A Canadian Rival Of Tesla And Marconi

Friday, January 25, 1901
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1 2 JANVARY 26. X901 ELECTRICAL WORLD Ann ENGINEER. VOL- XXXVII-. No, 4. A Canadian Rival of Tesla and Marconi. Prof. E. S. Wiggins, of Ottawa, Canada, has just published a dis- quisition upon the subject of Tesla’s experiments to establish tele- phonic communication with the planet Mars, in which the former makes a startling assertion in regard to Marconi’s discovery, and expresses strong disbelief concerning Tesla's claim of having me- chanical and electrical devices by which electrical energy can be forced through space. Prof. Wiggins, however, considered it quite possible for the earth to have electrical communication with Mars but deprecates the idea of forcing a current of electricity from the earth to Mars. Electricity, he claims, exists only on the surface of bodies. The surface of our own planet's atmosphere is covered hy a lake of electrical energy, and no little current, such as Tesla describes, could pass through it without being absorbed. “Communication with Mars can be established,” Prof. Wiggins proceeds, “by Marconi’s method, which I discovered and published in 1893, two years before Marconi began his experiments. That is, by elevated points on tl\e same body or planet or different planets. Remove all our mountains but the highest peak. Upon this place an electrical instrument and it will atfect a similar one on Mars, espe- cially if the sun, earth)and Mars are in conjunction. I am almost certain that, with a proper instrument on the summit of Mount St. Elias we could even now telegraph to the planet Mars. The nick in the edge of that planet, seen by Lowell and ]avelle, July 19, I894, was no doubt an enormous pinnacle, erected to communicate with the planets Jupiter and Saturn.” - Speaking upon the question of his claim that Marconi founded his system on the published theory of Prof. Wiggins, and the lat- ter's purpose to demand his right in the honor and emoluments accruing from the new discovery, the professor says: "Surely the philosopher, who by years of study evolves a theory, should be equally rewarded with the man who puts it' to the practical test, by having a legal right in all patents. If Marconi does not give me a share of the proceeds from his French patents, I will appeal to Her Majesty, through Sir Wilfrid Laurier and His Excellency, the Governor-General of Canada, as a British subject, and ask for equal right in his patents for the British domiriions. I will make the same representations to the President of the United States. My appeal to the latter _will be based on the fact that my essay for the Hodg- kin`s prize of $10,000 was submitted by the Smithsonian Institute at Washington to the French scientists for examination in ISQ4, and it was from this essay Marconi first learned that the earth’s electric energy collects in hills, mountains-in "fact, all elevations on her surface. Marconi immediately began to erect towers, and, placing instruments upon_ their summits, they answered each other. "But I am now even with him, for I have discovered that the tele- phone acts on the same wireless principle, and I will ask patents from Canada, Britain and even from France, and my telephone will thus supplant his telegraphy. Then, railway companies will take down their wires, for conversation can be conducted between stations, and even running trains; generals can talk with each other while the battle is raging by merely sticking their swords into the ground; ships will also speak with each other miles away, while we can con- verse, stretching our limbs upon the grassy lawn here, with the weary traveler trudging his icy way to the northern pole.” Prof, Wiggins further states that volcanoes, like Vesuvius and /Etna, owe their heat entirely to the electric energy that they collect from the adjacent seas, mountains and country. He predicts that before the close of the twentieth century, towers of great height will be built all over the continents and on the sea; and these, burning by the earth's electric energy, will give eternal light to the surface of our planet. With small towers with wire coils, the summits of the Rockies could now, at little expense, become a row 01 glowing torches from Cape Horn to the Arctic Circle.