First Alternator for Online Radio News

Until 1904, Alexanderson’s engineering work was mainly aimed at different generator and motor designs. The real challenge came with Reginald Aubrey Fessenden’s order in 1904 to General Elec- tric for an AC generator for 100 kHz, with a requirement for an output power in the kilowatts. Fessenden was a native-born Canadian and had been employed by Thomas A. Edison and at the Westinghouse Company in Pittsburgh. In 1893 he became professor at Western University in Pittsburgh, where he experimented with “Hertzian waves.”

The Weather Bureau of the United States Agriculture Ministry employed him in 1900 in order to examine the possibilities of wireless to spread weather information. Fessenden thought that it should happen through direct speech transfer. In other words not by wireless Morse telegraph, according to the Marconi’s system, but by a continuous carrier wave, which the human voice would modulate via a microphone. He tested this in 1901, and at that time used a microphone from a telephone. The experiment was repeated in 1902 …