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ONE by one the marvels of our fairy-tales materialize into actual facts. Do you remember Fine Ear, the faithful servant of the persecuted prince, who had only to lay his ear to the ground to detect the approach of the hostile pursuers miles and miles away? The teller of that tale little dreamed that centuries later a prince of invention would make it possible for a mechanical “FineEar” to report to its master words from all parts of our great round globe. But on November 5, 1921, President Harding flashed a message to all the peoples of the earth by means of the world's greatest wireless plant, newly erected on a tract of land covering ten square miles on the north
POWER-HOUSE witH cooling-Pond, which PERMITs CONSTANT MECHANICAL OPERATION, IN FOREGROUND
eastern shore of Long Island, about seventy miles from New York City. This great station, by means of which simultaneous wireless communication can be held with the entire world, is known as Radio Central. This is the transmittingstation, so planned as to have a number of
separate antenna systems, each communicating with a different country. Sixteen miles away, at Riverhead, Long Island, is a multiplex receiving-station, so arranged as to receive simultaneously all radiograms coming to the United States from the foreign countries embraced in the system. But strange to say, there are no radio operators at either of these stations! The operators are conveniently situated in the Central Traffic Office, which is located in the busiest part of busy New York City. The actual transmission takes place by what is known as “remote control,” directed from the central office. In the same way, the distant signals pouring in by radio from all quarters at the receiving-station are automatically transferred to wire lines and received in audible tones at the central office. The action is simultaneous, from the time the signals are transmitted from some foreign point and picked up by the aërial, to the moment when the receiving operator in New York transcribes them. We can realize the significance of this when we remember that in the early days of the art each station functioned alternately as a transmitter, a receiver, and a telegraphoffice, which, of course, involved a great loss of time and a consequent reduction of possible business, since the station had to stop sending while receiving, and vice versa. When the signals reach the central office they are interpreted and typed off by skilled operators, or else received automatically at high speed by ink recorders. Lastly, they are handed to messenger-boys, who bear them to all parts of the city. The great towers which fling themselves into the air with such gossamer lightness of appearance are really tremendously strong. No less than 1800 tons of structural steel were used to erect the first twelve—about 150 tons apiece. Each tower is 410 feet in over-all height, and the cross-arm at the top which supports the antennae is 150 feet long. To support this great height and weight, they must rest, of course, on a very solid foundation. The base is made of solid concrete, 8200 tons of which were needed for the first twelve towers; each tower leg is sunk nine feet below the surface of the ground, and there is a total base area of 360 square feet. The towers are nearly a quarter of a mile apart, so that it is almost three miles from the first to the twelfth. Eventually, there will be seventy-two towers supporting twelve antenna units. Each antenna unit might be said to represent the spoke of a giant wheel three miles or so in diameter. The wires, or antennae, which they bear aloft so proudly and sustain so securely, stretch horizontally from tower to tower. Each antenna consists of sixteen silicon-bronze cables three eighths of an inch in diameter. For the first two antenna systems, those already erected,—fifty miles of cable were needed. The ground system for these consists of 450 miles of copper wire, which is buried in the ground in “starfish” and in “gridiron” fashion. . The first power-house section accommodates two 200-Kilowatt high-frequency transmitting alternators with their auxiliaries and equipment. Each transmitting unit has a sending speed of one hundredwords a minute, so that the two units already completed have a combined sending capacity of two hundred words per minute. As new antenna units are added the transmitting capacity will be correspondingly increased. One of the picturesque features at th great transmitting-station is the cooling-pond, where the water which circulates through the high-speed alternators is cooled. This pond is seven feet deep and 64 by 42 feet in area. It is provided with four spray-heads, which send graceful and ornamental jets of water into the air.
graph signals could be sent and received for a distance of several miles by such waves, named Hertzian waves after their discoverer.
But even Marconi did not then realize the ultimate possibilities of this—at any rate, when he was asked in an interview the following year how far such a despatch could be sent, he cautiously replied, “Twenty miles.”
