History of wireless telegraphy and broadcasting in Australia/Topical/Biographies/Walter Moss Sweeney



Early Life[edit]

British Submit Workplace[edit]

Ship Wi-fi Operator[edit]

Coastal Wi-fi Service[edit]

Division of Navy[edit]


Royal Australian Navy Radio Service[edit]


Personal Enterprise[edit]

Essanay Manufacturing[edit]

Mixed Radio Safety[edit]

Late Life[edit]





WIRELESS SIGNALS. FROM THE PERSIAN GULF TO MELBOURNE, 6249 MILES. Mr. E. T. Fisk, resident engineer in Sydney of the Marconi Worldwide Marine Communication Firm, Restricted, writes:— “Mr. W. M. Sweeney, officer in command of the Marconi set up on board R.M.S. Mantua, stories having acquired indicators over a report distance on the eighth inst. The Mantua was exterior Port Phillip Heads, close to Melbourne, when Mr. Sweeney, who was tuning for numerous stations, was stunned to listen to indicators of a peculiar notice, which he instantly recognised because the distinctive timbre of the station at Jask, within the Persian Gulf. This tone is definitely recognised by all wi-fi operators who’ve communicated with Jask at any time. Though the indicators have been so distinctive in that respect, the operator couldn’t himself consider that they got here from so nice a distance till lastly the station gave the sign ‘JKR,’ which is the official name sign for Jask. Jask is located on the entrance to the Persian Gulf, in lat. 25.38 N., lengthy. 57.45 E., and the space from there to the Mantua’s place, exterior Melbourne, was calculated by the Mantua’s navigating officer to be 6248 nautical miles. That is thought-about to be a report distance for the reception of indicators. On her final voyage from Bombay to London the Mantua’s operator exchanged indicators with Marseilles when the ship was close to Aden, the space then coated being 2800 miles. Whereas these distinctive long-distance communications are of nice curiosity to most of the people, in addition to to these having a scientific or sensible curiosity in wi-fi telegraphy, the continued publication of such data is liable to trigger false impression on the a part of the previous. The traditional working vary of a wi-fi station on board a service provider ship is from 200 to 300 miles. This vary, nevertheless, is often exceeded in the course of the dead nights, and communications are obtained over stunning distances. The Mantua is provided with a Marconi 1½-kilowatt set up, normal ship kind, during which the Marconi magnetic detector, which on a number of events has proved its nice reliability and effectivity, is employed. The station at Jask was erected for the Authorities two or three years in the past, and works underneath Marconi patents.”[1]

THROUGH SPACE. A WIRELESS MESSAGE WHICH CAME TO THE MANTUA. OVER SIX THOUSAND MILES AWAY. “Buzz. Buz—z—z—z.” Via the ambiance surrounding Port Phillip Heads got here to the wi-fi operator of the R.M.S. Mantua a sound like a subdued noise of a steam noticed. Operator Sweeney mounted the receiving gear to his head in a laconic form of manner and waited casually for eventualities. The ethergraphlc pressure was extra distinct now, and the operator had allowed the cigarette to fall from his lips. His options bore the tense expression of a person whose naturally exuberant emotions have been within the leash of an expert calmness. “Holy smoke,” mentioned he to himself. “The place is that this message coming from?” Sitting up alertly in his chair he positioned his elbows on the desk and listened onerous. “Buzz. Buz—z—z—z.” The Mantua’s operator was talking so onerous that the air gave the impression to be stuffed with query marks. “Appears to me,” mentioned he, “that chap is chatting with naval ships. By gum, I consider that message is being delivered from the Persian Gulf. It’s Jask notice, or alright. Let’s wait until he offers the sign.” “Buzz. Buz—z—z—z.” It was a weak, falling sound this time, and at its expiration, Mr. Sweeney unhooked the receivers and commenced writing furiously on a pad. “J.Ok.R.,” he muttered excitedly, “J.Ok.R. Sure, that message has come all the way in which from the Persian Gulf.” Mr. W. N. Sweeney associated these information to a “Day by day Information” consultant on board the R.M.S. Mantua right this moment. “It was an exquisite factor,” mentioned he, “We have been simply exterior Port Phillip Heads when, in tuning for numerous stations I used to be stunned to listen to indicators of a peculiar notice, which I instantly recognised because the distinctive timbre of a station at Jask within the Persian Gulf. How did I recognise this? Effectively, it comes as simply to wi-fi operators as it might be so that you can recognise the accent of a person you already know effectively. Each station has totally different notes, and even when two stations have been constructed alike you’d, with observe and expertise, distinguish their respective notes. The Jask notice is what we name a excessive or singing notice, and is definitely recognised by all wi-fi operators who’ve communicated with that station. Though the indicators I acquired have been so distinctive in that respect, I couldn’t at first consider they got here from such a distance, till lastly the station gave a sign, J.Ok.R., which is the official sign name for Jask.” That was a outstanding incidence. What’s the distance of the message? “The gap from the Persian Gulf to the Mantua’s place exterior Melbourne was calculated by the navigating officer of this mail boat to be 6,249 nautical miles. Our place was latitude 38 deg. S., longitude 145 deg. E. That is thought-about to be the report for the reception of indicators. Thoughts you, we would name this a freak, and it’d by no means occur once more. How do I account for it? Effectively, I can solely reply that by saying it was a freak. Thoughts you, we get some outstanding distance ends in the Southern Hemisphere. All northern climates, comparable to San Francisco, Japan, and the North Pacific, are good for long-distance sending. The Atlantic is not any good. You aren’t getting very many nice distances there. I do not know what’s the cause for this. I suppose it has one thing to do with the clearness of ambiance at night time.” Did you hear the message clearly? “Sure. I may hear it as distinctly as if he have been solely ‘sending’ 100 miles away. The operator at Jask was signalling to the naval ships.” Mr. Sweeney has put up different data moreover this. On the final journey of the Mantua from Bombay to England indicators have been exchanged, with Cullercoates (England), 700 miles away, and night time indicators have been exchanged with Marseilles at a distance of two,800 miles. Each of those are thought-about to be data. Mr. Sweeney informed our consultant that this was his final journey on the Mantua, He had already accepted a suggestion from the Commonwealth Wi-fi Division, and possibly would return to a place in Melbourne. The Mantua is provided with a Marconi 1½-Kilowatt set up, normal ship kind, during which the Marconi magnetic detector, which on a number of events has proved its nice means and effectivity, is employed. The station at Jask was erected for the Authorities some three years in the past, and works underneath Marconi patent.[2]

