Massie Company Literature Cover 8
Walter Wentworth Massie began experimenting with radio before the turn of the century during the decades that produced a burst of creativity in engineering for transportation and communication, a period when the development of radio was dominated by individuals who were both technological innovators and also entrepreneurs.
Massie was born December 15th, 1874 (The same year as Marconi) in Providence, RI, the son of a banker and Councilman, John G Massie and Harriet E Massie. 18 Massie was the 3rd youngest of 6 siblings, Lena G, Lillie T, Maude E, Courtland and Florence 44. His experiments began in 1895. The existence of wireless effects had been known since 1877 when Thomas Edison discovered "etheric force." Edison's wireless work was widely reported, as was the work of other pioneers such as Dolbear, Lodge, Hertz, Tesla, Popoff, and after 1896 Marconi.
Massie attended Mowry and Goffs School in Providence 6 and studied engineering at Brown University and Tufts University. Before Tufts or as part of Tufts, in the beginning, we find Massie listed in the 1892 Tufts Catalogue as a student in the Bromfield-Pearson High School 45. The high school is described as meeting the wants of young men whose preparation for an Engineering course may be partially deficient in one or more of the required branches but whos practice and experience in the applies part of the Engineering may qualify them to pursue college work while making up the deiciencies. 46 So it seems that they saw in Massie the practical engineer but not the theoretical backing. 18
He is listed as a special student at Brown in 1895-1896 36, at that time Massie lived at t Brighton Street in Providence and is listed as a student and border. 47
He was married to Ethel E Farrington on October 18th 1899. They had two children, Wentworth and Gardner. 18
Just before this point in his life Massie is living with his parents on 7 Brighton St in Providence. 37
In 1896, Massie joined the Providence City Engineer's office. At his house on Public Street, he continued to carry out experiments with wireless communication. His interest and competence in wireless were locally known, and he often gave lectures and demonstrations. It was a lecture in 1903 that led to Massie's move into radio as an entrepreneur. In March, Massie held a public demonstration of radio communication-he received messages in a lecture hall from a wireless set installed in an automobile outside the hall. His partners in the demonstration were employees of Lee deForest of New York. On the basis of the demonstration, de Forest was engaged by the management of the Providence Journal to provide radio communication between mainland Rhode Island and Block Island, so that a summer edition of their newspaper could be printed with up-to-the-minute news and the latest shipping observations. DeForest set up stations at Point Judith in an existing house and on Block Island near South East Lighthouse, and in the summer of 1903 the Providence Journal published 49 issues of the Block Island Wireless, a small paper whose news was supplied via deForest's connection across Rhode Island Sound.
After a single season, however, the Journal was unhappy with deForest and abandoned the Block Island Wireless. Seeking to recover some of its investment, the Journal offered the management of the two stations to Massie. In the fall of 1903, Massie resigned from the City Engineer's office and began his career as a full-time "wireless man." Operating the Massie Wireless Company as a sole proprietor, he was now matched against other competing groups of stations, known as "systems," each headed by an entrepreneur who was often, like Massie, also an inventor and innovator, adapting and altering the stock of equipment necessary to send and receive messages. During the years between 1904 and 1912, Massie was a significant competitor. At that time Massie lived at 24 Mawney Street 48 and 657 Public Street where he was listed as a Civil Engineer at the City Hall49
On August 9, 1904, the firm of Walter W Massie, Engineers, installed the Wireless Telegraph Station and Towers, making it possible for te first transmission of messages from South Light, Block Island, to Point Judith ("PJ") on the mainland. The fog signal was activated by a 4-hp engine and the sound was made not by the wind but by steam going through a 17-foor long trumpet. (From the Henry A L Brown Collection.) 9
Massie intended the two Journal stations to be the first of a network of stations that would provide ship-to-shore communications for coastal vessels. By early 1904, he had signed up the Fall River Steamship Line as his first client-he equipped their steamship Plymouth with wireless in March 1904. His installation on the Plymouth was located in a specially insulated stateroom, the sending and receiving apparatus arranged along a double shelf on two sides of the room, and including a recently patented oscillaphone detector. Establishing a pattern which he followed for the life of his company, Massie leased rather than sold the ship-board installations and hired the wireless operators who operated the radios.6
On April 11th, 1905, the "Massie Wireless Telegraph Company" was formed by the Secretary of State of Rhode Island, Charles P Bennett:
I, Charles O Bennerr, Secretary of state, hereby certify that Walter W Massie, Edward W Everson, and John G Massie have filed in the office of the secretary of state, according to law, their agreemenr to from a corporation under the name of Massie Wireless Telegraph Company, for the purpose of engaging in the business of wireless telegraph and telephony, manufacturing and installing, and maintaining wireless telegraph and telephony instruments and all other articles necessary for the conduct of such businees, to build, construct, maintain, license, use, and work for hire, public and private telegraph, telephone, and other electric, non-electric, or magnetic instrumnets and apparatus for the transmission of articulate speech, mesages, sounds, tones, or signals; to buy, sell, own, and deal in any real or personal property necessary or convenient for the prosecution of said business, and generally to do all things incident to said businees and to the proper management thereof, and with the capital stock of one hundred thousand dollars, and have also filed the certificate of the general treasurer that they paid into the general treasury of the state the fee required by law. 15
Massie was also into photography as seen in a 1905 house diretory listing members of the Providence Camera Club 50.
In 1906 51, 1908 52, 1909 53, 1910 54, 1911 55, and 1912 56 we find the Massie Wireless Telegraph Company at 4 Market Sq. room 10.