The 23,000-volt transmission-line which supplies the station runs from Port Jefferson, seven miles away. This stupendous plant is a growth from a tiny seed dropped into the fertile mind of a genius, within the brief space of our own generation. In 1887, Professor Hertz observed that electro-magnetic waves are radiated into space with enormous speed by the electrical discharge passing between the electrodes of the spark-gap of an inductioncoil or static machine. Eight years later, Guglielmo Marconi discovered that electrical force can be transmitted through earth, air, or water by means of high-frequency oscillations. A year later he proved that tele
The interviewer inquired why he set this limit, and he answered with a succinct statement which may serve to close this article, since it shows at once the essential principle involved and that true spirit of scientific research embodied in the Latin proverb, “Festina lente,” “Make haste slowly.” This was his reply: “I am speaking within practical limits, and thinking of the transmitter and receiver as thus far calculated. The distance depends simply upon the amount of the exciting energy and the dimensions of the two conductors from which the wave proceeds.”
By RALPH HENRY BARBOUR
SYNOPSIS OF PREVIOUS INSTALMENTS
NED and Laurie Turner, twins, arrive at Hillman's School at Orstead, N. Y., from their home in California. They consider that, although inexperienced, they owe it to the school to go in for sports, and it is decided that Ned shall take up football, and Laurie, baseball. Their first acquaintance among their fellows is a neighbor on their floor named “Kewpie” Proudtree. Kewpie, a candidate for center on the football team, has, contrary to orders, taken on flesh in the course of a lazy summer and seeks to placate the captain by introducing Ned as a star player. Laurie aids in the hoax, and Ned, whose ignorance of football is colossal, is welcomed as a valuable addition to the squad. He threatens mutiny, but
Laurie convinces him that the honor of the Turners is at stake and that he must go on with it.
CHAPTER V IN THE PERFORMANCE OF DUTY
SCHOOL began in earnest the next morning. Ned and Laurie were awakened from a deep slumber by the imperative clanging of a gong. There were hurried trips to the bath-room, and finally a descent to the recreation room and morning prayers. Breakfast followed in the pleasant, sunlit dining-hall, and at halfpast eight the twins went to their first class. There was n’t much real work performed that morning, however. Books were bought and, being again in possession of funds, Ned purchased lavishly of stationery and supplies. He had a veritable passion for patent binders, scratch-pads, blank-books and pencils, and Laurie viewed the result of a half-hour's mad career with unconcealed concern. “You’re all wrong, Ned,” he said earnestly. “We are n't opening a stationery emporium. Besides, we can't begin to compete with the office. They buy at wholesale, and—” “Never mind the comedy. You 'll be helping yourself to these things soon enough, and then you won't be so funny.” “That 's the only way they 'll ever get used up! Why, you ’ve got enough truck there to last three years!” There was one interesting annual observance that morning that the twins witnessed inadvertently. At a little after eight, the fellows began to assemble in front of School Hall. Ned and Laurie, joining the throng, supposed that it was merely awaiting the half-hour, until presently there appeared at the gate a solitary youth of some fourteen years, who came up the circling drive about as joyfully as a French Royalist approaching the guillotine. Deep silence prevailed until the embarrassed and unhappy youth had conquered half of the interminable distance. Then a loud “Hep!” was heard, and the throng broke into a measured refrain:
“Hep!—Hep!—Hep!—Hep!” This was in time to the boy's dogged steps. A look of consternation came into his face and he faltered. Then, however, he set his jaw, looked straight ahead, and came on determinedly. “Hep!—Hep!—” Up the steps he passed, a disk of color in each cheek, looking neither to right nor left, and passed from sight. As he did so, the chorus changed to a good-humored laugh of approval. Ned made inquiry of a youth beside him. * “Day boy,” was the explanation. “There are ten of them, you know: fellows who live in town. We always give them a welcome. That chap had spunk, but you wait and see some of them!” Two more followed together, and, each upheld in that moment of trial by the presence of the other, passed through the ordeal with flying colors. But the twins noted that the laughing applause was lacking. After that, the remaining seven arrived almost on each other's heels and the air was filled with “Heps!” Some looked only surprised, others angry, but most of them grinned in a sickly, embarrassed way and went