WHAT WILL RADIO DO TO US?
J. L. RUTLEDGE
IT WAS forty-five degrees below zero, in
the forests beyond Temagami. Only a great pile of wood in the shack stood between its one inhabitant and a hitter death from cold. Twenty miles in a bush piled high with five feet of snow, the man was as isolated as though he were the last man living on the globe. But he sat there contentedly enough, a telephone ear-piece fastened over his head listening to an orchestra playing at Newark, New Jersey, a thousand miles or so away. The only connection between them was a bit of copper wire, one end grounded in a crevasse between two huge boulders and the other end thrown over a tree—that and the ether waves that know no distance.
Far back in the Peace River Country, a lonely rancher with only limitless miles of swaying wheat or blinding snow on which to rest his eyes, pulls up his chair to the blazing stove, and listens to a church organ playing the old familiar tunes, or hears the latest market quotation on Number one hard.
Roy Fenderson at Jacquet River in the New Brunswick lumber country thirtyfive miles from the nearest movie, reading twentyfour-hour-old papers, tunes in with Newark and hears Ed. Wynn and his “Perfect Fool” company cracking their latest jokes, or sets his watch by Arlington standard time, or gets the baseball results, just as they are flashed out to the great newspapers all over the country.
Only the other day a man lay desperately sick in Port Burwell, Ontario.
The doctor who knew his case and was most competent to attend him was in London, and the wires between the two places were down. The Government radio station stepped into the gap, and broadcast a call for the doctor, a call that was picked up by amateurs in London and the doctor was promptly notified.
Sitting in the luxurious cabin of the Empress of Canada somewhere between Victoria and the Orient, the traveller will be able to talk with those who have been left behind, justas it is possible to talk from a speeding train or an aeroplane.
This is Modern Magic not only in its character but in the swiftness with which it has caught the popular fancy, and the almost unbelievable development that has come in so short a space of time.
The Growth of Radio
LESS than a year ago there were, on the whole North American continent, something less than fifty thousand radiophones, while about a month ago, Herbert Hoover, the American Secretary of Commerce, made the sober statement that the number of wireless telephone receiving sets had increased to a million. In Canada a year ago the wireless telephone was restricted to a very few amateurs and investigators. There are now eight hundred and thirty-three licensed receiving sets. Which represents only a minute fraction of those in operation, ¡as licensing has only been in effect for a few weeks.
They are increasing by the tens of thousands, the number limited only by the ability of producing firms to provide equipment.
! For there is no limitation to the number of receiving : sets that can be operated at one time, and a radio telephone receiving license can be obtained from the De(Partment of Naval Service, or by application at the post offices of the larger centres for the nominal sum of one dollar.
Up to the present time approximately 31 have been issued. It is worthy of note that ten of these have been issued to newspapers, and that nine of these have either broadcasting equipment installed or under construction. These licenses have been issued to papers in Montreal, Toronto, London, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Apart from these, licenses have been issued to three departmental stores located in Montreal and Toronto, to one large manufacturing concern in St. John, N. B., to a movie theatre in Halifax, to an automobile concern in Toronto, to two individuals, one in Ottawa and one in Vancouver. The remaining licenses are distributed among two or three radio supply houses and the two large commercial wireless companies and their branches.
So surprising has been the growth that it has caused some people to question the soundness of the idea, just as two decades ago they scoffed at the growing craze for automobiles. But this movement has been more startlingly rapid, and more far-reaching than was the growth of the automobile industry because it is cheaper and consequëntly more readily attracts the active interest of the public, and perhaps also because this age is
more seasoned to novelty, and more anxious for it than were the people of the nineties.
Playing With a Science
THE radiophone has caught the public fancy, and for a time at least it has an almost limitless appeal: people are vieing with one another to put it to new and surprising uses: they are juggling with a great scientific fact to make it do the trite and flashy thing of the moment. It is this attitude perhaps that has left the impression in some minds that the whole thing is a fad.
