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 Collins Wireless Telephone:
Collins' Hype

Excerpted from:
Modern Electrics, August, 1908
The Collins Wireless Telephone
by William Dubilier, Assistant to Mr. Collins

One of the most interesting features we have been called upon to solve is an intercommunicating system of wireless telephony: The question most often asked is how a person can be called on the Collins wireless telephone and supposing there are a number of phones in use, how can you converse with any person you wish?

 In the first place each wireless 'phone has a telephone number just as the ordinary 'phone, but instead of a central station and a "Hello" girl the subscriber talks direct from one station to another. This is accomplished by having three dials similar to those used on a combination safe. Each dial is numbered from 0 to 9, and the indicators of these dials are set on a number to be called up. By way of illustration, suppose Smith's number is 620, Browns number 550 and Jones' 200 ; now, when Brown wishes to call Smith he moves the indicators of his dials on his telephone to 6, to 2, and to zero, respectively. thus placing both instruments in tune with each other; he next presses a button on his telephone, which rings the bell on Smith's telephone. Smith answers, and the conversation begins just as though they were talking over an ordinary 'phone. After Brown is through talking he turns his indicators back to his own number so that Jones or Smith can call him if they so desire.

 By turning the indicators to these numbers more or less inductance, capacity and resistance is thrown in or out, and as these factors determine the rate of oscillation, and the number of oscillations per second determines the wave length, it is easy to see that if a sending station have the same values as the receiving station they will be in tune.

 There is no doubt as to the position wireless telephony is to occupy. Its use on the ocean will be identical to the telephone on land, while its other fields of operation are practically without limitation. Governments will use it for their army posts and ships; islands in the ocean and harbors on the continents will employ it to speak with other parts of the world; every craft that sails the ocean must adopt it, isolated mining camps, rural districts and other places will be brought into touch with the civilized world in fact, wireless telephony will enter a field entirely its own, in addition to being an aggressive competitor of the present telegraph Graph and telephone system on land.

 It will enter a new, field by making it possible to telephone from automobiles to the garage when help is needed. There are thousands of automobiles in the United States, and, while touring the country in a powerful car is a delightful pastime, a breakdown several miles from. a garage or other repair shop is not conducive to pleasure. Often some member of the party finds it his lot to walk to a house for supplies, while the rest of the party, patiently or otherwise, usually the latter, await his return.

 Mr. Collins proposes to eliminate this decidedly adverse feature of automobiling by employing the wireless telephone. Consequently every garage or shop will be equipped with the wireless telephone, as they are now with the tire pump and ignition plugs, and this latter day telephone will always be set up ready for use. Likewise, every auto will be provided with a portable wireless telephone. Then in the event of the inevitable accident the 'phone can be taken out, set up ready for use and communication established with the nearest garage, and an auto with men and needful mechanism sent post haste to the scene to repair it.


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