A Handbook of Wireless Telegraphy; its Theory and Practice Notions générales sur la Telégraphie sans Fil


THERE is a story, probably apocryphal, of a learned professor who undertook to edit the writings of a colleague. At the end of the first paragraph he started to write a footnote, with which he proceeded until he had completed a treatise in several volumes of far superior value to the work he was supposed to be editing. Dr. Erskinje-Murray has adopted exactly the opposite system in writing his “Handbook of Wireless Telegraphy,” as the following rough summary of its contents will show. He apparently started out with the good intention of writing the book himself, and in the first few pages has succeeded in presenting from a somewhat original point of view the similarities and differences between the various known systems, of telegraphy. But on the ninth page appears the first sign of weakness in a half-page verbatim quotation from Sir Oliver Lodge; there is little harm in this, it is true, or in the quotation of equal length from Von Bezold three pages farther on. But it represents apparently the incubation stage of a disease which subsequently develops alarming severity. At p. 17 we find it establishing a firm hold in a five-page quotation from Hertz. Then for a time all goes smoothly, and we read a description of the earlier wireless telegraphy experiments from the author's own pen with feelings of relief. But on the sixty-second page there is a serious relapse in the form of a quotation twenty-eight and a half pages long from a paper on coherers published, by Dr. Eccles in the Electrician. At the end of this quotation we are told that the results may be summarised in a few words—the summary occupies sixteen lines. We would suggest that in the next edition of the handbook Dr. Erskine-Murray retains only the summary and gives the necessary reference to the original paper.

A Handbook of Wireless Telegraphy; its Theory and Practice.

By Dr. J. Erskine-Murrey. Pp. xvi +322. (London: Crosby Lockwood and Son, 1907.) Price 10s. 6d. net.

Notions générales sur la Telégraphie sans Fil.

By R. de Valbreuze. Pp. vi + 169. (Paris: L'Éclairage Électrique, 1907.)

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