, Only a month or so ago there came the report of a wedding in an aeroplane, where the wedding guests stood by an amplifier and heard the words of the marriage ceremony that was taking place somewhere up in the blue above them. This was bound to happen of course. Most people can get enough of a kick out of just getting married, but we have always with us those spirited souls who must be married in a shop window or a circus or a lions’ cage, and the radiophone wedding is a natural sequence.
There are other more or less flashy instances that yet have a solid basis of merit. For instance, a large instrument plant has just equipped an ambulance with a radiophone, so that when away from its station it can still keep in touch, and be ready to receive direction. The police of Chicago, as befits that ambitious city, have been supplied with miniature radiophones, a small instrument worn just inside their uniform for the same purpose. It is supposed to send them hot-foot after the criminal. An imaginative soul in a south-western maternity hospital has arranged a set to
sing babies to sleep, though on the face of it there would seem to be the possibility that they might be tuned in on a program ill-suited to infant ears.
Another radio fan has had his aerials arranged in the
faithful Lizzie, so that not a moment may be lost. All these things speak more of the ingenuity of the originator than of any real advance in the science, but even so it is not well to discredit this longing for novelty, for the tens of thousands of amateurs, each striving to outdo the other in the novelty of their method of the character of their equipment, have been responsible for many of the solid achievements of the science. They keep plodding away, outraging apparently every known rule, and yet every once in a while they hit it, and some other great development is made possible. That is the reason why this thing that might be called a fad is an encouraging thing. It means a speeding up in developments in the great science that is opening new fields of endeavour, changing our existing systems, and modifying our very conditions of life. No one knows just where it will end. It is so new, so unexpected, and its achievement has so steadily reached beyond the accepted possibility of the past moment, that it seems idle to say what _ its limits may be. But speaking in the light of present knowledge it has very decided limitations.
There are people who wildly protest that it is going to change every condition of our present-day life, that our much-vaunted telephone and tele-
-graph systems might about as well be
scrapped, that newspapers will soon be things of the past, that the phonograph is as passé as last year’s styles, that financial conditions will be unsettled by this development. “If this thing comes,” they say, “as it has come, what of the millions invested in these great public enterprises?” These are the folks who, having caught the flavor of something new, are urging it beyond its logical conclusion.
But over against these are the mournful Jeremiahs who can see no good in the thing at all, nothing but a child’s toy. “It can’t be done,” they say. “It’s against Nature.” The whole roadway of the past is cluttered with these mournful prophets, who, even as they muttered about impossibility saw the thing accomplished.
It is foolish to state definitely just what the limitations may be for since the war there has come such an unprecedented development in the harnessing of wireless energy that it must be anybody’s guess, as to what the future may be. But while this is true there are certain fundamental facts, that, unless the whole understanding of the subject is entirely reversed, must remain as a limiting factor.
Why The Line Services Are Safe
WHAT about the telephone and telegraph for instance, what chance have they against this new and astounding development? To the uninitiated, to whom the word “Radio” merely implies a new magic, they appear to have no chance. But take a simple example. In a city like M°ntreal something like ten thousand conversations are taking place over telephone wires every minute in the course of a business day. Now with Radio, as at present developed, at the most only about 100 conversations could take place in that time, and only that many if every other agency were to wait for them, if the signalling to the ships at sea, the broadcasting program, the long distance message, and the irrepressible amateur all were to give way in order that Mrs. Smith could order tier pound of steak to be sent home in time for lunch, or Mr. Smith could make arrangement for a surreptitious game of golf in the afternoon.
The reason, of course, is simply in the nature of the energy that makes wireless, whether telephonic or telegraphic, possible: that is, that the energy
is conveyed by ether waves, and that there is a limit to the number that may he used, or rather that there is a limit to the number that can be interpreted. The currents tha, carry the sound through the ether are of different \va\e Continued on poge 39
What Will Radio Do To Us ?
