July 1934 Radio News & Short-Wave
Wax nostalgic about and learn from the history of early
electronics. See articles from
Radio & Television News, published 1919-1959. All copyrights hereby
If you read through this
"Dots and Dashes" column from the July 1934 issue of Radio News,
you will find many familiar topics -- and a couple weird ones. Among the familiar
are transmitting electrical power via RF waves, an electronics industry convention
and exposition being held in Chicago, elevator control with electric sensors to
assure the cars stop at floor level, global communications, the
closing of a historic radio station (how 'historic' can a radio station be in 1934?),
earth-moon-earth (EME) experimentation, and remote control of beacon stations with
radio signals. The weird ones? How about an "electric woman" with glowing breasts and a
radio microphone, do they qualify?
Dots and Dashes
Short but Interesting Items from the Month's Radio News the World Over
New Inter-City Radio Links
New Ultra-Short-Wave Radio-Control for Airway Beacons
Engineers of the Airway Section of the Department of Commerce
are testing out a new method of remote control for radio-beacon transmitters, usually
located miles from the airports themselves. The device pictured above is a remote-control
transmitter, operated from a dial telephone system which sends out impulses received
by the beacon station and which automatically turn "on and off" the radio-beacon
transmitter, with no operator present. Photo shows Operator G. Muehl operating the
device at a Washington airport station
New York - Both the RCA Communications, Inc. (in cooperation with Western Union)
and· the Mackay Radio and Telegraph Company (in cooperation with the Postal Telegraph
Company) seem to be going in for the high-speed competition for inter-city, wire-radio
message business. The Mackay Company has extended its services to include the cities
of Washington and Boston in their system. The other cities being served are New
York, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle Portland, Tacoma,
Oakland and San Diego. The new telegraph service is available at any Postal telegraph
office and the Postal Telegraph Company also collects and delivers messages for
Mackay Radio. The RCA Communications, Inc. has also opened up new radio telegraph
wire services between Boston, New York, Washington, San Francisco, Chicago and New
Orleans. Construction permits have been filed for authorization to include Seattle,
Los Angeles and Detroit in the RCA network. The Western Union Telegraph Co. will
serve as depots for these inter-city services as well as for the sending of radiograms
RMA Convention at Chicago
Chicago - Celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Radio Manufacturers Association,
to be observed at Chicago in June with a national meeting of the radio industry
at the Hotel Stevens June 11th to June 14th. There will be many joint meetings of
manufacturers and jobbers, discussing national trade promotion, merchandising and
other important and mutual problems. Stimulation and promotion of radio business
will be the keynote. No radio, phonograph, refrigeration and other household goods
or musical merchandise will be demonstrated or on show at the industrial gatherings.
This will eliminate the heretofore familiar features of the "trade" shows.
Radio Cars Answer Call in 20 Seconds
New York - Police Commissioner O'Ryan of New York City staged a demonstration,
recently, at the Columbia Radio Playhouse when he sent in a call "I want a policeman,"
from the stage, during an interlude in a musical broadcast. Twenty seconds after
the call ended over the police department radio transmitter, in response to this
telephone call, four uniformed men entered the radio theatre in answer to their
chief's summons. The men caught the call, while on patrol-car duty, near Broadway
and 47th Street. Three cars answered the call.
"Eyes" Stop Elevator Cars
Engineers test the electric-eye "stops" for accuracy at Radio
City. With a carpenter's level laid across the floor of the car and the building
floor, they can ascertain the degree of perfection with which the photo-electric
cell brings the elevator car to a stop.
Transmitting Power by Radio
These columns contained, a couple of months ago, a report of
an experiment to transmit radio power through the air to run a train. This photograph
shows the apparatus in question. In recent tests, surrounded with great secrecy,
the inventor, M. C. Gregory, at Boise City, Oklahoma, was reported as successfully
transmitting, by short waves, enough power to drive a small rail motor-car a distance
of seven miles. With bigger equipment the inventor hopes to be able to operate a
five-car train soon, with no material connection between the supply of power and
the cars themselves
Electric "Eyes" Stop Elevator Cars
New York - Electric eyes now join the ranks of elevator operators! Two electric
eyes, known technically as photo-electric tubes, are entrusted with stopping each
of the 36 high-speed elevators in the 69 story Radio Tower in Radio City, New York
City. Up and down the 850 feet of darkened elevator shaft, two electric eyes ride
on each fast-moving car. The tubes' uncanny "sight" brings the car to a stop level
with any desired floor with an accuracy unsurpassed by the most experienced human
operator, according to Westinghouse engineers.
Marconi Calls "Electric Woman" Genuine
Rome - Marchese Guglielmo Marconi, famous radio inventor and scientist, said
today there was no doubt as to the authenticity of the phenomena of the "electric
woman" Signora Anna Monaro, according to the Times. From Signora Monaro's breasts,
several times nightly while she sleeps, there emanates enough light to illuminate
a room, it is said.
Visit Steinmetz Home
Schenectady - Nearly 3,000 persons recently accepted the invitation of Joseph
LeRoy Hayden, foster son of the late Charles P. Steinmetz, the electrical wizard,
to visit the big brick house adjoining Steinmetz's private laboratory and conservatory.
This was the first time since Steinmetz's death in 1923 that these buildings have
been made available for public inspection.