THE WONDERS OF WIRELESS. REMARKABLE DISTANCE RECORD. When the operator in command of the Marconi station at Jask, within the Persian Gulf, was clicking out a message to some warships within the Gulf just lately to the accompaniment of his highly effective induction coil, he little dreamed that his dialog could be overheard by the operator on the P. and O. liner Mantua, which was then off the Port of Melbourne, a distance of 6,249 nautical miles away. On the time the message was acquired the Mantua was simply exterior Port Phillip Heads. The operator (Mr. Sweeney) was within the act of tuning for the varied stations when he detected an odd notice, at the least one which, though acquainted to his ear, was unusual in these latitudes. No two stations are alike in tone, and operators shortly turn into used to the notes of the varied stations, and are in a position to recognise them instantly by cause of their peculiar timbre. The Jask notice is what has been known as by the operators as a excessive or singing notice. Mr. Sweeney may scarcely consider the proof of his senses, and it was not till the station gave its official name sign — J.Ok.R. — that he was satisfied that he had been listening to the operator at far-off Jask. “This,” mentioned Mr. Sweeney yesterday, “is taken into account to be a report for the receiving of indicators, however,” he added, “the identical outcome won’t be once more achieved for a while.” He may solely account for it by some distinctive situation of the ether on the time. It was a outstanding truth, he noticed that one of the best distance outcomes had been obtained within the Southern Hemisphere. The Atlantic for some cause was not conducive to long-distance signalling. He had overheard the Jask operator as clearly as if he had solely been 100 miles away. On his return to Australia Mr. Sweeney will take up a place with the Commonwealth Wi-fi Division. The Mantua is provided with a Marconi 1½ kilowatt set up, normal ship kind, during which the Marconi magnetic detector, which on a number of events has proved its nice means, is employed. The station at Jask was erected for the Authorities some three years in the past, and works underneath the Marconi patent.[3]

The Wonders of Wi-fi. Document is quickly succeeding report within the feats of wi-fi telegraphy. In the course of the previous few days accounts have been revealed of occasions which just a few years in the past would have actually astounded the world, however which now are accepted as mere issues of prosaic truth succeeding in pure order to previous achievements in the identical discipline. The Aberdeen liner Miltiades, on her final voyage to Australia from London through Capetown, was in steady wi-fi communication both with land stations or different vessels. Not a day handed with out her receiving and despatching messages via the ether. The actual fact illustrates first how common have turn into wi-fi installations, and secondly, how environment friendly these installations have been made. Once we have been informed, as we have been final week, {that a} liner in mid-ocean — 1,200 miles out from Capetown — acquired from the land station at Durban the results of the check cricket match at Adelaide, we realise how a lot nearer this new issue of communication has introduced us to the annihilation alike of time and area. However a nonetheless extra marvellous testimony of the capability of wi-fi is reported by the Marconi operator on board the R.M.S. Mantua, which, when off Port Melbourne just a few days in the past, was in a position to seize a message from the wi-fi station at Jask, within the Persian Gulf, a distance of 6,249 nautical miles. It’s attention-grabbing to study that one of the best lengthy distance outcomes have been obtained within the Southern Hemisphere, attention-grabbing as a result of the very fact tends to reinforce the worth of Australasian installations, whether or not on land or on ships. If at this date it have been vital to stress the utilitarian worth of wi-fi telegraphy, the telegram revealed elsewhere from Vancouver could be all-sufficient for the aim. A Norwegian steamer of three thousand odd tons sure from Galveston to Hamburg caught hearth and have become a doomed ship. Fortunately, she was put in with wi-fi, which was resorted to to proclaim throughout the ocean her impending destiny. The information was intercepted by a British steamer, which, forthwith, proceeded to the rescue. By this implies the crew of the burning ship have been saved from a horrible demise. However these tales of the ocean — tales of rescue by the instrumentality of wi-fi — at the moment are turning into nearly common-places, and greater than warrant the just about common adoption of authorized provisions making the set up of wi-fi obligatory on all ships. Australia, for one cause and one other, has lagged within the race. This week, nevertheless, has seen the primary authorities station opened in Melbourne, and stations are approaching completion in different elements of the Commonwealth, together with Western Australia. When the works are accomplished at Applecross the arrival of mail boats from Colombo and elsewhere shall be suggested virtually to the minute, steamers shall be spoken from Port Adelaide to Broome, and any craft in misery, within the Indian or Southern Ocean, whether it is itself outfitted with wi-fi shall be enabled to safe assist from Fremantle, all the time offering, in fact, that it’s inside talking distance, and the exigencies of the state of affairs admit.[4]