Continued from page 21
lengths. Suppose there were a dozen operators sending out messages at the same place on the same wave length at the same time. The listener who tuned in to catch one of these messages, might get snatches of the message for which he was listening, but he would get snatches of other messages as well. It would be like sitting in a room with a dozen conversations being carried on at the same time, catching a word here and therefrom each. So much for a dozen conversations, but suppose there were thousands, what chance would the listener have? It is obvious that no such restricted service could ever supplant the telephone with its virtually limitless capacity for elaboration.
More than that, the worst you can have with a telephone is a party line, but with the radiophone the whole neighborhood m y b? “listening in.” It is anybody’s air. It i within the realm of possibility, of course, that some_development may come in this regard.
The Limiting Factor
THE great limitation then is the limitation of the number of wave lengths that can be used at one time without “jamming” the air, and it is a real limitation, and one that at the resent time at least seems inherent in the science. More than that, it is not, as yet, possible to vary wave lengths by infinitesimal lengths, because no instrument has yet been devised delicate enough to tune up to these slight variations, though distance from the originating source makes it easier to make a fine distinction. About the best that can be done is to tune to within ten per cent, of either side of the wave. Supposing, that is to say, the trans-oceanic telephone is working with a wave length of 6,000 meters, which is relatively the one they use, it is not possible for another operator to send his message on a wave of say 5,900 meters, for these two waves would “jam” with our present day instruments. The best he could do would be to send ten per cent, lower than the transoceanic, or 5,400, and probably to be sure he would send at 5,000. That is under thé best conditions with powerful instruments. Every number from six thousand to one is not available for use at the same time, but only a fraction of these numbers. Of course longer waves are used, but this does not materially increase the number. It is quite within the realm of possibility however,
that later improvements will permit of much more accurate tuning, that will greatly alter the possibilities. It is possible, too, that something may be done toward picking up waves only from a given direction, for of course the wireless wave moves in every direction like a ripple on the water. But even at the best it is obvious that the possibilities are finite, and the most powerful instrument sending on a given wave length will dominate the air.
That sets at rest, of course, the idea that the newspaper plants will be relegated to the scrap heap, for think of the time it would take to broadcast the contents of the average city newspaper, and the inroads that such an undertaking would make upon the available time. No, it is possible to send out a synopsis of the news, that will reach out into the far corners of the country, where the newspaper is already days’ old when it arrives, but the present radio can never supplant the newspaper any more than the bulletins on the street can supplant it. As a matter of fact it is only likely to make the public the more avid for the details of the
Nor would it be wise to do away with the family gramophone. For it might be that in the early hours of the day your heart might hanker for the Pilgrims Chorus, or perhaps indeed for the latest Jazz song. You go to your radiophone and pick up the obliging waves only to get a message like this: S.R. $1.75-2.10 D.L. which being interpreted means that New Jersey sacked Irish Cobbler potatoes per 100 lbs in New York are selling at $1.75 to $2.10 and that there is a fair demand for them, for that is the way the United States Bureau of Markets sends out information. Now undoubtedly that is vital information for those who are interested in the market for potatoes, but what about the chap whose heart is hungering for the soothing strains of “Kiss Me By Wireless?” You see, there is the hitch. For those rebellious souls that want what they want when they want it, it is not possible to be contented with the knowledge that promptly at 8.10 p.m. you can hear an orchestra, and at 8.30 you can listen to a bed-time story and so on, but the fact remains that this limitation exists. And so you see it is likely that the gramophone will still remain for the undisciplined soul who may like his concert to begin at 7.50 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. and the telegraph and the telephone is likely still to remain
for the person who wants his message to arrive promptly and with a genteel
measure of secrecy.
