The Houston Post from Houston, Texas on December 19, 1920 · Page 48
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The Houston Post from Houston, Texas · Page 48

Houston, Texas
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 19, 1920
Page 48
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f Uncle Sam Turns Radio Station Over to France i J At Croix d'Hins, the United States navy recently officially turned over to the French tovernment th most powerful radio station in the world, says the New Tork Herald. Thit treat plant, built for the use of our commanders in the great strut tie, consists . of a quadrangle of eight, tours, 850 feet in height, over which are suspended the 20 wires of the antenna using a power of 140,000 volts. The towers are the highest in the world with the exception of the Eiffel tower, and this magnificent radio plant is seven times more powerful than that famous station. When General Pershing arrived la France and his troops begau, to flow across the Atlantic in a steady stream he began to get his liues of communication established. The navy was on the job in the Atlantic and with hundreds of vessels doing patrol duty, and the constant need of unhindered communication beutween General Perhhing, Admiral Sims and our other commanders in France, it was necessary to organise a system of radio transmission for messages. Speed a Vital Factor. Speed was the word in everytkiug connected with the great conflict and speedy communication with Washington was of great importance. Some of the cables had been cut by German submarines and others were disabled, and it was a question whether the Germans might not be able to destroy the entire cable,, system at any time, leaving us without a means of communication with our forces. The I'uited States navy was called upon to supply thi.s system and at the signing of the armistice we had over 5X) operators ia the service and over 150 stations in additiou to which there were about 15 air s tut ions equipped with naval radio apparatus. One of the principal means of increasing the efficiency and speeding up truffle was the introduction of automatic high speed transmitting and receiving apparatus. High power stations arc now be'ng operated automatically at speeds of from JU to 200 words a minute, ns compared with an average of less than 20 words a minute when using hand sending. Being unable to foresee the conclusion of the world conflict the United States Gigantic Plant at Bordeaux Monument to Engineers of United State Navy naval authorities set about to erect the most powerful radio station in the world. The site was selected at Croix d'Hins, in the vicinity of Bordeaux, France, and 'the work started. The moat expert me-. ehanics were called upon to erect this station. The steel construction of the towers required the services of the most skilled practice oT the structural steel industry. Work Halted ky Armistice. . While this work was going steadily for Hard the armistice came and work was temporarily discontinued. But France, seeing the advantage of such a powerful means of communication, desired to have this station completed. It waa 20 per cent completed at the date of the armistice and after arrangements were made with France the work was resumed, and today toe most powerful station in the world stands complete, a monument to naval ingenuity aud efficiency. This station is seven times more powerful than the famous-Eiffel Tower, and it waa recently announced by the French officials that a message from this station . had passed around the world in one-seventh of a second. It is estimated thtt words travel at the same speed as light rays from the sun, or a speed of about 175,000 miles a second--the greatest kuowu to science. New York can be picked vp in one-fiftieth of a second and message buzzed across the Atlantic at the rate of 10,000 words an hour. When this stat flu is placed in full commission there will be' four shifts of operators, having a sending capacity of 240,000 words every 24 hours. This great station ways turned over to France at cost in the name of Jjifayette by the United States government. This will make Bordeaux" the greatest radio . center in the world, and enable France to communicate with her most distant colonies, and that at a speed which annihilates time, 'being as fast aud convenient as would an actual conversation between two persons in a closed room. Ships can be communicated with in the seven seas, though at great distances they would be unable to reply, owing to their lack of apparatus of like power. Aircraft in all tornera of the globe can be directed by this great station, and With' a like station in China, and other distant points, the news of the world . could be flashed from pole to pole in matter of seconds. Cost Estimated at $400,000. This plant cost in the viclnky of $400,-000, according to the original bid of a private concern, but it is thought that this waa lowered considerably. JThe station has been in operation several weeks with American -engineers working for the United States navy and in conjunction with the French, under the command of a United States naval officer, making the tests which were required in the agreement between the two governments. These tests covered a period of 80 days, during which time every ship in the United Statea navy, in all parts of the world, was notified to listen in for signals from the great Lafayette station. The signals consisted of the word "Lafayette" repeated over and over. Every five days these vessels were required to make their report to the navy department covering all the facta of the tests as they occurred. If the signals were weak they were reported as such, if they were plain and distinct the fact was recorded. Needless , to say thia powerful station has proved a