As foreshadowed by Balsillie, preliminary work quickly commenced and the venture supervisor W. M. Sweeney arrived in Geraldton on the finish of September 1912 and shortly recognized the Residency website on Francis avenue as being essentially the most appropriate:

Wi-fi Stations. SITE SELECTED AT GERALDTON. The Federal authorities are at current engaged upon a scheme for setting up a sequence of wi-fi telegraphy stations all around the coast of the continent, the final word thought being to have one at virtually each port. In reference to the event and finishing up of this scheme, Mr. W. M. Sweeney, the erectional engineer for Western Australia, has been in Geraldton in the course of the previous few days inspecting websites for a station and he informs us that he has chosen the Residency website, as being essentially the most appropriate. The Geraldton station will hyperlink up with the stations which are to be constructed at Albany, Fremantle, Roebourne, and Wyndham these being the primary instalment for W.A., although it’s supposed in the end to have others at numerous factors on the coast, in order to make the chain full. The station at Geraldton shall be each a receiving and transmitting station, and shall be accessible for the reception of public messages. In the course of the day time it’ll have a radius of about 300 miles, while at night time, when the circumstances are way more beneficial, the space shall be elevated to about 1000 miles, and underneath these circumstances will probably be doable to get into communication with Adelaide. Mr. Sweeney additionally knowledgeable us that he’s continuing to Roebourne to repair up the location for a station there, and he hopes that by the point he returns will probably be doable to make a graduation with the work of erecting the station right here. In fact that can rely on whether or not the requisite materials may be obtained by that point, however it’s supposed to place the work in hand on the earliest doable second. The tower shall be about 150 toes excessive, and can represent a landmark for a lot of miles round. The price of erecting and equipping the station shall be roughly £2000. For the reason that time the Federal authorities determined upon encircling the continent with a sequence of wi-fi stations, nice progress has been made with the work, and nowadays there are 5 or 6 in course of development, and it’s supposed to push on with the scheme as quick as doable. In all probability two or three years will elapse earlier than the scheme is accomplished in Western Australia. The folks of Geraldton will welcome the intimation that our port is to be one of many first to be supplied with a station, and when as soon as the work of erection is commenced, it is not going to take lengthy to finish, a matter of about three months being all that’s required. Little doubt with the extension of those vital safeguards for the projection and help of transport, steps shall be taken to compel all ships, commencing with these carrying passengers, operating on the coast to have the wi-fi equipment fitted, for except that is completed, the usefulness of the wi-fi stations shall be to an ideal extent discounted. Wi-fi telegraphy should inside a short while be considered one of many first requirements of a ship’s gear, and it’s passable to notice that the Federal authorities are alive to the significance of doing their share to offer technique of communication between the shore and ships.[5]

Building of the station was continuing apace in the direction of the tip of December 1912 with a staff of eight carpenters setting up the 180 foot mast, 21 inches sq. comprised of Oregon planks metal bolted collectively:

Geraldton’s Wi-fi Station. WORK PROCEEDING APACE. The paddock on the rear of the Residency is a busy place nowadays as workman are engaged finishing up the work which is able to represent Geraldton as one of many hyperlinks of the chain of wi-fi stations, which is able to in the end encircle the coast of Australia. What the worth of such a line of communications shall be to the folks of Australia it it inconceivable to estimate. Wi-fi telegraphy has demonstrated its usefulness time after time, and is now considered an absolute and crucial necessity in reference to transport, and in the midst of time will probably be doable, when all of the wi-fi stations are constructed, and all of the vessels plying on the coast are fitted with equipment, to maintain in fixed contact with them, and acquaint them with doable and possible variations in climate circumstances. To Geraldton falls the excellence of getting the primary of the stations, which the Commonwealth authorities are erecting in Western Australia, for the station at Applecross was erected by a non-public firm earlier than being taken over. In fact the Geraldton station is not going to be as highly effective because the one at Applecross, however will probably be able to doing all that shall be required of it, and shall be, as acknowledged earlier than, one of many hyperlinks in a sequence of stations, from which information shall be handed on. Its efficient radius will range in keeping with circumstances. Within the day time will probably be in a position to obtain and transmit messages to a distance of about 250 miles, while within the night time time, when the wi-fi equipment all the time works higher, its radius shall be vastly elevated. However to revert to the work of development which is being carried out underneath the supervision of Mr. Sweeney the official, who chosen the location a number of weeks in the past, and who has additionally determined upon different websites additional up the coast. There are eight carpenters engaged, and at current they’re working upon the mast, which shall be about 180 toes excessive, and which would be the excellent characteristic of the station, and which shall be a outstanding landmark for miles round. This shall be 21 inches sq., and it’s constructed of planks bolted collectively. The core of the mast is first made, after which different planks are bolted on till the mast is made as much as the required measurement, 21 inches sq.. This may relaxation on a concrete basis eight toes deep, and the duty of hoisting this into its place shall be a really attention-grabbing spectacle, The load of the mast shall be someplace between 25 and 30 tons, and its gradual elevation to an upright place on the concrete basis shall be an object lesson of what may be completed by scientific strategies. The mast shall be saved in place by eight anchors, two on either side, these anchors, that are very weighty, being concreted in holes eight toes deep. On the highest of the mast would be the all essential equipment, referred to as the umbrella formed aerial, the 4 branches of which shall be fixed right down to the 4 corners of the sphere, and related with the receiving and transmitting home, during which shall be all the fragile equipment. The home is being erected by the P.W.D., and never till that is completed can the equipment be put in. This concluding a part of the work will occupy about three weeks, and Mr. Sweeney expects that the station shall be prepared to be used in about three months from the date of the graduation of the work. The station will value altogether about £2000, and it’s passable to know that every one the home equipment required are being manufactured within the Commonwealth.[6]

