Edison Becomes Marconi's Ally





New York World

May 28, 1903, page 16


Joins Wireless Telegraph Company as One of its Technical Directors.




Old Electrical Inventor's Patents and Services Useful in the New Development.


Thomas A. Edison has joined forces with inventor Marconi in wireless telegraphy. This most significant alliance was announced formally yesterday. Mr. Edison has been taken into the Wireless Telegraph Company as a member of its Board of Technical Directors.


Marconi is the only other member of this board at present, but arrangements are being made to engage a third electrical expert--Prof. Michael I. Pupin, of Columbia University, inventor of the submarine telephone.


Dividing the managerial work which heretofore has fallen wholly upon Marconi, the three technical directors, according to the programme mapped out, will put wireless telegraphy on a commercial working basis in quick time.


"In a year the new system will be in perfect working order," was Mr. Edison's prediction last night to a World reporter at his Menlo Park home.


The arrangements upon which Edison and Marconi join forces were not made public in detail. They are known, however, in this general way:


Edison formally transfers to the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company several patents bearing upon the transmission of wireless messages, and gives his services to the company as a technical director. The consideration is a large block of the company's stock.


A Division of Labor


"It takes time to put a great invention of this sort into working shape," said Mr. Edison. "Our new arrangement insures rapid progress, for up to this time Marconi has had to be everywhere and to direct everything. You have seen him rushing back and forth across the Atlantic and popping up here and there and everywhere.

"Now I shall shoulder my share of the technical burden, and the chances are that Prof. Pupin also will be harnessed to the work."


When asked about the fate of the old cable companies when the Marconi

Company takes the field in earnest against them, Edison said:


"Don't you believe a word of any prophecy that foreshadows ruin for the cable companies. There is business in plenty for them and for wireless telegraphy. We brought out electric light, didn't we? Well, you didn't see a collapse of the gas companies, did you?


"But such a collapse was predicted," continued Mr. Edison. "Just as alarmists are now prophesying the ruination of the cable business. I am certain of a great future for wireless telegraphy, but I am equally certain that there will be enough business to go around."


Edison admitted that he was at work on certain inventions to be applied to the Marconi system. Of their nature he declined to talk.



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