Suiter Swantz IP takes a look back at past inventions and inventors with our Patent Of The Day.

On this day in 1903, Nikola Tesla was granted U.S. Patent No. 725,605 for a SYSTEM OF SIGNALING.

In certain systems for transmitting intelligible messages or governing the movements and operations of distant automata electrical impulses or disturbances produced by suitable apparatus are conveyed through the natural media to a distant receiving-circuit capable of responding to the impulses, and, thereby effecting the control of other appliances. Generally a special device highly sensitive is connected to the receiving-circuit, which in order to render it still more susceptible and to reduce the liability of its being affected by extraneous disturbances is carefully adjusted so as to be in tune with the transmitter. By a scientific design of the sending and receiving circuits and other apparatus and skillful adjustment of the same these objects maybe in a measure attained; but in long experience I have found that notwithstanding all constructive advantages and experimental resources this method is in many cases inadequate. Thus while I have succeeded in so operating selectively under certain favorable conditions more than one hundred receivers in most cases it is practicable to work successfully but a few, the number rapidly diminishing as, either owing to great distance or other causes, the energy available in the tuned circuits becomes smaller and the receivers necessarily more delicate. Evidently a circuit however well constructed and adjusted to respond exclusively to vibrations of one period is apt to be affect lower ones. When the oscillators are of a very high frequency, the number of the effective harmonics may be large, and the receiver consequently easily disturbed by extraneous influences to such an extent that when very shortwaves, such as these produced by Hertzian spark apparatus, are used little advantage in this respect is derived from tuning the circuits. It being an imperative requirement in most practical applications of such systems of signaling or intelligence transmission that the signals, or messages should be exclusive or private, it is highly desirable to do away, with the above limitations, especially in view of the fact, which I have observed, that the influence of powerful electrical disturbances upon sensitive receivers extends, even on land, to distances of many hundreds of miles, and consequently in accordance with theory still farther on sea. To overcome these drawbacks and to enable a great number of transmitting and receiving stations to be operated selectively and exclusively and without any danger of the signals or messages being disturbed, intercepted, or interfered with, in any way is the object of my present invention,

Broadly stated, this invention consists in the combination of means for generating and transmitting two or more kinds or classes of disturbances or impulses of distinctive character with respect to their effect upon a receiving-circuit and a distant receiver which comprises two or more circuits of different electrical character, or severally tuned, so as to be responsive to the different kinds or classes of impulses and which is dependent for operation upon the conjoint or resultant action of the two or more circuits or the several instrumentalities controlled or operated thereby. By employing, only two kinds of disturbances or series of impulses instead of one, as has heretofore been done to operate a receiver of this kind, I have found that safety against the disturbing influences of other sources isincreased to such an extent that I believe this number to be amply sufficient in most cases for rendering the exchange of signals or messages reliable and exclusive but in exceptional instances a greater number may be used and a degree of safety against mutual and extraneous interference attained, such as is comparable to that afforded by a combination-lock. The liability of a receiver being affected by disturbances emanating from other sources, as well as that of the signals, or messages being received by instruments for which they are not intended, may, however, be reduced not only by an increased number of the cooperative disturbances or series of impulses, but also by a judicious choice of the same and the order in which they are made to act upon the receiver.

Evidently there are a great many ways of generating impulses or disturbances of any wave length, wave form, number or order of succession, or of any special character such as will be capable of fulfilling the requirements above stated, and there are also many ways in which such impulses or disturbances may be made to cooperate and to cause the receiver to be actuated, and inasmuch as the skill and practical knowledge in these novel fields can only be acquired by long experience the degree of safety and perfection attained will necessarily depend upon the ability and resource of the expert who applies my invention; but in order to enable the same to be successfully practiced by any person possessed only of the more general knowledge and experience in these branches I shall describe the simplest plan of carrying it out which is at present known to me.

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