An extra interview with Sweeney was revealed within the Geraldton Categorical just a few days later which supplied additional element of the general development and format of the station. It famous that Sweeney was being assisted on website in wi-fi issues by Mr. Cox and that the mechanical elements of the development have been being oversighted by Mr. R. D. Munson of the Public Works Division:

The Geraldton Wi-fi Station. The work of erecting the buildings required for the Geraldton wi-fi station is continuing apace, and preparations are being made for elevating the mighty mast which is able to kind essentially the most conspicuous and distinctive characteristic of the brand new set up. The mast in contrast with which “The tallest pine, Hewn on Norwegian hills, to be the mast. Of some nice ammiral, wore however a wand,” is to be 180 toes in peak, and can consist of big oregon planks, 40 toes in size, bolted collectively on the “Staggering” precept, in order that no two joints within the skyscraper will come collectively. The mast will spring from a concrete base 8ft. sq. which shall be 8ft within the floor and 4ft above the bottom. The mast shall be stayed by a legion of wire guys radiating from the mast at intervals of 52ft. There shall be al-together twelve of those man ropes which is able to run from the mast into the bottom the place they are going to be connected to massive anchors sunk to a depth of 7ft. The mast shall be raised in the course of the subsequent two or three weeks and the efficiency shall be value watching. The mast, in fact, must be raised in a single piece. To lift a mast 180ft. in size and weighing 20 tons appears to be like like a troublesome piece of labor, however the officers in cost seem to don’t have any apprehension of something untoward occurring. By the way and as in some measure justifying the arrogance of the officers it could be talked about that the part elements of this colossal spire shall be bolted along with over three thousand bolts and screws. On the highest of the mast it could even be famous there shall be yards 20ft. in size supporting and being supported by an set up of aerial wires for the receipt and transmission of wi-fi messages. The buildings to be erected are neither massive nor pretentious, They encompass two small brick constructions, every containing three rooms. Considered one of these is the transmitting home, consisting of the motor room, the high-tension, or transmitting room, and the working room. The opposite, or energy home, com-prises a battery room, the engine room, and a room for using the operators. The primary characteristic of curiosity in these buildings is equipped by the transmitting room, from which radiates a large number of copper wires, which seem like streamers from an enormous could pole. There are seven miles of those wires that are all related with the mast, and which all run to earth the place they’re taken to water degree to kind the earth circuit. These homes at the moment are being constructed by the Public Works Division of this State, and as quickly as they’re completed the whole lot shall be in readiness for the set up of the equipment and plant. Just a few weeks will then see the completion of the work. That is the primary wi-fi station to be constructed departmentally in W.A. and the officers in cost absolutely anticipate that will probably be completed in report time. The work is continuing underneath the supervision of Mr Sweeney, Commonwealth Wi-fi Engineer for this State, Mr. Cox, who’s aiding Mr Sweeney, and Mr R D Munson, whose particular obligation it’s to see that the mast is effectively and actually raised.[7]

The primary mast was raised to the perpendicular on 18 January 1913. The exercise within the coronary heart of the city was a visible spectacle that was not equalled for a few years and plenty of townsfolk turned out to watch (as reported by the Geraldton Guardian):

