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Edison's. He was willing, also, to sell it to the Bell Company and take his pay in stock. If ever there was “a friend in need,” Blake was such a one to the struggling founders of the Bell System. The early exchanges were exceedingly crude. The telephone switchboard was little more than a dream. The first ones were built on the plan of telegraph switchboards. They were all right for a few lines, but not for
Pacific coast by removing his receiver from the hook and calling long distance. In making a connection from New York to San Francisco, fourteen distinct operations are necessary. Under favorable conditions, these operations may be performed and the two parties put into communication with each other in fifteen minutes. Very frequently this is done in much less time. The
cost for the first three minutes is $20.60 for
THOMAS SANDERS, FIRST FINANCIAL BACKER OF THE TELEPHONE
thousands. The early exchanges were tended by boys, and the service was wretched. The boys ran about like mad. It required a half-dozen of them and as many minutes to answer a single call. Impudence was at a premium; there was a never ceasing babble of noise; and tedious delays were the rule. Then came a heavenly rest. The boys were banished, and girls took their places. But more important still, Charles E. Scribner, the “wizard of the switchboard,” took his place in the ranks of the telephone inventors. Scribner connected himself with the Western Electric Company of Chicago, the largest manufacturers of telephone equipment in the world. To the genius of Scribner more than to any other one man, we owe the modern multiple switchboard. In his perfection of it he has taken out more than one thousand patents. It is one of the most intricate pieces of mechanism known to science. In its completed form, one of these distributors of human speech may have as many as two million parts. Any subscriber of a Bell line anywhere may put himself in communication with the
two individual parties, and $6.85 for each minute thereafter.
THE AUTOMATIC EXCHANGE
A LITTLE more than thirty years ago there lived in Kansas City, Missouri, an undertaker named Almon B. Strowger. Strowger got the idea that the switchboard operator of his local exchange was in a conspiracy to ruin his business by falsely reporting his line busy. The only remedy, he concluded, was a “girlless” switchboard. Therefore, he began spending his spare moments in devising such a switchboard. A few days later, Joseph Harris, a traveling salesman from Chicago, came into Strowger's office. Strowger told Harris of his idea and showed him a “foolish contraption” made from a collar-box, some pins, and a lead-pencil. Harris was immediately interested. Later he said, “Others laughed at the ‘crazy’ undertaker, but his fool contraption did n’t seem funny to me.” As a result, Strowger moved to Chicago, where, in 1891, together with Harris and a number of others, he formed a company called the “Strowger Automatic Telephone Exchange.” To tell the story of the early struggles of this company would require a volume. We may simply say that intelligent effort and indomitable perseverance have won the day. Their factory in Chicago employs three thousand workers and covers ten acres of floor space. But more important than
AN AUTOMATIC SWITCHING ExCHANGE
this, a large number of cities in this and other countries have used machine-switching exchanges for more than twenty years. Already, New York City has begun to convert her vast system to the automatic basis. The type of equipment, however, is radically different from that of the Strowger system, which is employed chiefly in the smaller cities. The automatic system is more economical. It insures greater speed and absolute secrecy. It is always “on the job,” never sleeps, never has special hours, and never grows weary. It represents a great triumph of telephone engineering, and its universal adoption is only a matter of time. In 1880, a nineteen-year-old lad entered the employ of Thomas Hall at 19 Bromfield Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Thomas Hall kept an electrical shop, and the lad was John J. Carty, now vice-president of the
American Telephone and Telegraph Company. He has been identified with the principal achievements in developing the art of telephone communication in this country. He has largely created the profession of telephone engineering. Only yesterday, in the transmission of the Armistice Day exercises, as already described, he startled the world with the greatest triumph in the art of communication that has ever been known. And Colonel Carty is still with us. What he may have in store for the future, no man can say. Of that early experience in Hall's electrical shop, Carty says, “I swept out the place, cleaned about there, did errands, mixed battery solutions, and got a great deal of experience in one way or another.” As a result of a prank that he and the other boys of the shop played on the boss, Carty got fired. His next job was as “hello-boy” in a telephone exchange in Boston. “The little switchboards of that day,” says Carty, “were a good deal like the automobiles of some years ago—one was likely to spend more time under the switchboard than sitting at it. In that way I learned a great deal about the arrangement and construction of switchboards.” Carty's first great triumph was to overcome the babble of weird noises that at all times of the day and night