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Wireless Communication in the United States
The Early Development of American Radio Operating Companies
by Thorn L. Mayes

Thorn Mayes book coverThorn L. Mayes was an electrical engineer who grew up in the time he wrote about. He knew wireless and many of the people who developed it. The book is a factual account of alternators, arcs and sparcs, and coherers, barretters and tikkers! It tells of great engineering achievements. It describes unscrupulous stock promotions that by chance yielded some technical breakthroughs.

This book covers the glory days of high powered wireless, three hundred thousand watt spark transmitters, one million watt arc transmitters, and the mighty Alexanderson alternators with antennas as long as nine miles–systems that gave dependable world wide radio communication over seventy years ago–as well as the business history of early radio.

The appendix includes fresh opinions from excerpts of unpublished letters of pioneers, and early drawings of well designed, quenched gap spark transmitters, which are far more than the blunderbuss static generators that they have been taken for.