In 1906 there were Forty commercial wireless stations operating on the West Coast; 81
DeForest -- United include:
California - 9
Washington - 9
Oregon - 6
Canada - 3
Alaska - 2
California - 3
Washington - 2
Massie Wireless - 1
and there are five in Hawaii [Society of Wireless Pioneers]
Also in 1906 one of San Francisco's first station is established for Massie by A. A. Isbell with the call sign "IAA" taken from Isbell's initials. This station was right near the Cliff House. 81
June, 1907: The steamship SS President of the Pacific S.S. Company is the first ocean liner to be fitted with wireless in the Pacific 82, using a 3KW Massie system on 400 meters, callsign V-2. Again we find A.A. Isbell as the operator. 81
In 1909 the Navy has wireless atations on the following islands:
Tatoosh Island, WA (callsign SV)
Cape Blanco, OR (TA)
Table Bluff, CA (TD)
Point Arguello, CA (TK)
Point Loma, CA (TM)
using Massie, Telefunken, Shoemaker and DeForest gear. Some of these stations are reported to have had two "humps" in their wavelengths, indication simultaneous although probably not intentional operation on two frequencies. 82
In 1910 we find Massie living at 24 Mawney Street in Providence with his wife Ethel and sons Wintrop, 4 and Gardner, 3 and he is listed as a resident manager in the telegraph industry.43
In 1913 Massie is living in Cranston at 33 Windsor Road and listed as an inventor. 57 Massie is listed as a Consultant with an office in the Industrial Trust Building in Providence in 1914. 58
By 1915 Massie must be well off as he and his family are listed as having a Servant and a border while still living at 33 Windsor Road in Cranston. 59 In 1916 Massie has moved his consulting business to 77 Washington St, room 314. 60
In 1917, Massie being an avid yachtsman, is listed as a member of the Rhode Island Yacht Club. 61 In 1918 Massie again moved his consulting firm from room 314 to room 304 at 77 Washington St 62
In 1920 Massie and his family are still living on Windsor Road in Cranston but has moved to 31 63. His business listing has also changed to being a civil engineer in room 301 at the State House 64.
1921 shows a title change again to Constructing Engineer 65.
1922 has Massie listed in both the Cranston directory as a Civil Engineer in the town hall 66 and the Providence Directory as a Civil Engineer in the State House 67. This is seen again in 1924 68 69 and he is living at 33 Windsor Road 70.
In 1925 71 72, 1928 73 74, 1930 75 76, 1931 77, and 1933 78 79 Massie is listed as both a Civil Engineer and a Consulting Engineer.
In 1935 Massie and his wife are living with his son Wentworth and wife Linda in Wrentham MA. Wentworth is listed as a farmer. This was the farm where the equipment for staion "PJ" was found and donated to the Wireless and Steam Museum. 80
The Massie Wireless Telegraph System was the result of years of study and experiment by Mr. Massie, and had been in practical operation for over six years, accomplishing much in New England and along the Atlantic Coast. Two of the Massie land stations was located at Point Judith and Block Island, Rhode Island. The Massie Wireless Telegraph Station at Point Judith, with call letters: "PJ" is on the National Register of Historic Places. Formerly on the exposed beach at Point Judith, it had survived several hurricanes. When the state wanted to tear it down, the New England Wireless and Steam Museum mounted a campaign to save it. In 1993, with the help of many enthusiastic volunteers, the entire station was moved to its present site on the museum grounds in East Greenwich, RI. It is the oldest surviving wireless station in the world, and it is complete with its original straight gap, 400 watt battery (Edison LaLande glass jar batteries) operated and its Massie Resonaphone receiver. Even the operating table is original. When the Massie Wireless Telegraph Company closed down in 1910, all of the original equipment had luckily been saved in the loft of a barn in Wrentham, MA by the Massie family. The descendants of Walter Massie donated this priceless equipment to the museum and it has now been reinstalled to complete the exhibit.
On May 4, 1910, somewhere in the thick fog off Cape Cod, the steamship Santurce bound for New York from Boston Light, collided with the steamship Ligonier. Through the roaring of the immediate panic on board both steamships, the wireless operator sat calmly tapping out his CQD calls. Walter W Massie, at his home in Providence, five minutes later, was awakened by a call from the station at Point Judith, telling him the story of the collision, giving him the names of the two vessels and appealing urgently for help. Immediately, Massie communicated with the wrecking tug, Tasco, and President Scott of the Scott Wrecking Company of New London, and the work of rescue began at once. This was merely one of the hundreds of instances where wireless served as a life saver on boundary and inland waters. 2
Interestingly enough, Mr Massie was listed as the Engineer for the Commission of Shell Fisheries for the State of Rhode Island from 1913 to 1918. 16
Also in the 1913-1914 Brown University Alumni Monthly there is a notation that Massie was a consulting engineer at 707 Industrial Trust Building in Providence. 32
Other accomplishments of Mr Massie include, founded and headed the Bureau of Marine Intelligence and held a position on the board of the Peoples Savings Bank of Rhode Island. 18
Mr Massie's military service was Lieutenant USNRF entering service on May 25th, 1917 as a radio officer, 2nd Naval District where he had charge of the Radio School for operators having an average of 375 men under his command. 18
Massie was a Mason Odd Fellow, a memeber of the American Legion, member of the Radio Instructional Engineers and the Providence Engineering Society. 18
In 1912 after selling the assets of his Massie Wireless Telegraph Company to Marconi after turning down a position with the company. Massie became a noted yachtsman; he sailed a Rhode Island-built cruiser named Maurence, a wood boat built by the Lemos Brother from Riverside, RI, running a 4cyl gas engine 23 He also served as commodore of the Rhode Island Yacht Club, as well as the admiral of all Narragansett Bay yacht clubs in 1913. D. 22
1914 Postcard, Rhode Island Yacht Club with wirless Antenna
Most likely set up by Massie
In 1917 was appointed Junior Lieutentant in the naval reserves and assigned to installing wireless equipment on patrol boats and naval auxiliary vessels at Newport. 42
In 1919, Mr Massie accepted an appointment of City Engineer and Highway Surveyor for Cranston, RI 18 In the same year Massie had office 301 in the State House as a consultant. 38 Mr Massie was also was a charter Swatty member (Society of Wireless Telegraph Engineers, "the Swatties", formed in 1907 at MIT by John Stone.) and also a charter member of IRE (Institute of Radio Engineers) which was formed in 1912 when the Swatties joined a New York city radio society. Some 50 years the IRE later merged with AIEE (American Institute of Electrical Engineers) to form IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). 27
The Massie Wireless Telegraph System
By A. Frederick Collins
ELECTRICAL WORLD AND ENGINEER.