played over the telephone circuits. He did this by substituting a return wire, in place of the earth, which had been used to complete the circuit in all of the early lines. The result was magical. The fiendish gibberish of the early days has disappeared, and quiet has since reigned. Vail brought Carty to New York and assigned him the task of putting the maze of overhead wires in underground cables. This he did in record time and at half the former cost, devising, in the process, cheaper and better cables. For the individual batteries along the line, he substituted the central battery system. The “bridging bell,” by which several subscribers may be put on a single line without the signaling apparatus interfering with the talking of the others, was Carty's work. The telephone grew with marvelous rapidity. In 1892, New York was talking with Chicago. Soon, service was extended to Milwaukee, Omaha, and then, in a still longer stride, to Denver. But the genii of the telephone system did not stop. They dreamed of transcontinental communication, and presently it became a fact. Over the hills and valleys, across the plains, up the mountain-sides, through the sage-brush, and down to the Golden Gate in the fraction of a second is now a commonplace of the telephone romance. The transcontinental line opened on January 25, 1915, is 3390 miles long. Every eight miles on the original line was a loadingcoil, and, at frequent intervals, vacuum-tube
of wireless communication in conjunction with the metallic circuits. Success was rapid and certain, until on September 29, 1915, Theodore N. Vail, sitting at his desk in New York, sent his voice by wire to Arlington, where it was amplified and transmitted to the great ačrial antennae of the United States Naval Station. From there, radiat
amplifiers, or repeaters, as they are called. There are two circuits, each consisting of 6780 miles of “hard-drawn” copper wire, weighing 2960 tons. In the loading-coils of each circuit are 13,600 miles of fine, insulated wire, only 4/1000 of an inch in diameter. The line crosses thirteen States and is strung on 130,000 poles. On that historic afternoon of January 25, 1915, Dr. Bell in New York, speaking into an exact reproduction of his original instrument, was clearly heard by Watson in San Francisco. Dr. Bell said again, as on that other historic day thirty-nine years before, “Mr. Watson, please come here; I want you.” And Watson replied, “It would take me a week now.” What a magnificent chapter, brimming over with glorious achievement and marvelous progress, this incident closed. But the end was not yet. Immediately following the triumph of transcontinental telephony, Colonel Carty and his staff of engineers began the development
ing in all directions with the velocity of light, the boundless ether carried these electromagnetic waves to Colonel Carty at Mare Island, California, where he heard and conversed with Vail as easily as though they had been in adjoining rooms. On the following day, messages were picked up in Honolulu, five thousand miles distant. In May, 1916, Secretary Daniels, from his office in Washington, with magic ease and speed, conversed at will with every naval station from ocean to ocean and from the Gulf to the Lakes. Not only this, but the secretary also, by wire and wireless, talked with Captain Chandler, of the New Hampshire, off the Atlantic coast, and kept in touch with him for twenty-four hours. In the spring of 1921 under the direction of Colonel Carty, telephone communication was opened by cable from Havana, Cuba, to Key West, a distance of 115 miles, thence by wire to Washington, New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, and then, by wireless, twenty-nine miles to Catalina, a total of 5500 miles. The cable from Havana to Key West is the longest telephone cable in the world. Among the early achievements of Colonel Carty was the “phantom circuit.” Two long-distance circuits were interconnected at each end so as to give a third talking-circuit without the use of any additional copper. But late in 1918, Theodore N. Vail announced the invention of the multiplex tele
There are more telephones in the Equitable Building in New York than in either Bulgaria or Greece. The people of this country talk with each other at the stupendous rate of 18,250,000,000 completed telephone conversations per year. In New York City during
the busiest hour of the day, from 10 A.M. to 11 A.M., more than 450,000 calls are originated, and answered by the operators in the various exchanges of the city.
In New York
phone, by which five conversations may be carried on over the same circuit at the same time, four in addition to the one provided by the ordinary methods. Five messages travel over a common pathway and are completely separated at the other end. All this has been accomplished chiefly by the magical vacuum-tube. Thus has the early dream of Bell come true—after more than forty years. The telephone “talk tracks” of the nation measure approximately 33,200,000 miles of wire, sixty per cent. of which are in underground cables. The copper in them weighs 700,000 tons, and the overhead wires are strung on 30,200,000 poles. On June 30, 1921, there were in the United States 13,682,000 telephones, or 12.5 telephones to every hundred of the population. Ours is prečminently the telephone nation of the earth. Great Britain has but 2.1 telephones per hundred population, and Rumania only .05 of a telephone per hundred.