Erected. MAST AT WIRELESS STATION HOISTED INTO POSITION. Geraldton has now one other landmark, and one significantly taller than its two lighthouses. At present this large 180 toes mast on the wi-fi station, within the paddock on the rear of the residency, was safely hoisted into place, and from now henceforth will probably be probably the most conspicuous options of the panorama for miles round. The fragile operation of getting the massive mast, which is 21 inches sq., and which weighs over 20 tons, was watched with the best curiosity by massive numbers of individuals all through the day, and although the primary thought that may most likely strike the informal observer was that a unprecedented very long time was being taken over the job, just a few moments consideration would make him realise that this was an occasion of the reality of the outdated saying “extra haste, much less pace,” and that on this case “gradual and certain” should be the maxim to watch. A quick description, divested of all technicalities, of the operation, the primary of its form in Western Australia, could also be of curiosity, and from this will probably be seen that Mr. Sweeney, the official in command of the endeavor had left nothing to probability, and had rigorously thought out each element, in order that there could be no hitch within the work. Initially a jury mast, in itself no small factor, for it was 75 toes excessive, was erected on Friday via a derrick, and this was bolted at proper angles to the foot of the primary mast, which was mendacity inclined. Then half a dozen wire ropes, every able to standing a pressure of seven tons, have been connected from the highest of the jury mast to the mainmast at distances of 30 toes, so that the pressure could be equally distributed. The hoisting was completed via a heavy winch and sort out positioned along side the sphere, the pulley, related with the highest of the jury mast, being connected to an anchor eight toes deep within the floor. To the uninitiated there gave the impression to be a multiplicity of ropes, however that was the place the wonder and the simplicity of the work got here in, and the whole lot was so organized that each portion of the sort out would carry out its appointed work. The ropes and tackles have been mounted by a sailor gang of eight males, underneath Foreman-rigger Munson, and for this sort of work there are not any males to method sailors, as there should be no chance of knots turning into unfastened, or sort out giving manner. They carried out their work totally. Altogether there have been 23 males engaged on the job. On Friday night the sort out was given a trial spin so to talk, and the whole lot was discovered to work satisfactorily. The precise work of hoisting was commenced at eight o’clock this morning, and although, if one watched the mast intently one may hardly distinguish any motion, but if consideration was taken from it for 1 / 4 of an hour after which directed to it once more, the progress made by the massive mast to its upright place might be famous. It was a case of a protracted pull and a gradual pull, and at eleven o’clock the mast has been raised to an angle of 45 levels. The primary carry was equal to a pressure of 90 tons, however because the mast progressively rose the load on the winch progressively decreased. When it reached a sure diploma the load of the jury mast got here into play, and finally was ample in itself. So as nevertheless, that the upward progress of the mast won’t be too fast, there have been six man ropes mounted on the again, and these have been utilised with a purpose to regular it and to forestall it going up with a jerk.The foot of the mast rests between two blocks of concrete, however these solely kind two sides of the strong cement block, during which the foot of the mast shall be embedded. In reference to this, particular precautions shall be taken to forestall the mast being attacked by white ants. The work was accomplished at Four p.m., and Mr. Sweeney and his males have been congratulated upon the entire success, which had attended, the operation. Deducting the lunch interval of 1½ hours, the mast was hoisted into place in precisely 6½ hours, and because the regular time for such a job is eight hours, they’ve established a report which little question different events engaged in related work in Australia will try to emulate. With the mast in place and firmly secured the opposite work shall be proceeded with, however the set up can’t be accomplished till the buildings being erected by the P.W.D. are completed.[8]

The report of the exercise by the Guardian Categorical emphasised the nautical flavour added by the eight man sailor gang doing the onerous lifting with a liberal unfold of maritime dialect because the work progressed: “Brace up the highest man”; Ay! Ay! Sir!; “Ho! Ho! Boy!”; “Make quick”; and at last the mast was “4 sq. to all of the winds that blow.”:

The Wi-fi Station. ERECTION OF THE MAST. The set up of wi-fi at Geraldton was superior a substantial stage on Saturday when the mighty mast, 180 toes in size and weighing 21 tons, was raised from the liable to the perpendicular. The mast has been mendacity already for elevating for a while however the jury mast and sort out wanted for the work didn’t arrive from Melbourne till the Minderoo introduced it alongside final week. Preparations have been without delay made for getting the jury mast and the remainder of the required gear into working order. This was accomplished on Friday, and on Saturday morning at Eight o’clock the work of lifting the mast into place started. There have been over a rating of males engaged on the job, essentially the most lively and indispensable of those being a sailor gang of eight males. When work started on Saturday morning a small crowd of curious onlookers noticed as essentially the most conspicuous characteristic of the gear an enormous jury mast bolted to the underside of the primary mast and standing erect. The jury mast was related with the primary mast by plenty of stout wire cables at intervals of 33 toes. From the jury mast there led backwards stout sort out related with a pully under the jury mast and continuing thence to a winch manned by six males simply contained in the fence at Francis Avenue. Man ropes prolonged to every aspect braced to forestall the mast swaying sideways. The entire thing was completely easy. Simply the fulcrum supplied by the jury mast and the needful association of ropes and blocks and pullies. Nothing might be easier. And but there could also be individuals who would fail to hold out the job so coolly and efficiently because it was carried out on Saturday by Mr. R. D. Munson. Mr. Munson did not undergo from any nervous pressure whereas the work was continuing. There was no indication that he was troubled by any apprehensions of failure. No considered the potential of the large mast breaking away from its shackles and crashing down on spectators or adjoining homes crossed his thoughts, although faint premonitions of the potential of such a factor little question quickened the heart beat of most of the onlookers. Mr. Munson simply smoked the pipe of excellent calm and went on methodically together with his work. There was no fuss, no pointless ordering about. “Brace up the highest man.” Ay! Ay! Sir! Then the sailor gang pulled for a couple of minutes on the man, every successive tug following the common repetition of the rhythmic injunction “Ho! Ho! Boy!” of the chief. Then the sharp rifle shot of an order “Make quick,” just a few dexterous twists, and the order was obeyed. The lads on the winch — there have been six of them at first — had no simple activity when the “bosun’s” whistle sounded the order to start the carry. The six males turned the handles slowly, the winch-bole started to wind within the rope, and the 180 toes stem started to rise. The lads turned the winch laborously, and inch after painful inch was gained and saved. After a couple of minutes turning the whistle sounded once more and the lads on the winch rested their muscle tissue whereas a brand new adjustment of the balancing guys was made. The work went on with stately deliberation hour after hour till at midday the mighty spar hung half manner between the horizontal and the vertical. The heaviest a part of the work was now over, for the load of the nice jury mast, hanging at an angle of 15 degr. was now serving to to attract the primary mast erect. So gradual was the carry that it was solely by seeing the lifting rope transferring via the blocks and pulleys that one was enabled to grasp that the mast was rising. The preliminary pressure on the winch was equal to a lifeless carry of 90 tons, however as the primary mast rose and the jury mast fell the pressure progressively lessened till nearing the tip the smaller spar was doing a lot of the lifting. As this went on the variety of the lads on the winch have been lowered from six to 4, and at last to 2 who had little extra to do than collect within the slowly coming slack. Resuming at two o’clock, after the noon interval, the work of lifting went on steadily, a thought extra shortly than earlier than, and at Four o’clock the mast solely wished a breadth and a half extra to achieve the vertical. Work latterly had been continuing with higher warning and each inch was jealously safeguarded. The man ropes on the rear have been now clinging determinedly to the mast, checking its ascent in order that there could be no sudden jolting or jerking on the ens. By this time baulks of timber had been constructed up underneath the jury mast in order that when the previous couple of toes remained to be received the downward tug of its nearly prostrate bulk sufficed to maintain the massive mast in place. Then the winch was as soon as extra started working and inch by inch the mast rose to the vertical. Anxious eyes have been watching in any respect factors to notice when the spar was precisely vertical, and the sort out was braced up all spherical in response to calls from this and that quarter. Lastly the phrase “proper” was given from all quarters, the final “Make quick” was known as and obeyed, and the massive mast stood upright, “4 sq. to all of the winds that blow.”[9]