by with hanging heads. “Sort of tough,” was Ned's verdict, and Laurie agreed as they followed the last victim inside. “It looks as though day students were n’t popular,” he added. Later, though, he found that he was wrong. The boys who lived in the village were accepted without reservation, but, naturally enough, seldom attained to a full degree of intimacy with those who lived in the dormitories. By afternoon, the twins had become quite well shaken down into the new life, had made several superficial acquaintances, and had begun to feel at home. Of Kewpie Proudtree they had caught but fleeting glimpses, for that youth displayed a tendency to keep at a distance. As the hour of four o'clock approached, Ned became more and more worried, and his normally sunny countenance took on an expression of deep gloom. Laurie kept close at his side, fearing that courage would fail and Ned would bring disgrace to the tribe of Turner. But Laurie ought to have known better, for Ned was never what his fellows would have called a “quitter.” Ned meant to see it through. His mind had retained very little of the football lore that his brother had poured into it the night before, but he had, at least, a somewhat clearer idea of the general principles of the game. He knew, for instance, that a team comprised eleven players instead of the twelve he had supposed, and that certain restrictions governed the methods by which you might wrest the ball from an opponent. Thus, you could not legally snatch it out of his arms, nor trip him up in the hope that he would drop it. Ned thought the restrictions rather silly, but accepted them. The athletic field, in school parlance the play-field, was even larger than it had looked from their windows. It held two gridirons and three baseball diamonds, as well as a quarter-mile track and ten tenniscourts. There was also a picturesque and well-appointed field-house and a fairly large grand stand. To Ned's relief, most of the ninety students were in attendance, though only about forty of the number were in playing togs. Ned's idea was that among so many he might escape close observation. He had, of course, handled a football more or less, and he was possessed of his full share of common sense. Besides, he had perhaps rather more than his share of assurance. To his own surprise, if not to Laurie's, he got through the hour and a half of practice very creditably. Seasoned candidates and novices were on the same plane to-day. There was, first of all, a talk by the coach. Mr. Mulford was a short, broad, good-humored man of about thirty, with a round and florid countenance, which possibly accounted for the nickname of “Pinky” that the school had affectionately awarded him. His real name was Stephen, and he had played guard, and played it well, for several years with Trinity College. This was his fourth season as football coach at Hillman's and his third as baseball coach. So far he had been fairly successful in both sports. His talk was brief and earnest, although he smiled through it
all. He wanted lots of material, but he did n’t want any fellow to report for practice who did n’t mean to do his level best and stick it out. Those who were afraid of either hard work or hard knocks had better save their time and his. Those who did report would get a fair trial and no favor. He meant to see the best team this fall that Hillman's School had ever turned out, one that would start with a rush and finish with a bang, like a rocket! “And,” he went on, “I want this team made up the way a rocket is. A rocket is filled with stars, fellows, but you don't realize it until the final burst. So we 're going to put the soft pedal on individual brilliancy this year. It almost had us licked last fall, as you 'll remember. This year we 're going to try hard for a well-rounded team of hard workers, fellows who will interlock and gear together. It 's the machine that wins, the machine of eleven parts that work all together in oil. We 're going to find the eleven parts first, and after that we 're going to do the oiling. All right now! Ten men to a squad. Get balls and pass in circles. Learn to hold the ball when you catch it. Glue right to it. And when you pass, put it where you want it to go. Don't think that the work is silly and unnecessary, because it is n’t. A fellow who can’t hold a ball when it comes to him is of no use on this team. So keep your minds right on the job and your eyes right on the ball. All right, Captain Stevenson.” At least, Ned could, to quote Laurie, “stand in a circle” and pass a football, and he did, and did it better than several others in his squad. In the same way, he could go after a trickling pigskin and catch it up without falling over himself, though it is possible that his ‘form’ was less graceful than that of one or two of his fellows. When, later, they were formed in a line