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As a proof of the healthfulness of the for three months. At the end of the first Edison battery, the fact should be con- two months of rocking and dipping navy sidered that several thousand cells are officials began to take notice, for no batbeing charged and re-charged in the tery had ever stood up under such a test. West Orange works with hundreds of At the end of three months they were workmen around them. Not so with lead- convinced. sulphuric acid batteries. They are manu- "Keep it clean and give it water," infactured as far away from the main structed Mr. Edison, “and at the end of works as possible, and powerful electric four years it will give its full capacity." fans are used to remove the fumes. "Four years?" they asked in wonder. Navy specifications covering the installa- “Yes," replied Mr. Edison. “Four tion of lead-acid batteries stipulate lead- years, eight years; it will outwear the, lined rooms to retain them, and lead- submarine itself.” lined ventilating pipes with specially con- It was only a few weeks ago that the structed and installed motors, to operate inventor in company with Secretary the exhaust fans. In specifications cov- Josephus Daniels of the Navy and Rearering the installation of Edison's new Admiral Frank J. Fletcher, commander battery no mention need be made of lead- in chief of the Atlantic fleet, gathered in lined rooms.
the Brooklyn Navy Yard and watched Innumerable tests were prescribed, and the Edison battery rock to and fro in the battery met them all.
the cradle. The movement of the cradle Cognizant of the fact that he had a bat- was increased until it was tilting at an tery which promised to solve the health angle of thirty-five degrees.
and power problems of under-water navi- “Make it roll harder and faster," spoke gation, he appointed his chief engineer up Mr. Edison. “You can keep it up as and personal representative, Mr. Miller long as you like. I've tried the same test Reese Hutchison, to make arrangements just for the fun of it. The battery doesn't with the Navy Department. This was mind it at all—you can't feaze it!" done, and an Edison submarine storage And that's the reason the Navy battery was sent to Brooklyn and put on snatched it up—because nobody can the big cradle to be rocked day and night "feaze” it!
THROWING THE VOICE
WALTER S. HIATT
HE national epoch has been plains, that lie between the Atlantic and
reached in the telephone the Pacific.
Yet, there were those who doubted the
Denver was the utmost limit the old days men doubted Bell when he of the telephone.
claimed he could talk over a wire. Today, New York can talk with San One New York newspaper editor, when Francisco. A man in New York can pick the Denver line was established, attended up his office telephone and for sixteen dol- the public demonstration offered in New lars can get a man on the water front York City by the telephone company and of the Pacific, over 3364 miles of wire, then, the next day, quietly put in a call buy a shipment of oranges, and know from his office for Denver. In a short that as he finishes talking, the first steps time he had his Denver party on the teleare already being taken for the trans- phone and thereby was convinced. mission of the goods.
When one considers seriously the Long possible in theory, this problem doubts of this editor who was unwilling of solving long-distance talking has for to believe that his voice could be mathe past twenty years been growing grey terially carried over a wire so far, one hairs on the heads of telephone engineers. must admit that there was reason The first long-distance talk-over a bor- for his doubt. To a telephone engineer, rowed telegraph wire-of sixteen miles, knowing all the difficulties that are enin 1876, between Boston and Cambridge, countered in transmitting the human was a world wonder. The New York voice clearly, it is more remarkable that to Boston talk in 1880 was a greater won a voice can be made to travel over a wire der still. When Alexander Graham Bell two thousand miles long than that a mestalked in 1893 over the then new line sage can be ticked off by a wireless inbetween Chicago and New York, the strument and made to radiate in the unfinal word was supposed to have been opposing ether to a distance of a thousaid in long-distance conversation.