'-pHERE is still another limitation due 1 to what is known as static electricity. What this force is does not particularly matter, but the fact is that it interferes with distribution of the ether waves. It is this factor that is generally classed under the all-inclusive term “unfavorable conditions.” Sometimes a powerful station can be heard a few miles away and then again an amateur like E.S. Rogers, of Newmarket, Ont., with a private set of limited capacity, works across to Scotland, one of the few amateurs on the continent to achieve this surprising feat. In this connection it is well to remember, in any consideration of what the future way be, that there is no limit to the reach of these radio waves: the only problem is to get instruments delicate enough to detect them. These waves indeed travel at the rate of 186,000 miles a second, so that with powerful enough transmitters and delicate enough receiving sets telephoning from Canada to Australia, for instance, may some day be no more surprising than telephoning to a
neighbor across the street. Of course, the great radio stations of Scotland have already accomplished this feat but it is still new enough to be a wonder.
The Vacuum Tube
THE one factor that has done most to put the science of radio telephony on a thoroughly sound basis was the discovery and development of the “Electron tube,” generally known as the “vacuum tube.” This little tube made broadcasting possible by eliminating the overlapping waves due to the “spark transmission” of the wireless telegraph that caused the rasping and overlapping and the breaks in continuity that brought such sharp limitations to the use of the radio telephone. It is this little instrument, too, that permits of the amplification of sound that makes possible the picking up of messages from great distances and their reproduction in tones loud enough to be heard by a great auditorium full of people.
Rut while this is so, one cannot altogether scorn the crystal receiver that is used m the inexpensive sets. As one authority on the subject remarked: “If
you are just listening to a concert from some nearby source you may get a lot of real pleasure out of one of these sets. They are not powerful enough to pick up many of the outside stations so that there is not the same interference of waves that would be noticed with the more ambitious sets. It is only when the owners try to pick up some of the big stuff that they find to their disappointment that it is an impossibility.”
Some Startling Novelties of Wireless
BUT there can be no doubt that the improvement in the vacuum tube has been one of the greatest advances in the science. There is no doubt also that it will be instrumental in increasing the number of available wave lengths. This is one of the anticipated advances of the future, this and the steady limiting 1
of the cumbersome aerials that used I to be the necessary concomitant of wireless. If is here that the amateur has given his greatest service, for in his endeavor to do with the least possible equipment he has developed aerials of all kinds and every development has been away from elaboration.
One enterprising youngster arranged an aerial on the ribs of an old umbrella-. With this modest equipment he can listen in on concerts miles away. They have rigged them in an old lamp and around a chair back or around the pictures in a room. At the recent radio show in New York, a young lady was present with a garter radiophone—one can hardly call it aerial—but it served the same purpose.
All this is of course in the nature of “trick stuff,” but once again, it is no use to discredit this sort of thing, for out of just this sort of experimenting has grown the “loop antennae,” a hundred feet of light wire coiled around a wheel not more than a yard in diameter. This equipment is used in some of the large stations.
Still another form is the “rolling pin antennae,” a tubular coil about the size of a policeman’s baton that, when hooked to a water pipe or anything else that will give a connection with the ground, is capable of a range of 100 miles. These two types of antennae pick up messages only from those stations toward which they are pointed, and thus avoid some of the difficulties of overlapping waves.
The radiophone craze, if we may be permitted so to call it for the moment, brought a new sorrow into the life of the harassed manager of a large hotel. Never a convention nowadays that is not addressed by some notable by radiophone. The aerials over which the Shriners’ gathering received their morning address from a brother Shriner a thousand miles away had to be torn down and re-erected on the second floor, so that the Knights of Columbus could hear from one of their dignitaries in the afternoon. Then the sweating workmen had to rush them upstairs again so that the Elks might bask in music and oratory in the evening. The demand always creates the supply. The sweating workmen need sweat no more, all he need do now is to attach a little instrument to a convenient electric socket, just as though he were starting the toaster, and all is ready for the burst of oratory. So is invention stepping along hot-foot on the pathway of progress. And when it is remembered that broadcasting in the United States is only about a year old, and barely half that age in Canada, and when one sees the progress that has come in these few short months it seems obvious that it is idle to prophesy any limit for the future.