The calls for on Sweeney’s time and assets didn’t abate however slightly elevated because the Authorities relented to native representations and prioritised the Wyndham station for completion additionally. Sweeney needed to juggle accessible workers and issues with availability of the required oregon timbers started to emerge:

Wyndham Wi-fi Station. In consequence of the representations made to the Federal authorities by the residents of Wyndham with regard to the need for establishing a wi-fi station there with as little delay as doable, it has been organized that as Mr. Sweeney, the official in command of the development work of the State, can’t get away from Geraldton at current, that Mr. Cox, who’s beginning the station at Esperance, shall be relieved by a person from Melbourne, so that he could proceed to Wyndham to pick out a website. Some issue is being skilled in acquiring the required timber for the development of the masts, however Mr. Sweeney hopes that the stations at Roebourne, Wyndham, and Broome shall be put in hand at no very distant date.[10]

By mid-February 1913 the mast and buildings have been full. Whereas the transmitting equipment was not operational, the receivers have been put in and reception was obtained from the Perth coastal station and two ships in Fremantle port:

Geraldton Wi-fi Station. Although the equipment for sending messages has not but been put in on the Geraldton wi-fi telegraph station, the receiving equipment is in wording order, and final night time messages have been acquired from Applecross, and the mail steamers Otranto and Morea, at Fremantle. Mr. Sweeney, the engineer-in-charge, leaves for Perth on Friday night time to seek the advice of together with his chief in regard to the Wyndham station.[11]

There had been little progress when two months later in mid-April 1913 it was suggested that the promised transmitter nonetheless had not been despatched from the Shaw Wi-fi Works and was nonetheless “present process testing” in Sydney:

A Voice from the Deep.— On Wednesday night time the Geraldton wi-fi station acquired messages from the White Star liner Suevic, then on her manner from Fremantle to South Africa. On the time the message was despatched the Suevic was 1100 miles distant from Geraldton. The station will not be but able to transmit messages, owing to the non-arrival of the engine from Sydney. A while in the past Mr. Sweeney acquired a telegram stating that the engine had really been despatched from Sydney. After ready for some weeks he despatched a telegram regarding the delay, and acquired phrase again that the engine was present process additional assessments. It’ll most likely be a month at the least earlier than the engine arrives. Reverting to the receipt of messages it’s presumably not typically recognized that Mr. Sweeney holds the world’s report for lengthy vary wi-fi interchange of messages. He established this report when wi-fi operator on the Mantua. Whereas at Aden, on one voyage he exchanged messages with Marseilles, a distance of two,800 miles. On one other event whereas the Mantua was exterior Port Phillip Heads Mr. Sweeney picked up a sign despatched from Jask, a station on the Persian Gulf 6,249 miles from the Mantua on the time the decision was heard. That is, nevertheless, solely a “freak” report and never a practicable working feat, in keeping with Mr. Sweeney.[12]

With little extra to do pending the arrival of the transmitting equipment, Sweeney returned to Perth on Four April 1913:

Mr. Sweeney, who has been in Geraldton for a while in command of the work continuing on the wi-fi station is leaving by to-night’s practice for Perth, he intends returning shortly to see the ultimate touches put to the station.[13]

On 10 Might 1913 it was reported that the transmitter had examined efficiently on website and official graduation was imminent:

The Wi-fi Station. In the course of the previous week Mr. Sweeney and his workers have been busy putting in the transmitting equipment on the Geraldton wi-fi station, and the capabilities of the equipment have been examined over the past day or so. It’s anticipated that the station shall be accessible for public use in the course of the subsequent few days.[14]

Two days after graduation of the station, it was working commercially, albeit with an underwhelming quantity of site visitors. Native A. H. du Boulay had the honour of lodging the primary business radiogram and was rewarded two hours later with a reply from the RMS Malwa. A rise in enterprise quantity was foreshadowed following enactment of the Navigation Act. It was famous that VIN appeared to have the ability to obtain ships south of VIP considerably higher than VIP itself:

