This section is from the book "Amateur Work Magazine Vol6". Also available from Amazon: Amateur Work.
I have read with much interest in your first issue of March, an article describing the erection of poles towers, etc., for the support of aerial wires in connection with radio-telegraphic apparatus, and in this connection I should like to say something concerning the transmission and reception of telegrams wire-lessly, with and without the use of high aerial wires or conductors, writes Gorge S. Piggott in the "Electric World."
For some time past i have been engaged in experimental research with the object in view of ascetaining, if possible, the kind of apparatus necessary for the accomplishment of continuous and perfect transmission of radio-telegaphic pulsations. In using the aerial I have found after numerous and exact experiments that the high wire is comparatively of no value for continuous and syntomic transmission, on account of the cumulative effect of atmospheric electricity on said wire, which effect is more than sufficient at times to operate the receiver, record false signals, and perhaps burn out the apparatus, thus endangering the life of the attendant or operator who might be near.
In consideration of the above I therefore set about to construct apparatus with which I could communicate continuously day or night during stormy or clear weather, without the use of the high aerial and I have succeeded to such an extent that I am perfectly satisfied with results gained.
I may say that I communicate, with great accuracy (as pefectly as by wire) over a distance of half a mile or more in the city of Chicago, with steel constructed and other large buildings intervening, these buildings entirely screening the instruments, which are situated each in its own respective room, on the ground floors, and having no wire or other artificial conductor whatever outside.
The instruments I have are quite crude, and are made up of anything suitable that came to hand; nevertheless they are very effective, when considering the power consumd in opiating the transmitter for the above distance, is not more than 22 watts, and the action of my detector at the receiver is so intense for the given distance, that the pulsations can be heard when the telephone is placed some 8 inches from the ear;; these results being gained with apparatus keighing in entirety not more than 60 lbs.
In conclusion I will state that I can carry my receiver to a building, set in down on a chair, throw a switch, and when a message is to come, a bell will ring, and communication has started; no aerial, or metal cylinders, or analogous conductors being necessary.
(At a demonstration with Mr. Piggott's apparatus in Chicago signals were transmitted at a distance of about 1/4 mile with numerous brick and some semi-steel frome buildings intervening. The receiver was in a small box which was set behind a piano with the idea of getting as much screening effect as possible. The only metallic connection to the receiver was a ground wire attached to a steam radiator. The. sending station had no aerial conductor.-Eds.)