sand or two thousand miles. Then, a little over a year ago, the Consider this fact: Your voice with Denver-New York line—2014 miles long all its intonations, starting at your New —was thrown open to the public—three York office, travels along a wire to Bufminutes talk for eleven dollars and falo, thence to Cleveland, into Chicago, twenty-five cents. When it was made with its millions of wires and opposing plain that the words heard over this line currents; thence out of the Chicago terwere often more distinct than those in a minal, underground, to poles in the air, conversation, say from Kansas City, Mis- across the level country to Davenport, souri, across the Missouri River to Kan- Iowa, to Des Moines, on, on, across the sas City, Kansas, the public began to Missouri River into Omaha. The next wonder why the wired talk couldn't go station is North Platte, then Julesburg, wireless one better and reach under the Colorado. A sharp turn to Sterling, your rivers and over the mountains, across the voice climbs the mountains, and it is in
THE TORTUOUS ROUTE ACROSS THE CONTINENT When you, in New York, talk to your San Francisco friend, your voice follows the line drawn on this map. the cool, bracing air of Denver's moun- spondent. You toss words at each other, tains.
back and forth, along this winding wire, Your voice does not stop here. It across the whole continent of working, leaps past the panting mountain climb talking people, and you hear each other ers—the railway engines; it ranges and each other only; your messages of along to Cheyenne, into a new State, love, of friendship, or of business exWyoming, is guided through Laramie, changed, you hang up your receivers. Rawlins, Evanston ; next it hums through You have not merely filed a message with
Salt Lake City, into Timpie and Wend- a wireless man, and been handed a writover, State of Utah. It is now leaping ten answer in reply, after hours of waitthrough States, not cities. Nevada is ing. You have yourself taken part in a next and therein it touches the towns of truly wonderful mechanical operation. Wells, Elko, Winnemucca, Wadsworth, This talk was not possible six years Reno.
ago, nor three years ago, nor six months At last California is reached and on ago. It is possible today because during the home-stretch your voice flies past the past half-dozen years telephone engiSacramento and is picked up at San neers have been spending millions of Francisco.
dollars overhauling the lines of the sysBack comes the voice of your corre- tem, improving them, building new sta
Ask a telephone engineer if there is an electric current used in transmitting the voice, and he will say “Yes”. Ask him how great a current, and he will tell you that the tiny current used is so small, so weak, that it cannot be measured except with very delicate instruments. This current must be protected against many enemies. Every street-railway and electric lighting current is the enemy of the telephone. Then, rain and sleet and snow and cold and heat are its enemies, too. Dust is its enemy. So are small boys with their kites and slings and mania for throwing things on the telephone wires. So are the bears in the wild country, which, looking for honey, cut down the poles, mistaking the hum of the wires for the buzz of bees. An Imperator, a Vaterland, an Olympic of the seas may steam into a harbor and sit on a cable, and another enemy of the telephone is found.
When a wire is laid in good condition, when the transmitters are perfect, when
the smaller wires are insulated with WHERE THE PUPIs Coil Works
enamel instead of silk and glass, as has There are a hundred such on the line from New York to Chicago to build up the dying voice.
all is in working order, the long-distance tions, installing new switchboards, hiring chief has to contend with the fact that new and competent employes.
voice sounds tend to die out and waste This talk is above all possible because away before they reach their destination. these engineers have patiently experi- Take a fifty-foot rope, lay it along the mented until they have found not one ground, and then attempt to twirl it vigbut three ways of forcing the voice along orously. The twirling movement bethe long-distance wires, to distances quite comes less violent in proportion as it out of the question two years ago. The travels along the rope. If a knot is tied particular instrument that today makes it in the middle of the rope, then the twirlpossible to carry the voice so far over a ing movement picks up as it passes the wire is known as the telephone repeater. knot and continues further along the It is a voice builder. There have been rope. The voice acts in the same way other inventions found in company with on a wire. this one to improve long-distance service, A dozen years ago Michael J. Pupin, one of which is the open finder of Henry of Columbia University, New York, deN. Bauer, by which it is possible to keep vised a means of tying knots in wires, the wires up to maximum efficiency. that is, he reloaded them at intervals.
To understand the difficulty of push- This was a great step in long-distance ing the voice to long distances, the reader work. There are some eight million must first understand that the means by miles of Bell telephone wire in the United which the voice is carried is one of the States, and Pupin's invention, first valumost subtle and uncertain known in able for revivifying the voice, made it sound.
possible to use smaller wires and in that