V0l. XLVI, No. 5.
JULY 29, 1905
The Massie Wireless Telegraph System
By A. Frederick Collins
Scientific American, May 20, 1905
Walter W Massie, a devotee of wireless telegraphy, has made it possible to communicate from the rapidly communicate from the rapidly moving sound steamers of the lines running from Fall River and Providence to New York.
Mr Massie is perfecting the invention each day and night, and he is assured that the experiment thas come to remain permanently as one of the attractive accommodations to the great traveling public while up on the water and out of sight of land.
The first equipment for the use of the wireless telegraphy was installed up on the steamer Plymouth of the Fall River line, which is now plying up and down the coast and Long Island sound each 24 hours with crowds of passengers, deeply interested in the invention and its practical application to the commercial uses' of the world.
The wireless upon the sound steamer had been in use only a day, under the direction of Mr Massie, when he felt impelled, through the persistent demands of a passenger of large business connections, to send the first commercial message from the swift moving sound liner to the wireless station located at the Point Judith lighthouse, on the very extreme end of the southeast Rhode Island coast.
It was a very foggy night and the bow watch of the big ship Plymouth was having a trying time in creeping along by the dangerous piece of sea shore. Mr Massie was endeavoring to get in to communication with the station on the shore himself, for the purpose of getting bearings, so that he might demonstrate to the officers of the Plymouth that his system was really what he had believed it to be when the steamship line management had discussed the proposition of installing the wireless upon the passenger boats.
When the Point Judith station was reached on the night in question, which was about two weeks ago, the operator on the shore was asked if he could hear the whistle of the Plymouth, and the reply came quickly back to the steamer that the tooting was very distinct, although the atmosphere around the land was thicker than mud.
Then Mr Massie asked the shore operator if he could hear the whistling buoy off the point, and how the vessel stood in relation to that.
"In about the same direction", answered the operator on the land. "and a life saver here says the Plymouth is right on the usual course."
"Thanks", ticked back Mr Massie over the ether wave, which he sent kiting out from the starboard stateroom in which the wireless kit is arranged for quick and active work at any and all times.
After this initial trial of using the wireless from a fast-moving steamer, the urgent passenger argued that if all that could be accomplished for the steamer a patron of the line ought to be assisted out of a dilemma a in which he had very suddenly found himself after leaving dry land.
It was then that Mr Massie called up the Point Judith stations again and said.
"I've got a customer with a message for Providence; can you take it? Try."
The business man wrote his message and laid it down with some misgivings.
Then in a few minutes Mr Massie said.
"Your telegram is now on the way to Providence, with instructions to-deliver tonight at all hazards."
"But it requires that there shall be an answer delivered to me tonight on this steamer. How about that?"
"All right, the shore says; we will get the answer if we can wake your friend up in Providence. The operator on shore says he is informed from Providence that there is a telephone in his house, and that the central is having some trouble in getting the people in that dwelling aroused."
About 30 minutes had elapsed from the time the first message left the steamer Plymouth, when the deeply anxious passenger was rewarded with a reply saying, "I will meet you in New York, and everything will be attended to at once."
During all of this time the Plymouth was speeding along the waters of Block Island sound and the Atlantic in the vicinity of Narragansett Bay. Mr Massie was keeping the shore station in constant communication, and the officers of the ship were being greatly aided by the information which they were frequently receiving from the source of the wireless.
Everyone having knowledge of the successful operation of the innovation and the invention of Mr Massie was elated, and quite a few of the passengers wanted to send greetings to their friends whom they had left at the dock of the Plymouth when she sailed hours before from Fall River and Newport.
During the run from the vicinity of Point Judith the operator at that place narrated some of the details of the delivery of the first commercial message to Hon Arthur Dennis, the well-known manufacturer of Providence, for that was the gentleman to receive the massage and make the reply.
It appears that the message from the Plymouth was dated "On board the Plymouth, in Block Island sound."
When this part was read off to Mr Dennis, who had just been awakened from a deep sleep, he shouted back, "What you giving us? Is the steamer ashore?"
The attempt to fully explain the matter to Mr Dennis is what consumed most of the 30 minutes, it is said, by the operators who worked the Providence end of the rush wireless message from the Plymouth.
When Mr Dennis said he understood the message he was asked for his reply, and while expressing his doubts all of the time that the message came from the steamer Plymouth, he dictated the answer, and the next morning, bright and early, Mr Dennis met the passenger who wired him from the latest sort of telegraph office on all the earth, and over which Mr Massie, the hustling Providence investigator in to the possibilities of modern electricity, presides.
Mr Massie says the position of a sound steamer can be ascertained with the greatest accuracy in thick weather and during heavy fogs, which have been abundant during the present spring nights, since the wireless system has been installed up on the steamer.
The vessel can be kept in communication by Mr Massie for more than 50 miles each way from the station at Point Judith, and each night there is a constant exchange of news, gossip and valuable information.
The stateroom assigned to Mr Massie for the apparatus is near the engine room shaft, and it has been made soundproof, the walls being coated with asbestos and a packing of hair an Inch or more thick. This is all coated with layers of shellac, and it is only when the door of the apartment is opened that the cracking sounds from the oscillator can be heard distinctly on the outside by the passengers of the boat.
Mr Massie has plenty of apparatus for use on the vessel and it is cushioned up very carefully on shelves to prevent its suffering or being dislocated by the vibration of the steamer during the heavy running hours of the trip. In connection with the invention Mr Massie has originated the oscillaphone, a sensitized needle rests upon delicate carbon and the movements of this needle, however slight, they may be are heard by the operator through a telephone receiver and the messages are thus worked out in the most scientific manner. The Morse alphabet is used for the purpose.