and started off by the snapping of the ball in the hands of a worldwearied youth in a faded blue sweater bearing a white H on its breast, Ned did n’t show up so well, for he was almost invariably one of the last to plunge forward. The bluesweatered youth called his attention to the fact finally in a few well-chosen words. “You guy in the brown bloomers!” he bellowed. (Of course they were n’t bloomers, but a pair of somewhat expansive golf breeches that Ned, lacking proper attire, had donned, not without misgivings, on Laurie's advice.) “Are you asleep? Put some life into it! Watch this ball, and when you see it roll, jump! You don't look like a cripple, but you surely act like one!” Toward the end a half-dozen last-year fellows took to punting, but, to Ned's relief, no one suggested that he take a hand at it, and at half-past five or thereabouts his trials came to an end. He went out of his way, dodging behind a group on the side-line, to escape Joe Stevenson, but ran plump into Frank Brattle instead. “Hello, Turner,” Frank greeted. did it go?” “All right,” replied Ned, with elaborate carelessness. “Fine.” “Rather a nuisance having to go through the kindergarten stunts, is n’t it?” continued the other, sympathetically. “Mulford's a great hand at what he calls the fundamentals, though. I dare say he 's right, too. It 's funny how easy it is to get out of the hang of things during the summer. I’m as stiff as a broom!” “So am I,’” answered Ned, earnestly and truthfully. Frank smiled, nodded, and wandered on, and Ned, sighting Laurie hunched up in the grand stand, joined him. “It 's a bully game, football,” he sighed, as he lowered himself cautiously to a seat and listened to hear his muscles creak. “Full of beneficial effects and all that.” Laurie grinned in silence. Ned felt experimentally of his back, frowned, rocked himself backward and forward twice and looked relieved. “I guess there 's nothing actually broken,” he murmured. “I dare say it 'll be all right soon.” “They say the first two months are the hardest,” responded Laurie, comfortingly. “After that there 's no sensation.” Ned nodded. “I believe it,” he said feelingly. He fixed his gaze on the farther goal-post and after a minute of silence remarked: “I 'd like to catch the man who invented football!” He turned a challenging look on his brother. Laurie blinked and for several seconds his lips moved noiselessly and there was a haunted look in his gray eyes. Then, triumphantly, he completed the couplet: “It may suit some, but it does n’t suit all!” “Rotten!” said Ned. “I’d like to see you do any better,” answered Laurie, aggrievedly. “There is n’t any proper rhyme for ‘football,” anyway.” “Nor any reason for it, either. Of all—” “Hi, you fellow!” interrupted a scandalized voice. “What are you doing up there? Have you done your two laps?”
The speaker was a lanky, red-haired man who bristled with authority and outrage. “Two laps?” stammered Ned. “No, sir.” “Get at it, then. And beat it in when you have. Want to catch cold, do you? Sitting around without a blanket or anything like that!” The trainer shot a final disgusted look at the offender and went on. “Gee,” murmured Ned, “I thought I was done! Two laps, he said! I 'll never be able to, Laurie!” “Oh, yes, you will,” was the cheerful response. “And while you're doing them you can think up a better rhyme for ‘football’ than I did!” Ned looked back reproachfully as he limped to the ground and, having gained the running-track, set off at a stiff-kneed jog. Laurie's expression relented as he watched. “Sort of tough on the kid,” he muttered sympathetically. Then his face hardened again and he shook his head. “I’ve got to be stern with him, though!”
CHAPTER VI NED IS FIRM
KEWPIE PROUDTREE obeyed the shouted invitation to enter Number 16 and appeared with a countenance as innocent as that of an infant. “Hello, fellows,” he said cordially, dropping into a chair with indications of exhaustion. “How do you like it as far as you 've gone?” Ned shifted in his seat at the study-table, choking back a groan, and fixed Kewpie with a baleful look. “Listen, Proudtree,” he said sternly. “I’ve got a bone to pick with you!” “With me?” Kewpie stared in amazement. “What have I done?” “You ’ve got me into a fix, that 's what you ’ve done! Did n’t you ask me—us— last night not to let on to Stevenson that we —I—could n’t play football? Did n’t you say it would be a favor to you? Did n’t you say it would be all right and—and everything?” “Sure! What of it?” “Why, you crazy galoot, you must have told him that I knew all about the game! And you knew mighty well I did n't! Stevenson thinks I’m a wonder, and I don’t know a touchdown from a-a forward kick!” “Pass, not kick,” corrected Kewpie, patiently. “Look here, Turner— Say, are you Ned or Laurie? Blessed if I can tell!” “Ned,” replied that youth, with much dignity.