Canadian and American Regulations
AT THE present time there is a sharp limitation in the overlapping waves. In some sections of the United States, this congestion of the air has become so serious, that the Government is doing everything in their power to reestablish it. Fortunately in Canada the development came later, and it was possible to profit by the mistakes of a neighbor. The department of Naval Service has had men in the United States for some time studying every phase of the situation so that a similar situation may not develop here. Of course we in I Canada are in a measure affected by the conditions across the border for the ether waves know no boundary lines. G. J. Desbarats, Deputy Minister of Naval Service, states that arrangements are pending with the United States whereby different wave lengths will be allocated to each country, so that there need be no overlapping,and yet anyone who so desires can tune in on any station. As an indication of the way this difficulty is to be met we have the proposal of the recent radio conference at Washington that proposed allocations of different wave lengths to different agencies. The following items from the proposal will serve to illustrate: transoceanic radio telephone, 6,000 meters: experiments
5,000 meters, government broadcasting 2,050 meters, aircraft 1,550 meters, private and toll broadcasting 435 meters, amateurs 150 to 200 meters.
In Canada every agency whether telegraphic or telephonic is under the control of the Department of Naval Service. Every operator whether he controls a great broadcasting station or owns only a i small amateur set must be licensed.
The e licenses are issued for a year, and are cancellable for any cause and at any time or are modified entirely at the discretion of the department. At the seaI board too there is special limitation of broadcasting, as a protection for shipping that must use wireless as a necessity rather than as an amusement. If any of these licenses exceed the limits covered by their license, if they try to pirate the air they can be detected, and warned. A persistent infringement will mean that their aerials will he removed by a government inspector, and they may be fined and imprisoned for very definite powers are given for the regulating of this new development.
It is interesting to speculate on the future—for it is a speculation—for the limitations of the moment may a year from now, or ten years from now be no limitation at all, for it is within the range of possibilities that instrumente may be so attuned thatjthey can pick up waves separated by minute fractions. It cannot be done now, but who is to say that it will never be done? A little over a decade ago Marconi succeeded in sending a wireless message across the English Channel, and it was thought that a marvellous achievement had reached fruition. To-day anyone with a set that costs about $190 can pick up the great stations of Scotland and Germany.
Some Recent Developments
A TORONTO stock-broking firm is proposing to install a radio broadcasting plant to broadcast quotations from the opening to the closing of the market. Anyone who has a receiving set, whether it be brokerage house or prospective buyer, can pick up this information. No further need for private wire or ticker, no further need to sit and watch the quotation board. The radiophone gives you your own private wire.
• A German firm which has adopted the same policy, has overcome the difficulty of publicity by sending in a telephonic code, that can be comprehended only by subscribers. But the Canadian firm believes that the advertising value will be sufficient to offset any disadvantage.
Of course the broadcast concert has come to stay. It has its limitation yet owing to overlapping waves, and static electricity. Hoarse noises and interruptions are yet a factor. Recently one of the large stations was broadcasting an eloquent sermon by an eminent divine, when someone who evidently disagreed with his views broke in on a similar wave. What the listeners heard was the sermon annotated by ribald comment from the unbeliever. But these instances are rare, and interference is seldom more than an error, and it is far less in evidence here than it is across the line.
More than that, devices are rapidly being perfected to correct such errors as may arise at the broadcasting end. In one of the large broadcasting stations for I instance there is an automatic device I that serves all the purposes of a director. Perhaps a violinist is playing. Suddenly there is a buzz and the performer looks up to see displayed in glowing letters the sharp command “play louder,” or “not so loud.” Or it may he a comedian who wanders around a bit in the course of his act. “You are too farto the right,” says the machine, or “come closer.” This mechanical contrivance has been perfected to give the acme of recording perfection. So that little by little these concerts will lose the rasping and burring and moments of indistinctness, and will have the perfection that would be found were the hearers listening in the presence of the actual artist.