The oscillaphone is used to detect currents set upon the vertical wire by the impinging ether waves. The essential feature of the Massie invention, however, is the combined coherer and tapping device, an instrument so delicate that messages can be deciphered upon it when the microphone and its telephone attachment fails entirely.
The coherer contains metal filings and allows the current to flow through the relay, which sets up a heavier current. This heavier current starts the tapper, which by contact with a bridge upon which the coherer rests, jars the metal filings apart, so that the coherer is made susceptible to the next impulse or wave. In circuit with the relay is a bell signal which calls the operator and starts the whole thing in motion. Then the operator gets in his work, and one swiftest of the wireless men is William J Smith, who not so very long ago was a clerk in the Western Union office in Providence.
He is a valuable assistant to Mr Massie, and one of the operators upon the Plymouth; Mr Smith says 35 words a minute can be readily handled and that to talk over 33 miles of water is the very easiest thing on earth.
Mr Massie is a native of Providence, just 29 years old, he was a student in the mechanical and engineering departments at Tufts and Brown University, and his earlier education was in the public schools of Providence
He is the son of Councilman John G Massie a leading banker and public spirited citizen of Providence.
The following is part of a transcription of a congressional hearing on
H. J. RESOLUTION 95
A BILL TO REGULATE AND CONTROL
THE USE OF WIRELESS TELEGRAPHY
AND WIRELESS TELEPHONY
The exchange is between the following individuals:
MR. GEORGE W. ALLEN, CHAIRMAN OF THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE UNITED WIRELESS COMPANY, NEW YORK.
MR. CHARLES H. STEWART. AMATURE OF PHILADELPHIA, PA.
MR. WALTER W. MASSLE, GENERAL MANAGER MASSIE WIRELESS TELEGRAPH COMPANY, PROVIDENCE, R. I.
Mr. Stewart. Mr. Chairman, I represent myself and three or four other experimenters living in the vicinity of Philadelphia who have tried to conduct our experiments along legitimate lines from the start. The fact that there is interference is well known to us. I am not down here to-day to oppose commission of some men being appointed. What we do think is that on any commission that is appointed the experimenters-the honest experimenters--should be recognized.
I am an operator myself of twenty-two years standing, and I know what the interference is. I can read everything that passes through the air, and I know in many cases even the United Wireless station as far south as Hatteras interferes with Manhattan Beach, and I think Mr. Allen knows that, and therefore they have to stand by for considerable periods. I think, also, the situation might be cleared up to some extent by cooperation at the present time on the part of the wireless companies themselves the United Wireless for one, who, I think, in my opinion, extend themselves to too great distances in trying to transmit and receive, for instance, sometimes to Chicago, sometimes to Tampa, sometimes to Charleston, S. C., and the time consumed in transmission is often very great on account of the inability of the operator, possibly through interference, possibly through his inability as an operator. The time consumed in the transmission of one message is very great, and in the meantime all the other stations have to stand by.
The Chairman. That of itself would be proper subject of regulation, in your opinion?
Mr. Stewart. Yes; I think so. And then I think that the United Wireless Company, as matter of fact, ought to regulate their own operators better than they do; that is, have supervising stations.
Mr. Allen. We will pay you a good salary if you will devise us scheme.
Mr. Stewart. It is very easy to recognize a spark at one of your stations. I can almost always recognize the spark.
Mr. Allen. Yes; if you could have somebody to see the sparks.
Mr. Stewart. You could easily have way to supervise.
Mr. Allen. Do not the operators stand in together themselves and refuse to report each other?
Mr. Stewart. Of course, if you cannot depend on your men, that is different proposition; but I think you can get man you can depend on who can cover pretty good range, and he need not have any single spot to supervise. The language they use sometimes is very profane. But I do not care whether they swear at me or not; they do not hurt me.
The Chairman. Let me ask about your work in your amateur station. Is it experimental or is it merely for pleasure?
Mr. Stewart. We have been conducting line of experiments three or four years in legitimate way. We hope to get some results.
The Chairman. You are seeking---------
Mr. Stewart. We are seeking, along with some of the other experimenters, to improve the art and think man who has had the experience I have had in telegraphy is perfectly competent to handle himself in the use of the apparatus, and therefore I feel I am entitled to some consideration in the formation of board of this kind.
The Chairman. Of course it is a fact that great many of the amateurs merely maintain these stations for toys, not for any practical purpose?
Mr. Stewart. I think myself a man ought to be an operator, at least. In the first place, the man should not be allowed, if there is any way to stop it; that is the question, if you can stop it; whether any legislation would prevent it.
The Chairman. They could come pretty near doing it by a license system.
Mr. Stewart. I think so. I think a man who cannot operate to any extent is really dangerous, because he cannot understand what is going on.
STATEMENT OF MR. WALTER W. MASSLE, GENERAL MANAGER MASSIE WIRELESS TELEGRAPH COMPANY, PROVIDENCE, R. I.
Mr. Massie. I would like to ask the last gentleman who spoke how long he has been experimenting, carrying on experiments?
Mr. Stewart. For about a year and a half.
Mr. Massie. And have either you or your friends got any patents on any improvements?
Mr. Stewart. I did not come here to be examined along lines of that kind.
Mr. Massie. I was just trying to find out whether the work of the amateurs was really benefit to the art or not; whether they had produced any improvements.
Mr. Allen. Mr. Massie. While you are on that point, do you know of any instance in wireless telegraphy or wire telegraphy where the amateurs have got out any devices that were of any benefit?
Mr. Massie. No, I do not.
Mr. Allen. Is it the experimenter who devotes time to it, or the man who is in actual work?