National Electric and Radio Exposition
New York - The New York Madison Square Garden will be the home of the 1934 National
Electric and Radio Exposition for a run of eleven days beginning Wednesday, September
19th, including Saturday, September 29th. Radio interest and business is increasing
at such a rate that it is believed this will be the largest radio exposition on
New York - A globe circling radio broadcast reception party was recently demonstrated
over the Columbia network, when listeners recently were "taken," via a broadcast
program, to England, France, Germany, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Austria, Spain, Czechoslovakia,
Italy, Hungary, Belgium, Switzerland, Japan, China, Indo-China, East Indies and
the Philippines. The overseas reception was done in the RCA Communications laboratory
at Riverhead and also at the laboratory in Bolinas, California, near San Francisco.
Will Television Be a Future War Spy?
London - Aerial
and naval warfare of the future, including television, to spy out movements of troops,
etc., was recently demonstrated to the British War Office and Air Ministry at the
Baird Television headquarters here. Officials were shown the methods for sending
back, from an airplane television transmitter, photographs of the battle field showing
troup movements and positions of artillery.
Byrd Alone in World's Coldest Spot
Little America - Admiral Byrd recently radioed from his self-imposed "hermitage,"
123 miles south of Little America, "Quite likely this base is the coldest spot ever
occupied. The temperature this morning was 58 degrees below zero."
Historic Radio Station to Close
Cornwall - It has been announced the famous radio station at Poldhu, near the
Lizard, Cornwall, England, is to be closed down. This was the station used for transmitting
the three famous Marconi "dots" heard across the Atlantic Ocean in the first wireless
transmission over this area.
New Electronic Guard for Federal Prison
Los Angeles - Invisible walls that "see" and unseen gates that "speak" are being
installed at Alcatraz prison, island penitentiary in San Francisco Bay to guard
America's 200 most dangerous criminals. Photo-electric cells are being placed along
the top walls and escaping prisoners would break the light beam and set off a huge
horn alarm. Gateways are being equipped with machines sensitive to the presence
of metal and if a prisoner passes, with a knife, gun or other metallic weapon concealed
on his body, it automatically releases terrific sound waves from a large siren.
Radio Worn on the Belt
Midget Police Radio Worn on the Belt
Los Angeles - Two enterprising inventors, Ralph Gordon and Roy Hunt, have contrived
a new one-tube radio receiver, weighing less than 44 ounces complete, that can be
used by the police force for listening-in to headquarters, in somewhat the same
manner that police cars now utilize much larger portable equipment. The tiny earpiece
is attached to the officer's cap. Patrolmen on foot can, therefore, be called to
the exact scene of a crime from the central police station with this equipment.
Queer-Acting "Mike" Puzzles Radio Engineers
Newark - An announcer at WNEW thought he had hallucinations last week when he
heard orchestra music coming from a microphone in the studio. An investigation by
engineers brought the discovery that the signals came from the microphone and that
by turning the microphone in either direction the volume could be easily controlled.
No orchestras were on the air or in rehearsal at the time. The chief engineer also
finally discovered that the broadcasts of the 5-meter experimental short-wave transmitter
atop the Empire State Building, New York City, were being picked up by the delicate
condenser microphone which in some peculiar and unexplained way was acting as a
receiver. A number of other radio stations reported the same strange radio phenomena
and at present engineers are delving into this newest of radio puzzles.
Aviators' SOS in Bottle
Hamilton, Ontatio -A bottle recently drifted ashore at Burlington Beach believed
to be a clue to the fate of the two lost airmen who disappeared, six months ago,
on a flight across Lake Ontario to Fort Erie. The SOS read: "Help. We are the two
air pilots in the lake. We are floating." A lighthouse keeper's daughter picked
up the bottle. If this had been a radio SOS help could have been summoned quickly
and the lives of the two aviators would probably have been spared.
Congress Gets New Public Address System
The members of Congress will have no excuse for not maintaining order in the
future, a new high-powered public-address system having recently been set up. It
is reported that Speaker Rainey's gavel resounds through the chamber like crashes
of thunder and his demands for order and recognition of members is plainly heard
above any other sounds in even the most stormy sessions
To Test Radio Echoes from the Moon
London - Efforts to discover whether radio waves really escape from the earth
and are echoed back to us from the moon and other parts of the solar system are
soon to be started by Professor E. V. Appleton of the University of London. He plans
to enlist the aid of thousands of radio amateurs and short-wave enthusiasts throughout
the world to time the echoes of powerful signals which he will endeavor to pass
through the outer layers of atmosphere into space. If this reflection does occur,
radio listeners may catch the echo in a little over 2 1/2 seconds after the signal
is transmitted, as the distance to the moon and back is roughly half a million miles.
The British Broadcasting Company is to cooperate in this work and will send out
the test signals from the Empire transmitter at Daventry. A world radio research
league is being formed to assist in carrying out the project.
Animals Ruled by Radio Coils Placed in Their Brains
New Haven - Dr. Richard U. Light of Yale and Professor E. L. Chaffee of Harvard
report recent experiments in which a small coil of copper wire was inserted in the
brain of a laboratory monkey and the wound left to heal with the coil inside the
brain. Whenever this monkey (with the radio coil in its brain was exposed to radio
impulses from a transmitter, a definite kind of convulsion instantly followed. The
coil picked up induced electric currents which affected the chosen brain centers.
Another monkey with the coil connected to a different part of the brain immediately
fell asleep whenever the signals were transmitted.
Posted December 4, 2019
(updated from original post on 8/13/2013)