These concerts, too, are developing materially and provide a world of entertainment and education. Here for instance isa Sunday program, from Newark, N. J., I one of dozens that anyone with a moderately strong receiving set could pick up.
3:00 P. M.—Radio chapel services; sermon by the Rev. Paul Scherer; sacred music by the church quartette.
4:00 P. M.—“What the People Want to Read,” by Mrs. Honoré Willsie.
4:30 P. M.—Recital by Mabelle Blume dramatic soprano; “When Loveis Kind,” (Old English) “Minnetonka,” Lieurance; “The Danza,” Chadwick; “Musica Proibita” (Old Italian); “Habanera from Carmen,” Bizet.; “Chantex, riez, dormez,” Gounod; “Jewel Song from Faust,” Gounod; “The Thrill o’ You,” Yanderpool; “When You’re Away,” Her-
bert; “My Laddie,” Thayer; “Romanza from Daughter of the Regiment,” Donizetti; “Mighty Lak’ A Rose,” Nevin.
5:30 P. M.—Literary Vespers, “The Spirit of Service,” by Edgar White Burrill.
6:30. P. M.—Readings and records from the “Bubble Books that Sing,” by Ralph Mayhew.
6:45 P. M.—“Sandman Stories,” told by Kasper Seidel.
7.00 P. M.—“Japan,” by Julian Street.
7.30 P. M.—“Check Forgers,” by William J. Flynn.
8:00 P.M.—Trip Through Brazil with Theodore Roosevelt, by Anthony Fiala, explorer.
8:30 P. M.—Carlos Valderanna, composer, pianist and lecturer, will give a demonstration of Inca Music.
9:30 P. M.—Recital by Alfred Herbermann, violinist, also musical critic and writer for The Violin World; Mrs. Earl Feininger, accompanist. Program: “Cavatina,” Raff; “Waltz in A Major,” Hockstein-Brahms; “Souvenir,” Drdla; “Hindoo Chant,” Rimsky-Korsakoff-Kreisler; “Berceuse” (Jocelyn), Godard. Miss Lucille Banner, Coloratura soprano, “Ah Jors’e liu,” Verdi; “Sempre libera deggio,” Verdi; “April,” Nevin; “Down in the Forest,” Ronald; “Lo Hear the Lark,” Bishop. Mrs. Karl Deininger, accompanist.
This is from one of the large American stations, but could be readily picked up by thousands in Canada. There are a number of stations broadcasting in Canada, that send out concerts of a somewhat similar character at definite times.
Quite recently, for instance, the Rev. W. A. Cameron, a Toronto minister, addressed thousands of radio enthusiasts, but the most interesting thing was that his own congregation sitting in their regular pews at the Bloor Street Baptist church, heard their pastor’s message as ¡ usual, but through an amplifier in the pulpit instead of direct from his own lips.
Getting a Wider Audience
THIS suggests one great development of the radio. Great speakers come I to the large centres. They can be heard ! by the comparatively few, for even the largest hall has a limited capacity, but J ' with this new inventi on, tens of thousands j of people can sit in their own comfortable ! chairs and hear his words. We have seen j comparatively little of this as yet in Can| ada but intheUnitedStatesthereishardly j a public man of importance, from the President down, who has not addressed some message over the radiophone. This naturally suggests the possibility of its use in political campaigns. There is at present nothing to prevent such use.
In the United States, indeed, the Ini dependent Telephone Company has a toll I broadcasting station which anyone may i hire at so much a minute to give to the world at large any information he may desire to disseminate. There is no reason why a political candi date should not make use of such a service. One might say that there was nothing to prevent its use for advertising purposes. In the United States, however, advertising is forbidden, save that any broadcaster can put in a modest good word for himself. Virtually the same thing applies to Canada, but whether it did or no, the public would look after it. You may remember that, not so very many years ago, the patrons of the movies had to live through aeons of advertising slides between pictures. Now about the worst they have to fear is garish announcements of coming attractions. The reason, of course, is that the patrons tired of this advertising, and therefore the theatres found it unprofitable. About the same condition applies to the too energetic radio politician or radio advertiser. The air resources are too limited for the public to meet with any equanimity the effort to force things on their attention.