Mr. Massie. The man who is in actual research and, to the contrary of that statement, I have spent great deal of time investigating supposed inventions that amateurs have sent me, hoping there was something of value there, and I have found in each case it was waste of energy to experiment and try to get anything out of them. In general Mr. Chairman, I want to say I am in favor of this bill I have made notes here as the previous ones have talked, and I will go over them
I believe in the question of operation we are second in importance; that is, for number of ships and shore stations in actual operation on paying basis. General Allen spoke of having the telegraph companies represented I do net favor that point. If they were represented, why not the steamship companies? They are the ones who have to use the wireless, will use it more than anyone else, probably. That would make a rather large commission. Therefore I say it is better to leave it where it is, at the present number; also that the representatives of the company should be from the commercial rather than from the theoretical side of the wireless. That brings up the point as to the word "expert" as it might be used in the wording of the bill. In the wireless vernacular an "expert" is a research man, scientific man. This bill relates to the operation, the commercial side of wireless, not the theoretical side, while it might involve the theoretical side to certain extent I believe that the commercial men, of the two, are the ones that should be recommended. The Chairman. What suggestion would you make in place of the description of the seventh man; how would you word a bill to bring in the sort of man you desire?
Mr. Massie. There is one man --- I have forgotten which gentleman spoke but there is one who objected to having the Government appoint that seventh, believing that that would give the Government the balance of power. To overcome that difficulty, why not let the six appoint the seventh? Then they would have an equal right there. Does your question refer to that or the word "expert"? The Chairman. The word "expert;" how would you describe that seventh man to pet the sort of man you want?
Mr. Massie. He could be an expert or otherwise was referring really to the three from the three companies, and that would be three representatives.
The Chairman. You could change that word ''expert" and say one representative each from the War, Navy, and Treasury departments, and three representing the commercial wireless companies," leaving out the word "expert" entirely.
Mr. Massie. Yes. The Chairman. And you would attain the same end, and undoubtedly the government departments would send their experts and the commercial companies would send their experts.
Mr. Massie. Yes. In regard to the amateurs, I do not think they should have any right to come on a commission or have any representation in this matter. To cite case of what could happen in another way: Here is an amateur who makes wire telephone. He taps in on one of the trunk lines of the telephone company. Do you think it would be right to consider that boy's play to come in here for legislation and have right to be heard when he is maliciously interfering with the lines and property of a company, particularly when that company has patents covering its system, and it has gone to great deal of expense to install its system? I do not think the Government would listen to that minute I do not favor the amateur being considered in this matter.
Mr. Stewart. Mr. Massie, there is one question want to ask you. Do you not consider that the air over my property is my own, and if you send out over my air, as legal proposition should have just the same right to send out over yours? You spoke about sending out over trunk lines think it is rather extending the thing to an imaginary situation.
Mr. Massie. As the chairman has said before, that brings up new question that has never been considered.
Mr. Stewart. It is question that has to enter into it to certain degree.
Mr. Massie. The smoke of the man next door blows over your property, but you cannot close up his factory.
Mr. Stewart. We have all to agree for that reason. That is the reason say we ought to be represented by somebody, at least.
Mr. Allen. They can regulate the kind of smoke he can send out by regulating the kind of coal he shall use.
Mr. Massie. Only by a city law.
The Chairman. That is an application of the law of nuisance. If no one else desires to be heard, I want to say in conclusion that so far as am personally concerned I shall be very glad of any suggestion that may occur to any of you along these lines, if you will forward it to me before action is taken, so it can be given consideration, if anything comes to you after you go away, as to what you have said or what you have heard; because my only purpose in introducing the legislation is to attempt to clarify what seems to me is very much be muddled condition in regard to the transmission of wireless communications I have had no intention whatever of pro viding any machinery to retard development of that art, or to go in on the purely technical side and attempt to regulate it. Possibly some of you gentlemen may have gotten the contrary impression from the wording of the bill, and it so I can only say that the bill was poorly worded to express the ideas I had in my own mind. And I wish to say to you also that personally I should very vigorously oppose any legislation, whether it emanated as result of this commission or came from any other source, that would seek to restrict or retard or hamper unduly the development of this wonderful art which, I think, everybody agrees is only in its infancy. And I want it understood that there is no thought in my mind to hamper the amateur and shut him off from any enjoyment he may get from this, providing he is not interfering with legitimate business. It has occurred to me there might be some way found to regulate the use of the atmosphere that would give to the amateur all he was entitled to, give to the commercial bodies all they were entitled to, and give to the Government all it was entitled to. That is the only purpose I have had, and that will be my only purpose in pushing the matter further. want to thank you gentlemen also on behalf of the committee for the interest you have shown and for the assistance many of you have been to me personally in furnishing me data and information, and also for your presence here to-day, and unless there is something more we will call the hearing ended. Before we conclude I will say the hearings will be in print, and undoubtedly if you desire to pursue the matter further you can get copies of them from the clerk of the committee later. There will be added to the hearings a great many instances of interferences, or alleged interferences, and instances that seem to me to call for legislation of some sort on the subject, which may be of interest to you gentlemen as matters of fact. (Thereupon, at 1.50 o'clock p. m., the subcommittee adjourned.)
Entire Congressional Record
To the Editors of Electrical World, March 21st, 1908:
SIRS :The public has probably little idea of the serious menace to the future of wireless telegraphy which is offered by the Hale bill to regulate wireless telegraphy, now before Congress. Strenuous efforts have been made by government officials to force the ratification of a proposed international agreement drawn up at the International Wireless Conference held in Berlin, Germany, during October and November of 1906. This agreement, which was to take effect June, 1908, necessitated action by the present Congress, and was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations, of which Senator Cullom is chairman. The committee for a month or more had hearings at which various departments of the government and wireless companies were represented, and the matter was finally pigeon-holed. Not to be balked, however, the Navy Department fathered the bill now before Congress, which embodies all the evils contained in the Berlin agreement.