alone there are 950,000 telephones, and 3,341,000 miles of wire weighing 65,000 tons. The employees engaged in the telephone service of the metropolis would make a city of 28,300 population. About 4,000,000 directories are distributed yearly in the city. The American Telephone and Telegraph Company has in its research and development service 1100 engineers and scientists. Hundreds of new inventions are made by these men every year. As a result, the art of communication has advanced prodigiously. What the telephone has meant to the world, no man can measure. It has spelled communication. It has banished isolation. Ocean sounds to ocean and continent to continent. The business, political, and social life of the world courses over the telephone circuits and spreads through the boundless ether. In the Great War, the telephone was paramount. And now once more, in peace, it stands in the forefront of progress.
By RALPH HENRY BARBOUR
SYNOPSIS OF PREVIOUS INSTALMENTS
THE Turner Twins, Ned and Laurie, enter Hillman's School determined to uphold the family honor
in athletics, although neither has had much experience. Ned, starting with little enthusiasm for his rôle, works hard and does well, An acquaintance springs up between the Twins and
and Laurie for baseball. showing promise of becoming a clever kicker.
It is decided that Ned shall go in for football
Polly Deane, whose mother keeps a little shop near the school, much patronized by the students. Laurie invites Polly and her chum, Mae Ferrand, to the football game with Wagner School.
CHAPTER XI NED SPEAKS OUT .
THERE was a cut in the football squad that afternoon and more than a dozen candidates were retired, leaving twenty-eight players for the first and scrub teams. Ned survived, as, indeed, he expected to; for while he knew his limitations, neither the coach nor the captain appeared to. Perhaps they were sometimes puzzled over flashes of ineptitude, or perhaps they put them down to temporary reversals of form; at least, Ned's talent was never seriously questioned by them. He had settled down as a regular half-back on the scrub eleven, although twice he had been called on in practice scrimmages to take Mason's place at left half on the first squad. He was too light to make much headway in bucking plays, and his inability to start quickly handicapped him frequently in running; but as a kicker he was dependable and had developed a quite remarkable accuracy at forward-passing. Against a light opponent or a slow one, he could be counted on to play a fairly good game, although so far he had not been allowed the opportunity. With him on the scrub team was Hop Kendrick, at quarter, and, for a time, Kewpie, at center. But Kewpie had trained down at last to a hundred and sixtyfive pounds and was handling his weight and bulk with a new snappiness, and a few days after Ned became a part of the scrub outfit, Kewpie was elevated to the first team, and a much disgruntled Holmes took his place on the second. With the defeat of Wagner School, Hillman's ended her preliminary season. In that contest, played at home, the Blue showed a new aggressiveness and much more speed; and while she was only able to score one touchdown, and Pope failed miserably at goal, every one was well satisfied. Wagner had a strong team, and a victory over it was no small triumph. Hillman's line held
splendidly under the battering-ram tactics of the adversary, and her backs were fast and shifty. On attack, the Blue failed to gain consistently, but in the third period, with a captured fumble on Wagner's thirty-three yards for encouragement, Pope got free for half the distance and Slavin and Mason, alternating, worked the enemy's left side until the ball lay on the five-yard line. Then a fake attack on Wagner's right, with Pope carrying the ball through on the left of center, brought the only score of the day. Kewpie proved himself that afternoon, for he was a veritable rock of Gibraltar on defense and a hundred and sixty-five pounds of steel springs on attack. The blue team was far from a perfect machine yet, but it seemed that Mulford had found his parts and that only a generous oiling was needed. Laurie and George Watson escorted Polly and Mae Ferrand to the game, and, although aware of the covert grins and whispered witticisms of acquaintances, enjoyed themselves hugely. Mae proved to be a very jolly, wholesome sort of girl, and her knowledge of what may be termed “inside football” was stupendous and made both Laurie and George rather ashamed of their ignorance. Between the halves, Ned, arrayed in a trailing gray blanket, joined them and promptly became involved with Mae in a very technical argument that no one else could follow. From the fact that Ned retired with a rather dispirited expression when the teams came on again, Laurie surmised that the honors had gone to Mae. The following Monday evening, while the enthusiasm produced by the victory over Wagner School was still undiminished, a second mass-meeting was held in the auditorium to devise means of replenishing the football treasury. Three of the remaining five games were to be played away from Orstead, and in two cases the distance to be traveled was considerable and the expenses consequently large. As Joe Stevenson said,