Geraldton’s Wi-fi Station. BUSINESS COMMENCED. OPERATING AT LONG RANGE. To Geraldton has fallen the excellence of getting the primary wi-fi station really erected by the Commonwealth in West Australia, for although the station at Applecross has been in operation a while, it was erected by contract earlier than being taken over by the authorities. The tall towering mast in Gregory-street, the erection of which was watched with a lot curiosity just a few months in the past has lengthy been an object of curiosity, however it’s actually solely a relatively essential, although vital, a part of the entire scheme, and the opening of the station has been held up owing to the delay in getting the transmitting equipment, which solely arrived from the East about ten days in the past. Since then Mr. Sweeney, underneath whose superintendence the station has been erected, and his workers, have had a busy few days in assembling the equipment. All the things, nevertheless, labored out most easily, and by Friday they have been in a position to begin the testing work. This was attended by essentially the most passable outcomes, a superb tribute to the cautious method during which the operations had been carried out all through. In reality the whole lot was speedily in full working order, and by Monday the station was able to embark upon public enterprise. Maybe had this been typically recognized there would have been eager competitors for the honour of sending away the primary message. Because it was, nevertheless, Mr A. H. du Boulay who has most likely seen as many modifications in Geraldton, as anyone, secured the privilege of dispatching the primary radio telegram, and of availing himself of the help of this newest marvel of recent science, which has been harnessed to the service of mankind, and which has proved time after time of incalculable profit and help. Mr. du Boulay handed in a message on Tuesday, for transmission to the Malwa, the mail boat, which is on her strategy to Colombo, and which on the time was absolutely 2 hundred miles away. Communication was established, and in about two hours time a reply was acquired. With the item of acquiring some data with regard to the station, a consultant of this paper paid a go to to it yesterday morning, and was courteously acquired by Mr. Sweeney, and launched to Mr. J. Lamb, who has come from the Applecross station, to be the chief operator at Geraldton. The 2 buildings, that are the houses of the equipment, are most unpretentious wanting locations from the skin, and although internally there was no cash wasted in ornamental adornment, the informal customer is impressed by the exceedingly business-like look they current. The constructing on the right-hand aspect is the power-house, and right here is put in the 17½ horse energy Gardner engine, with an 11 Kilowat generator, which drives a 5 Kilowat [sic] rotary converter, from which is obtained the present vital for the wi-fi work. The chamber past the engine is the battery room. The constructing on the left-hand aspect is the one that can have essentially the most curiosity for the atypical particular person, whose data of electrical energy is of a neglible amount, for the primary room is the receiving and transmitting room, while within the two rooms past are totally different elements of {the electrical} equipment, which although exceedingly attention-grabbing to the skilled serve solely to astound and astonish the novice. Mr. Sweeney conveyed plenty of scientific and technical data to our consultant, however sadly his training in that route had been sadly uncared for, while the typical reader will favor to listen to one thing of a common character in regards to the station and its work, slightly than a prolonged and technical description. With that object in view our consultant questioned Mr. Sweeney and Mr. Lamb relating to the station typically, and so they quickly imparted considerable data of an attention-grabbing character, while the demonstrations he witnessed have been exceedingly fascinating. Requested what was the vary of the station, Mr. Sweeney mentioned within the day-time they might function as much as a radius of 250 miles or slightly extra, while within the night time time they might function over a a lot wider space, 800 miles being a daily distance, while if all of the circumstances have been favorable they could go so far as 2000 miles. In reality the opposite night time Mr. Lamb picked up a sign from the Java station. As if in affirmation of the assertion with regard to the day radius, Mr. Lamb at that second acquired the sign from a German boat, the Colmar, which had been in contact with the station the earlier night time about 130 miles south of Perth, and which was continuing in the direction of Colombo. Getting the vessel’s place it was ascertained that she was then about 45 miles or so west of Perth, and about 275 miles from Geraldton. Our consultant had the pleasure of listening to the sign, the receiving equipment, which the operator wears, being considerably much like that worn by phone operators. It was fairly distinct and it appeared great that there have been 275 miles of water between the sender and the receiver. Mr. Sweeney talked about an attention-grabbing proven fact that Geraldton appeared in a position to choose up messages from south of Perth simpler than the Applecross station, while it was simpler to get in contact with vessels coming from the Leeuwin than it was with Applecross. This is among the peculiarities of wi-fi, about which there are various theories, although it’s a longtime proven fact that the aerial waves journey higher over water than land. The station, it’s anticipated, will be capable to keep up a correspondence with the Colmar for 2 or three days extra, which is able to give alternatives for testing the radius. An indication of the great quantity {of electrical} vitality utilized in sending a wi-fi message was given, and our consultant was warned to take care that in his eagerness to see all that was to be seen he didn’t by accident contact any a part of the equipment. There was no want for that, however he inquired what would occur if he did, and was given the cheerful in-formation that if he did his days for taking notes would come to an premature finish. When the engine received up its full energy the buzzing was deafening, and after seeing the equipment spark, our consultant was extra satisfied than ever that it was no place for anybody however skilled electricians. Returning to his comfy seat within the working room, our consultant together with his thirst for data nonetheless unquenched, proceeded to ask additional questions. Initially he enquired what hours the station could be opened, and Mr. Sweeney replied from 7 a.m. till mid-night, to which Mr. Lamb added “Seven days per week.” Mr. Sweeney mentioned at current there have been 4 operators, however once they have been settled right down to the atypical routine, the workers would encompass three operators. “You aren’t going to open at night time?” “Oh, no,” mentioned Mr. Sweeney, “the Applecross station is ready to choose up messages virtually all alongside the coast, while as a lot of the ships solely carry one operator, they’re normally off obligation at night time, and so there may be not a lot doing.” “What’s the tariff for radio messages?” “Tenpence per phrase, along with the land expenses. That’s the cost for sending it from the submit workplace to the wi-fi station. Of the tenpence the ship station will get 1d. and we get 9d.” “Is there going to be any formal opening? “I do not assume so. I’ve had a telegram from Mr. Whysal, the Deputy-Postmaster-Normal, stating that he will be unable to return up.” And so you will get to work right away and take enterprise? “Sure. It’s no use losing time. Any enterprise that’s providing we are going to take. We would like the work to roll up.” Explaining how ships received into communication with each other, Mr. Sweeney mentioned each line of vessels had their very own name, which consisted of three letters. If the operator on any vessel knew the road to which the vessel, with which he wished to speak belonged, he despatched out the opposite vessels name letters thrice, signing it together with his personal thrice, but when he didn’t know to which line a vessel belonged, he despatched out the decision letters “C.Q.”, signing his personal, and any vessel inside vary selecting the decision up would reply. The misery sign was “S.O.S.” The Geraldton station may choose up the indicators from any system as long as they have been on the wave size for which they have been tuned. Our consultant noticed that up to now there didn’t seem like any rush of enterprise, and Mr. Sweeney mentioned that was so, however in fact when the New Navigation Act got here into pressure, and all of the passenger boats carried wi-fi installations, there could be extra enterprise to do, and undoubtedly sooner or later virtually all ships would undertake the wi-fi. Mr. Lamb mentioned generally operators have been requested how lengthy it took to ship a wi-fi message to ships at sea. Effectively, because the wi-fi was calculated to have the identical pace as mild, the issue didn’t take a lot calculation, the transmission, as soon as the communication was picked up, being instantaneous. The station is provided in each element for the work it has to perform, and after spending an attention-grabbing hour our consultant bade Mr. Sweeney and his workers good morning, and left profoundly impressed with the “wonders of wi-fi.” Ok[15]