It would be interesting to know whether the various government officials are acting blindly or are knowingly attempting to force legislation that will have the immediate effect of arresting the development of a valuable art and deprive the public of a service that would in time give them trans-oceanic telegraphy at one-tenth the rates now paid for cable service. The bill, which would give the government full control of the wireless field, deals with existing conditions without considering the fact that wireless is still in its infancy and is making enormous strides each year. Where would our tele¬graph service be to-day had the government taken control of it in the forties and said there could be only one wire between two places? It is true that there is a great deal of interference between wireless stations to-day, but is it to the best interests of all to have the government take control and say there shall be only one station in a given locality for the reason that another nearby station would cause interference? It would be far better to let the situation stand as it is and give inventors an opportunity to overcoming the present difficulties; and from my practical work in this field, I -know that-it will not be many months before this is accomplished.
Under the proposed act we would be compelled to go to the government for a license whenever we wished to build a station, in which case a permit would be granted if the station is to be in a locality distant from other stations. For instance, assume that we desire to establish an independent trans-Atlantic wireless service, and we apply to the government for a permit, the locality being, say, somewhere on the New England Coast. There are already numerous stations the entire length of the coast, and if we were fortunate enough to obtain a permit at all it would be with restrictions to hours during which none of the other stations cares to operate. Moreover, is it to be supposed that the telegraph and cable companies will, if the Hale bill is enacted, remain passive and allow us to establish trans-Atlantic service when a protest and a little influence used in Washington will prevent it?
The telegraph and cable companies have been very persistent in publicly ignoring wireless telegraphy as a competitor, but a recent circular issued to the managers of all its offices by the Western Union Telegraph Company indicates the real attitude. In this circular it is ordered that all messages offered by the Marconi Company for transmission to points on this side. must be treated as local messages, be dated at Glace Bay, N. B., and be charged for at the local rate. "Code messages cannot be accepted in such messages, which must be fully addressed in accordance with the rules governing the transmission of domestic messages. If the Marconi wishes to give any indi¬cation of other origin, they must do so in the body of the message. The message must be checked at full commercial rate, whether addressed to a newspaper, individual or firm. Messages addressed to parties on the other side routed via Marconi wireless or Glace Bay, cannot be accepted. We will, however, of course, accept messages addressed to the Marconi Company, or anyone else at Glace Bay, but no other direction or indication can appear in the address. Such messages should be checked at full commercial rates, and the tolls to Glace Bay only collected. We cannot under any circumstances accept the Marconi tolls or anything beyond Glace Bay on these messages, but must treat them solely and wholly as local messages between the point of origin and Glace Bay.
It is very easy to read between the lines of this circular and note that the telegraph companies are realizing their danger from competition; and with the government innocently (?) acting in their interest, the public would be deprived of all the benefits of legitimate competition.
As for the development of wireless telegraphy, we have only to compare the present conditions in Great Britain and this country. When the Marconi Company was first formed it obtained a to-year license or contract from the English government; as a result it is the only company to-day in England, and the English battle-ships have only such apparatus as the Marconi Company can give them. On the other hand, in the United States there are now seven or eight companies in vigor¬ous competition, which has resulted in improvement of apparatus and increase of efficiency to such an extent that our navy to-day stands first in wireless and holds the record for long-distance marine communication. Our merchant marine is also getting the advantage of competition and receiving wireless service at reasonable rates, while the English merchant marine is compelled to use the Marconi system or none, and at what-ever price demanded.
As to the grievance of the government with respect to in-terference, I may cite a case that happened on the Sound last fall. A government message was being sent from Washington to Newport via Fire Island (all land stations); complaint was made because Sound boats interfered with the transmission and it was asked that boat work should cease when government plants were sending. In time of peace, and when both the Western Union and Postal Telegraph Companies are rendering efficient service between Washington and Newport, is it just to make such a demand and use wireless to the detriment of the service of boats which are dependent wholly to use the wireless.
It is lack of capital that is holding back the development wireless telegraphy, which lack is largely due to the uncertain status of the industry owing to threatened interference by the government: but, even with dearth of capital, I firmly believe that within five years, barring government interference, we will see it successfully competing with cables and trunk lines, and that trans-oceanic rates will be cut down to a fraction of what they are to-day. From my experience and observation, I am thoroughly convinced that within 10 years the laying of trans-oceanic cables will entirely cease, and while the use of the present cables will undoubtedly be continued, the wireless system will be installed and maintained at a cost less than what would be the interest on the cost of a new cable.
The art of wireless telegraphy is still young. Scarcely a decade has passed since its practical value was first demon-strated. Important improvements are constantly being made, and with increasing knowledge of etheric radiation inventors will still further perfect the art unless all incentive to do so is removed by governmental action such as the Hale bill authorizes.
WALTER W MASSIE, PROVIDENCE, R. I. 24
The soul, where is it?
Just what is this mysterious thing that gives us being and lives when our physical selves have long since mouldered to dust?
The questions have vexed mankind ever since the belief in a supreme being and a life everlasting became a part of human faith.
Now it may be that the matter is in a fair way to being settled. At least Walter W Massie, famous Providence scientist, known the world over for his experiments looking toward the detection of ether waves, especially those thrown off by the human body -thought waves and such- that he is a little way on the road to a solution of the problem. Here, in brief, are his findings:
Our souls are centered in our brains.
We make them or mar them by every thought that we have, every syllable that we read.
By our thoughts, our readings, our fallings and our risings, our transgressions and our good deeds, we construct our individual heavens and hells.
One soul goes shrieking through an endless misery, because in its earthly beings its thoughts were bad. Another leaves its physical house and goes out into the universe to everlasting bliss, because its thoughts and actions upon the earth were good.
This theory of Mr. Massie's unlike those of a great many scientists, is founded upon the rock of Christianity and the teachings of the Bible.
Mr. Massie has become famous as a deep thinker. His education In technical subjects has been thorough: as a wireless expert he has made a deep practical study of ether waves, the waves that carry wireless messages through the air. But he has gone further in the study of these waves than have most scientists. This delving into the mysteries of nature has brought to him his remarkable deductions on the soul and life everlasting.
The man speaking to you through this Interview is tall. As he expounds his view s his piercing brown eyes fairly burn into those of the person to whom he is speaking, and he presents his Ideas in a logical order.