There are many agencies actually broadcasting information of one sort or another. There are first of all the newspapers which are more or less pioneering the field. There is a newspaper in Toronto, and one in Vancouver and others in the middle west that are actually operating. There is one in Montreal, that intends to do so in the near future. There are two or three departmental stores that have the matter definitely under consideration. They will send out concerts, perhaps a little
talk on the making of oriental rugs or on some of the great pottery works, anything that will more or less focus atten¡ tion on the goods the store has to sell, j and will keep the store’s name before the public. It is a matter of good will and prestige, and the intangible advertising benefit that comes therefrom. At the present time only one of these organizations has a broadcasting plant of itsown, though a number have modern plants under construction, but broadcasting in Canada at the present is virtually in the ha"ds of two organizations, The Canadian Independent Telephone Company, which was the first to broadcast in Canada, and the Marconi Company, operating through their stations in various parts of j the country. These two companies, too, are relatively the only producers of radiophone instruments, patent rights making it impossible for outside firms to manufacture. There are, however, at the present time a goodly number of small firms which, despite these regulations are manufacturing or assembling these instru-
Some Future Probabilities
WITHIN a comparatively short space of time it is probable that the Dominion government will have its own powerful broadcasting stations, that will send out weather reports, crop bulletins, market quotations, and general official information. The Ontario government is contemplating sending out lectures on better farm methods by radiophone, and the U.F.O. is considering sending out their market quotations. These agencies will, for the present at least, use the existing stations.
It is more than probable that Canadian universities will see in this new science a great opportunity for the advancement of learning, and will follow 'the United States in sending out lectures and instruction generally. It is thus that the greatest usefulness may be achieved.
Thirty-five years ago, when the telegraph and telephone was in its infancy, when the automobile was unknown, when wireless was undreamed of, Edward Bellamy wrote “Looking Backward.” You can pick up this book and dream with Julian West waking from a trance and finding himself in the year 2,000. in the music room of one of his new-found acquaintances.
“ ‘Please look at to-day’s music,’ she said, ‘and tell me what you would prefer. It is now five o’clock, you will remember.’
“The card bore the date ‘September 12, 2000,’ and contained the longest program of music I had ever seen. It was as various as it was long, including a most extraordinary range of vocal and instrumental solos, duets, quartets, and various orchestral combinations.”
West chose an organ selection from among those marked for 5 p.m. and the narrative proceeds:
“She made me sit down comfortably, and, crossing the room, so .far as I could see, merely touched one or two screws, and at once the room was filled with the music of a grand organ anthem; filled, not flooded, for, by some means, the volume of melody had been perfectly graduated to the size of the apartment. I listened, scarcely breathing, to tlje close. Such music, so perfectly rendered, I had never expected to hear.”
Edward Bellamy, dead and buried, never dreamed that what he wrote could be other than a flight of fancy. But to-day it reads like history.
The potentialities are staggering. In the United States it is estimated that $400,000,000 will be spent this year on radiophones. It is reasonable to expect that Canada will spend a proportionate figure, or somewhere about $30,000,000. Two large stores in Toronto are selling head sets at the rate of 100 a week—two hundred radio fans added every week by these two stores. At the moment the production of sets is the only thing that is holding back the onward sweep of this movement, but within a measurable length of time this will be overcome. One of the large producing firms states that within a comparatively short space of time it will be able to turn out 500 sets a day. Where will this movement end? That is anybody’s guess. But it is idle to prophesy that it is a fad that will pass. It is a great achievement the benefits of which we now only dimly see.