraphic messages, instead of hearing them, if our eyes were suitably constructed.
The waves used by Major Squier belong to the great unexplored region which lies above the limit of audibility and below the limit of visibility. They can be neither heard nor seen; yet they are utilized for purposes of wireless telegraphy, and those of them which are relatively low down in the scale of frequency can be employed to carry messages.
All the vibrations being bunched together and guided by the wire in a single direction, they can be sent to an enormously greater distance. Hence, the likelihood that long-distance telephones operated on the new principle will be able to carry messages across the ocean and even, if desired, around the world.
Such, briefly described, is the novel idea which seems destined to revolutionize telegraphy as well as telephony; for it is as applicable to the former as to the latter. It ought greatly to cheapen both. Rut Major Squier seems to think that one of the most important advantages of his discovery lies in the fact that it can be utilized and applied with the apparatus already in common employment. Its application does not demand a single instrument that cannot be purchased for a moderate price in the open market— for which reason it is at the service not merely of the telephone and telephone companies, but of any private citizen. It is the property of the people.
All of the experiments with the multiplex telephone up to date have been conducted over a single circuit, which connects the research laboratory of the Signal Corps—at the Bureau of Standards —with the construction laboratory of the Signal Corps, on Pennsylvania Avenue, close by the War Department, in Washington. The distance between the two points is about five miles. Over this line the new system is now in operation.
MAKING THE TOURIST HONEST
CONSPICUOUS in the throng upon the decks of the Kaiser Wilhelm II. while she was being- laboriously warped into her berth at Hoboken one day last September were fifteen dignified matrons. At least they tried to look dignified, but realizing that they were conspicuous, and being still more distressingly aware of the reason therefor, they made rather a poor fist of it. For all the fifteen were swathed in obstreperously new Persian lamb coats which would have been admirable garments
for an Arctic winter excursion, and yet it was a grilling hot day. The seasons keep fashionably late hours in New York, spring lingering into summer and summer lapping over into autumn.
At the imminent risk of sunstroke the fifteen kept their new fur coats closely buttoned throughout the wearisome time that it takes to moor a big steamer. Perspiration streamed from their red faces as they staggered down the gang plank, and distributing themselves among the lettered sections of the torrid dock, began the vigil of their baggage. By the time her trunks were all assembled ready for the customs examination the lucky first one was on the point of collapse. When asked to acknowledge her signature on her declaration, she could only gasp and nod her head. The inspector to whom the document was handed glanced at it, then at the new Persian lamb coat.
"That is a handsome coat you have on, madame," he remarked, seemingly bent on making conversation.
"Yes, I think it is rather fetching,' murmured the melting one, finding her voice again, for no woman is ever too far gone to rise to a neatly turned compliment.
"It has the real Parisian cut. You must have purchased it abroad."
"Oh, yes! You cawn't get such furs at home."
"I see you forgot to include it in your declaration."
"Why I'm wearing it. Don't you see? I'm wearing it."
"That makes no difference whatever.
You will observe that the law distinctly says that only one hundred dollars worth of goods purchased abroad may be admitted duty free. If you will kindly step to the desk, madame, I think you will be allowed to amend your declaration."
No thermometer would have recorded that matron's temperature when she realized that she had sweltered in vain, and that she must pay $130 in duty before she could take her prize away. Her impotent rage was scarcely assuaged by the knowledge that each of the other fourteen were making the same discovery in other parts of the dock. There are times when misery is too much engrossed with its own unhappiness to care whether it has company or not.
Not until weeks afterward did a nebulous suspicion in the minds of the fifteen crystallize into a conviction that he whom they had thought such an agreeable young man on the ship coming home was a fiend in human shape, an abandoned wretch with a perverted sense of humor, who had played what he was pleased to consider a practical joke upon them by telling them they would not have to pay duty on any of their European purchases they wore when going ashore. Being a gossipy person he had found out all about their purchases, had made the possession of those dutiable Persian lamb coats a bond of sympathy between them, and had been the arch conspirator in the pretended plot to trick the Government out of its just dues. Hut if any of the fifteen ever clap
eyes on the scoundrel again
Amazing beyond comprehension is the tenacity with which seemingly intelligent persons will cling to popular beliefs in the face of the most explicit and emphatic refutations, backed up by authority and reiterated again and yet again. Somebody somewhere somehow sometime got the idea that anything that had ever been worn, or which was worn upon disembarking in America, no matter what it was, or what its value, or where it was purchased, was not subject to duty. He confided this hallucination to some one else who passed it on to another. This tariff delusion, thus started on its travels, has spread like a
contagion from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Soo to the Rio Grande. Ninetynine out of every hundred trans - Atlantic passengers believe it with their whole soul on their first trip. They believe it just as implicitly as they believe that anything offered for sale in Europe must necessarily be a wonderful bargain. So they spend half their time abroad shopping and the other half wearing their purchases in order to escape the tariff which in the abstract is a heavenly beatitude, provided it is only high enough, but which becomes an unjust,tyrannical, oppressive burden to be evaded by any artifice the moment it is brought home to the individual.
On every west bound liner that crosses the Atlantic may be seen a few women suffering from the tariff delusion. They can always be i 'entified by the preposterously inappropriate costumes they wear on shipboard. They suffer the pangs of martyrdom, for they know all the other women are talking about them, and they perjure their souls with false explanations and apologies to hide what everybody knows, which is that the)' are suffering merely to trick the United States Government out of the money it so desperately needs to pay pensions. The shrewder tourists on their first trip take their purchases to a secluded spot in Switzerland where they wear them each for an hour, then sew in old labels they prudently brought from home. After the first trip they know better.
Some even think jewels purchased abroad are not dutiable if they take the precaution to wear them on going ashore. Thus, a tourist who shall be nameless here, returning on the George Washington, October 10, 1910, wore a new diamond ring and pin, his wife wore a diamond and sapphire ring and carried a silver mesh bag. None of these things were included in their declaration, yet they readily admitted they had been purchased abroad. Asked why he did not declare the jewels, the tourist triumphantly called attention to the fact that he and his wife were wearing them. He was overwhelmed when the trinkets were seized and he was obliged to redeem them by paying their full value plus 60 per cent duty with a fine on top of that for good measure.
Yet it is difficult to work up any sympathy for the victims of the tariff delusion when they are forced to pay three times what it would have cost them to be honest. Smuggling is merely a form of stealing, which is expressly forbidden in the decalogue. No one can make any
mistake about the tariff law unless he does it wilfully. Early in the west bound voyage, so there will be plenty of time to examine it at leisure, the purser or his minions hands to each passenger a blank declaration on which to schedule his baggage, including foreign purchases, and a little blue folder. The declaration, which is numbered and has a coupon with a corresponding number attached, bears the most explicit directions for filling it-out. But for fear the plain and simple language may be misunderstood, the little blue folder, which is headed "Notice to Passengers," begins by quoting paragraph 709 appearing in the free