"As a prelude to my deductions regarding the soul and future life, I should tell you the events that led up to them," he told the Sunday Post reporter. "Back in 1911 I made up my mind that we had advanced as far in wireless telegraphy as would be possible until we knew more about ether."
"Briefly, ether permeates the universe. it cannot be excluded from nor confined in a vessel, so it is necessary to find some other means of studying ether and ether waves. In searching the field, it occurred to me that if mind reading or mental telepathy was an established fact, such phenomena must be by actions of ether waves or some undiscovered medium."
"Believing that this field of research would be fruitful, I spent considerable time reading all available books that had any reference to mind reading in particular and psychology in general. As a result of this reading I was thoroughly convinced that mind reading is a well-established fact. Accordingly I started in on research work in my laboratory to obtain further proofs."
"I shortly found out that ether waves are radiated from the body and since that time have been making systematic research and performing experiments by which I eventually hope to construct an appliance by which we can handle ether waves scientifically that we are now controlling simply by brute force."
"In our brains, nature has constructed a wonderful transmitting medium. An infinitesimal degree of force sends a thought wave in the ether from one end of the world to another; we succeed in sending wireless ether waves over .similar distances only by employing a force of hundreds of horsepower."
"In carrying out this work and studying the either waves that radiate from our bodies and minds, it Is only natural that one should make deductions and form theories on the results of his work. Without going into detail or disclosures as to the experiments, I'll say that it can be proved that ether waves radiate from the body and that thought waves exist. As a result of all this work I have made deductions and formed the theories which I am expounding now."
"Everyone has a personal wave. Superimposed on these larger personal waves are the shorter waves of thought."
"Before going further, let us consider the brain and its construction. As is well known, certain parts of the brain take care of certain thoughts. For instance, all thoughts on music are carried to one lobe of the brain; if this lobe is particularly well developed as a result of hereditary or other causes, the owner will be a musical genius. The same is true of other lobes which take care of other thoughts."
"The brain is the most efficient filing cabinet that can be imagined, divided into various departments in which are recorded all occurrences in our everyday life. There's never a slip in the filing; a musical thought never gets into the department of mathematics nor a mathematical thought into the department of music."
"I would liken the normal brain at birth to a filing cabinet filled with an immense number of blank phonograph records, ready to record indelibly every thought that we may have. Each cell is a separate record. When a thought is received the nerves carry it to the brain, where it is recorded in a cell and becomes a permanent part of the receivers spiritual being or sub-conscious self. A little later on I shall explain the difference between the conscious and sub-conscious self."
"This record in the brain cell is a small ether whirl, so to speak. Just what this whirl is we don't know. If we could find out exactly what they are and how these records are retained, we could solve the entire problem of the soul and the hereafter. In fact, the way would be open to solving the universe and the Almighty."
"All of which, I believe, is not for man to know. Sometimes I think that there was once a race here on earth that came so near to solving the problems that they were destroyed."
"This whirl in the brain cell is vibrating at all times and sends its little message through its nerve to the conscious mind whenever called upon. This explains how a mind reader can state occurrences in one's life, although the subject at the time has not the thought in his conscious mind."
"It is well known that a person has two minds conscious and sub-conscious. The conscious mind is evident to everyone and is a part of the physical body. By this I mean that when death takes place the conscious mind passes with the body."
"If we could let go of our conscious minds and work with the sub-conscious, we would all be experts. For the latter retains every thought that we have when we read a book, the sub-conscious mind records every syllable, every punctuation mark, but the conscious mind cannot accurately reproduce that."
"So during life this conscious mind, which is controlled by the physical body, acts as a jailer for the sub-conscious mind. When the body ceases to function, the former is destroyed, thus allowing the latter to take flight to that undiscovered eternity."
"The subconscious mind or being is made up of all the thought record of (he brain and at death Ihese records, or soul, as it is commonly known, leaves the body en masse. However, I have to state that I believe certain conditions are necessary to assure this future life."
"In order to attain it we must all through life absolutely convince ourselves of and believe in a hereafter and that our spiritual being will continue to exist after death. This thought must be recorded in the sub-conscious mind sufficiently to make itself dominant. I believe that this is necessary to hold the spiritual self together in the next world."
"You know how the Bible iterates and re iterates that to secure everlasting life we must have faith, we must believe or we will perish. If we do not have this belief our thoughts at death, having no dominating thought to hold them together will be scattered through the ether of the universe."
"Let us now revert to the idea that our subconscious mind records everything that our eyes behold, that our ears hear, that our fingers feel, so that if we could bring our subconscious mind to the front at will we could repeat anything that we had read or heard, word for word."
"Thus you see that in the next world our spiritual being will have far more thoughts and details than our conscious mind can now bring to us, and as our evil thoughts are recorded with as much care as those which were good we shall have them with us."
"The thoughts that we have recorded on the earth will make us our heaven or our hell. The man who has given his mind to evil thoughts will suffer through eternity: the one whose thoughts have been good will have the bliss promised to right livers in the future state"
The Point Loma site was selected in 1905 by CCMDR R. C. Gearing and George E. Hanscom of the Mare Island Navy Yard. The birth of "Navy Radio San Diego" occurred on the 12th of May 1906. The occasion was the commissioning of a ''Massie" type spark transmitter in a neat little yellow cottage atop Point Lorna by Robert B. Stuart, then a Chief Petty Officer in the U. S. Navy and a specialist in wireless installations. The equipment was received and loaded into a horse-drawn wagon at the Santa Fe wharf in San Diego. Nine hours later it reached the Point Loma site. In those early days, Point Lorna was often isolated from San Diego when rain made the roads impassable. The installation of the transmitter was completed not long afterwards at nine o'clock in the evening and a naval precedent established when enlisted men commissioned the station.
It was planned that the Point Loma station would serve as a relay link in the Hare Island - Farallon Islands - Point Arguello - San Diego circuit. However, on the evening that the installation was completed, Chief Stuart gave Mare Island, about 500 air miles distant, a hesitant call and was astounded by an immediate answer. This contact set a new record for Navy wireless communication over land. The previous record had been 110 miles.