  1. “WIRELESS SIGNALS.”. The Day by day Telegraph (New South Wales, Australia) (10193): p. 7. 26 January 1912. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article239054726. Retrieved 21 July 2018. 
  2. “THROUGH SPACE”. The Day by day Information (Western Australia) XXXI, (11,430): p. 3. 5 February 1912. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article76844975. Retrieved 21 July 2018. 
  3. “THE WONDERS OF WIRELESS.”. The West Australian (Western Australia) XXVIII, (8,065): p. 5. 6 February 1912. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23863691. Retrieved 22 July 2018. 
  4. “The Wonders of Wi-fi.”. Western Mail (Western Australia) XXVII, (1,363): p. 24. 10 February 1912. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article37414219. Retrieved 22 July 2018. 
  5. “Wi-fi Stations.”. Geraldton Guardian (Western Australia) VI, (868): p. 3. 1 October 1912. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66470131. Retrieved 11 June 2018. 
  6. “Geraldton’s Wi-fi Station.”. Geraldton Guardian (Western Australia) VII, (903): p. 4. 21 December 1912. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66664541. Retrieved 11 June 2018. 
  7. “The Geraldton Wi-fi Station.”. Geraldton Categorical (Western Australia) XXXV: p. 1. 23 December 1912. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article211376068. Retrieved 11 June 2018. 
  8. “Erected.”. Geraldton Guardian (Western Australia) VII, (915): p. 2. 18 January 1913. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66659050. Retrieved 12 June 2018. 
  9. “The Wi-fi Station”. Geraldton Categorical (Western Australia) XXXV: p. 3. 20 January 1913. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article211376143. Retrieved 12 June 2018. 
  10. “The Geraldton Guardian. For Nation, Religion, and Justice. SATURDAY, JANUARY 18, 1913.”. Geraldton Guardian (Western Australia) VII, (915): p. 2. 18 January 1913. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66659020. Retrieved 12 June 2018. 
  11. “No title”. Geraldton Guardian (Western Australia) VII, (928): p. 2. 18 February 1913. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66662113. Retrieved 12 June 2018. 
  12. “Native and Normal”. Geraldton Categorical (Western Australia) XXXV: p. 2. Four April 1913. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article211377818. Retrieved 12 June 2018. 
  13. “Private.”. Geraldton Categorical (Western Australia) XXXV: p. 3. Four April 1913. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article211377840. Retrieved 12 June 2018. 
  14. “The Geraldton Guardian. For Nation, Religion, and Justice. SATURDAY, MAY 10, 1913.”. Geraldton Guardian (Western Australia) VII, (959): p. 2. 10 Might 1913. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66662006. Retrieved 12 June 2018. 
  15. “Geraldton’s wi-fi Station.”. Geraldton Guardian (Western Australia) VII, (961): p. 3. 15 Might 1913. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article66658641. Retrieved 13 June 2018. 


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