success in every way, and according to a statement made by a French engineer the station is so powerful that when sending a message it travels aronnd the world and returna to' the starting point like a boomerang before the message is completed. New System of Attaining Speed. , What is it that enables this great station to send messages around the world at a rate of 10,000 words an hour? It is the new system of multiplex radio telegraphy, a. system adopted by the United States navy during the war and with which four messages can be received at one time. It is the system used by the United States navy department at Washington and which President Wilson used in keeping in touch with the capital while overseas: Multiplex message! are sent differently from the old Morse way. A man seat himself at a machine which resembles a -typewriter and through which a tape about one Inch in Width R threaded. Af he nimbly tnanipulatea the keys, a in writing a letter, the machine perforates thia Upe in a series of dots. The tape when completed is run through a transmitter which is a part of the multiplex radio outfitat (borate of 200 words a ' minute. - The transmitter ia prepared with a ast of five pins placed in a vertical position. , These pins automatically fit .into the .. perforations forming the words which are sent through the air. t ' It was through this powerful station that the results of the Olympic gamit -were flashed to the world, and the French government will open this plant as a reg ular unit to the French wireless service the latter part of October. Gsrmaa Statlea Oatdattei. Coinciding with the completion of this great station comes the announcement . from Germany that on September 80 the" powerful radio station at Nauea was officially opened, President Ebert officiating. Not being familiar with the particulars, we merely surmise that this station was under construction during the war. If so, there ia a contrast in the power of these two great plants worthy of comparison. While claimed by the Germans to be one of the meat powerful in the world, tnia station is only capable of sending messages half the distance accomplished by the "Lafayette." The advance American engineers had over the Germans in radio is remarkable, in view of the fact that Germany's scientists are of worldwide fame, and it is logical -to suppose that this new station is the latest thing in German radio telegraphy. However, naval officials have announced that upou a comparison of the communication system etn stalled upon the German ships it was found that the United States navy was far in ad-, vance of them in radio communication. There are many lasting monuments to American engineering skill left on the soil of France, but the greatest of these is the Lafayette radio station, and what the United States navy can build abroad can be built at home, and with possible-improvement. The American navy has repeatedly demonstrated its efficiency to the world with its ships, while its aircraft were the first across tlje Atlantic, and now a radio station of its own construction has flashed the first message around the world. Von Rintelen Soon to Depart From American Shores Frauz Von Rintelen, the one man of mystery not only to the allied countries but to the great mass of his countrymen as well, arrived in New York recently from Atlanta, (ia., and he is going to 1 id farewell to these inhospitable shore-- just as soon as he can get a ship to take him to a country which will allow him to puss through on bis way to Germany. He has put up a bond of ?.")000 that he will be gone to January 1, says the New York Telegraph. There is no doubt that of all the multitude of men arrested during the' war as German agents. Yon Hinteleu was the most important. It has been suspected that as a matter of fact he was the biggest man the kaiser had in this country to impress "kultur" on the sordid American mind. He was more powerful than You Bernstorff, the ambassador, or Dern-berg or Albert, Boy-Ed. An Papen or any of the others who became anathema about the time this country entered the conflict. They ook orders from him and they had to repCrt to him. That invisible governmental agency maintained in this country functioned as he decreed, no matter whether it was the fomenting of strikes in munition plants, the circulation of pro-German propaganda, the suborning of the venal press, the blowing up of ships, docks and public works, reports of governmental activities and the maintenance of channels of communication. All had to have his official approval. Mystery to Own Countrymen. If was said in tie foregoing that Yon Rintelen is a man ofmystery to his own countrymen and the statement In litefally true. If an? Germans know the man'B antecedents they will not reveal them nor will any arise to set at naught the rumors that in reality he is a member of the Ho-henzollern family itself. They know the man is a "Von," a noble, that he was an intimate fried of the former kaiser and n welcome visitor to the royal palace and the rojal family. They also know that he was captain in the Imperial German navy at an age when the ordinary well lii.rn German is an nn l"r officr. Further than that, they know that he married the daughter and heiress to the great bank- ing family of Kauffman in Berlin, but that' lie had millions of his own to add to tine fortune she brought him as dowry. His home in Berlin was ouc of the show 'Man of Mystery" Has Put Up a Bond That He Will Be Gone by January 1 places, his entertainments were on a , plane with royalty. ' Officially Von Rintelen was on the stuff of Admiral Yon Tirpitx when "the day" dawned. As a matter Of fact 'he man had passed very little time at sea, but he had appeared as naval attache and special envoy in many of the capitals of Europe, in China and