The first petty officer in charge was R. W. Moore, Electrician 2nd Class. Of course at that time there were no radiomen. It was customary to take telegraph operators and instruct them in electrical fundamentals or to take Navy electricians and train them as operators. The early operator was necessarily self sufficient. He had no technicians to fall back on and had to know his installation from A to Z. No excuses were accepted for not keeping his station on the air. This doctrine developed a group of sailor communication experts whose pride in service was the highest.
Navy ship-shore communications in 1906 were limited to short ranges because of the crude equipment used and inadequate information regarding the theory of radio wave propagation. Despite this limitation the radio station at Point Lorna handled 3,000 messages during its first year of operation. This may seem like an insignificant amount of traffic, however when you realize that there were only 12 Navy vessels in the Pacific at that time equipped with wireless, that number becomes more meaningful.
The initial tasks assigned to the station at Point Lorna were the transmission and reception of messages between Naval ships and shore, handling of commercial messages with merchant ships and relaying messages between Naval shore stations along the coast.
Point Loma served as a means of communication with Us nationals in Central America during the era of dollar diplomacy, utilizing the USS California, an armored cruiser stationed at Guaymas, in the Gulf of California (and other Naval vessels) as wireless links. Point Loma communicated with radiomen employed by United States interests at mines and sugar companies throughout Central America.
Mr Massie died in 1941 28
Brown Alumni Monthly
Vol. 41, no. 7
Providence, RI, 1941
Click to enlarge
The Atlanta Constitution
January 26th, 1910
1 The New England Wireless & Steam Museum
2 Merging the Wireless Companies
3 Wireless Made Paractical, The Boston Globe, May 11th, 1904
4 SCIENTIST THINKS HE HAS FOUND SOUl'S LOCATION By John Coggswell, The Boston Sunday Post, March, 25th, 1917
5 VINTAGE RADIO December 2013 Column
6 The National Register of Historic Places
7 Radio Uses No Ether Waves
8 Spark Key Project - Russ Kleinman
9 Block Island (RI) (Images in America) by Donald A D'Amato
10 Electrical Review Volume 54, 1909
11 Operator's Wireless Telegraph and Telephone Handbook, 1909
12 NAVAL RADIO COMMUNICATIONS in the ELEVENTH NAVAL DISTRICT San Diego, California
13 Electrical World, April, 1906
14 W1TP TELEGRAPH AND SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENT MUSEUMS
15 General Assembly of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, at the January Session, AD 1906
16 Annual Reports of the Commission of Shell Fisheries for the State of Rhode Island from 1913 to 1918
17 New York Hotel Record, 1909
18 Who's Who in Engineering, 1922-1923
19 Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony Popularly Explained By Walter Wentworth Massie, Charles Reginald Underhill, Nikola Tesla
20 Telegraph Age, January 1st, 1909
21 United States Investor, Volume 20, Part 2, Issues 27-52, JUly 3rd, 1909
22 National Register of Historic Places Document, Station "PJ"
23 Lloyd's Register of American Yachts, 1917
24 Electrical World, March 21st, 1908
25 Massie Wireless Telegraph Co. v. Enterprise Transportation Co. January 4, 1910
26 Amateur Work Magazine Vol5
27 Tour of New England Wireless and Steam Museum
28 National Register of Historic Places - Edgewood Historic District - Taft Estate Plat o Registration
29 Wireless Comes of Age on the West Coast, AWA Review, Bartholomew Lee, a Fellow of the California Historical Radio Society, Volume 4, 2011
30 1910 Providence Directory
31 1912 Providence Directory
32 Brown Unversity Alumni Monthly, 1913-1914
33 Telegraph Age, October 16th, 1909
34 Shorpy Historic Images, 1910
35 Electronic Classics: Collecting, Restoring and Repair, By Andrew Emmerson, 1998
36 Brown University Historical Catalogue 1764-1914
37 1899 Providence Directory
38 1919 Providence Directory
38 NORWICH BULLETIN TUESDAY MARCH 2Z 1910
40 The Connecticut Digital Archive Collections
41 Continental Wireless Telephone and Telegraph_Company
42 The Motor Boat Vol 14 Issues 13 July 10th, 1917
43 1910 US Census
44 1810 US Census
45 Tufts 1891-1892 Catalogue.
46 Tufts 1891-1892 Catalogue.
47 1896 Providence Street Directory
48 1904 Brown Indes Of Residences.
49 1904 Providence Directory.
50 1905 Providence Directory.
51 1906 Providence Directory.
52 1908 Providence Directory.
53 1909 Providence Directory.
54 1910 Providence Directory.
55 1911 Providence Directory.
56 1912 Providence Directory.
57 1913 Cranston Directory.
58 1914 Providence Busineess Directory.
59 1915 Census.
60 1916 Providence Busineess Directory.
61 1917 Providence Directory.
62 1918 Providence Business Directory.
63 1920 Census.
64 1920 Busineess Directory.
65 1921 Busineess Directory.
66 1922 Cranston Busineess Directory.
67 1922 Providence Busineess Directory.
68 1924 Providence Busineess Directory.
69 1924 Cranston Busineess Directory.
70 1924 Cranston Street Directory.
71 1925 RI State Businees Directory.
72 1925 Providence Street Directory.
73 1928 Cranston Street Directory.
74 1928 Business Directory.
75 1930 Providence Street Directory.
76 1930 Cranston Street Directory.
77 1931 Providence Street Directory.
78 1933 Providence Street Directory.
79 1933 Providence Street Directory.
80 1935 Census.
81 "A CHRONOLOGY of WIRELESS and RADIO on the WEST COAST" by BARTHOLOMEW LEE, a Fellow of the California Historical Radio Society.
82 Howeth, Capt. L. S., USN Ret. History of Communications-Electronics in the United States Navy. Washington, D. C. 1963..