Japau, in South1 America and occasionally in the United States. It was said of him that he was a home in every great city of the world. He had non-resident membership in several exclusive American clubs. Activities in 1915. Yon Rintelen did not appear in any of the war dispatches from the German side after the war began, but in the latter part of 1915 be suddenly appeared in New York as an ardent worker for the German Red Cross. The country took him at bis own stated value and he was welcomed. He lived at a fasb4 ionable hotel, took up bis membership In' his clubs and appeared constantly in the society of those who were supposed to look with favor upon the German side of things. Publicly he was not interested in the military side of the war only in . the incidental suffering and misery of the people. It will be remembered that the United States began to awaken around 1910. Ships leaving our harbors were carrying bombs which exploded and munition plants were being blown up. There were mysterious strikes here and there. Men would quit work along shore or in- plants in the face of rapidly advancing wages. It soon became apparent that Germany, ostensibly bowing to our determination to trade freely with whom we would, was determined to make it as difficult as possible. Early investigation by the few secret service men we then had showed that it was all a part of a system, and then as the services grew the searchers gradually began creeping up. Finally they bad about reached the socially popular Red Cross worker wben be dlsap- Davis Quits Munsey Compatfy Robert H. Davis, who has been associated editorially with the Frank A. Munsey company for a period of 18 years, has announced his retirement from that organization, to take place within the present year. His purpose is to devote himself exclusively to handling the work of a group of magazine, book, stage and screen contributors, to the em that authors, editors and producers may come Into closer relationship through a medium familiar with the capabilities and the needs of all concerned. With the writers of the present generation Mr. Davis hag' enjoyed a rare Intimacy. He found O. Henry on the top floor of the Hotel Marty in Twenty-fourth street in the early '90's, and shortly thereafter put him under contract for five years. During that time all of the manuscript from the Bagdad bistori- ( an passed through Davis' hands. He published all of the early short stories of Mary Roberts Rinehart and her first three novels.. He took the late Charles E. Van an out of Park Row and Ben Ames Wilson from the journalistic field in Boston. Scores of the now successful contributors to the fiction periodicals received at his hands encouragement at a time when they most needed it: His daily correspondence with the writer folk, hundreds of whom he has never seen, averages a thousand letters a month, distributed through the English speaking world. In spite of the fact that Mr. Davis during the last 20 years has come into professional contact with every well known writer in America and England, his greater pride is that during his entire editorial career the doors of liia office have always been open to the beginners iu the realm of letters. peared. The persevering British, searching a ship off Falmouth, came upon the, mau traveling under a forged, clumsily prepared passport and they gathered him in. H'hey knew about him by that time. To show that Germany thought well of the man she promptly offered 24 high British naval officers, then prisoners, in exchange for him. There is no doubt that Von Rintelen came very close to facing a firing squad in the Tower of London. At that time there was very short shrift over there for anybody even remotely resembling a spy. The only thing was the man had not been anywhere to spy, but that was not urged as a serious defense. However, after . some negotiation the British sent the man back here. He arrived in November, 1917, and he was in one jail or another from that time until be was released by pardon of President Wilson on Friday. He was pardoned because, counting his eights months in the Tombs, he had been . in prison the time required Ty his 'sentence. Eight Months in Ihe Tombs. Von Rintelen, who soent eight months in the Tombs here, was first tried and convicted of using a forged passport and for that he received a sentence of one year and eight months in a New Jersey J "ail, every day of which he served. Then le was tried and convicted on a charge of conspiring with David Lamar, once known as the "Wolf of Wall Street," and others to prevent the forwarding of supplies to allied ports. He was sentenced to another year, for that. As a climax he was convicted in the federal court here with 10 others of eon-spiring Jj. destroy munition and food ships with fire bombs. One year and eight months were added to his toll for that Whatever may have been the charges againBt the man it was agreed that of all ' the men arrested Von Rintelen was the nerviest. He never opened his mouth from the day be was arrested except once. Tbalwas one day down in the court after; witnesses had testified to his conferences" labor leaders, "wolves" and others. Herleaned over and said , bitterly, "And I felt like taking a carbolic acid bath after everv meeting." He took his sentences uncomplainingly and with folded arms. It was all part of the price be had to pay. Wben be meets the et-high well born botireaucrat who' ordered him over here to do the work there is likely to be an interesting encounter. At the time the original orders were given it was dangerous to protest or object to any missiou but nowadays things are, different. Pes Four Wai Si 1 HOUSTON POST SUNDAY MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 19, 1920. v - y

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