Reading Books on PopNovel APP

Radio Boys Cronies; Or, Bill Brown's Radio

Radio Boys Cronies; Or, Bill Brown's Radio

Author:S. F. Aaron and Wayne Whipple


"Come along, Bill; we'll have to get there, or we won't hear the first of it. Mr. Gray said it would begin promptly at three." "I'm doing my best, Gus. This crutch----"
Show All▼

  "Come along, Bill; we'll have to get there, or we won't hear the firstof it. Mr. Gray said it would begin promptly at three."

  "I'm doing my best, Gus. This crutch----"

  "I know. Climb aboard, old scout, and we'll go along faster." The firstspeaker, a lad of fifteen, large for his age, fair-haired, though asbrown as a berry and athletic in all his easy, deliberate yet energeticmovements, turned to the one he had called Bill, a boy of about his ownage, or a little older, but altogether opposite in appearance, for hewas undersized, dark-haired, black-eyed, and though a life-long cripplewith a twisted knee, as quick and nervous in action as the limitationsof his physical strength and his ever-present crutch permitted.

  In another moment, despite the protests of generous consideration forhis chum's strenuous offer, William Brown was heaved up on the broadback of Augustus Grier and the two cronies thus progressed quite rapidlyfor a full quarter of a mile through the residential section ofFairview. Not until the pair arrived at the entrance of one of theoutlying cottages did husky Gus cease to be the beast of burden, thoughhe was greatly tempted to turn into a charging war horse when one of agroup of urchins on a street corner shouted:

  "Look at the monkey on a mule!"

  Gus cared nothing for taunts and slurs against himself, but he deeplyresented any suggestion of insult aimed at his crippled friend. However,although Bill could not defend his reputation with his fists, a methodwhich most appealed to Gus, the lame boy had often proved that he had anative wit and a tongue that could give as good as was ever given him.

  "Here we are, Gus, and how can I ever get square with you?" Bill said,his crutch and loot thumping the steps as the boys gained the doorway.

  In answer to the bell, a sweet-faced lady opened the door, greeted theboys by name and ushered them into a book-lined study where alreadyseveral other boys and girls of about the same age were gathered abouttheir school teacher.

  Professor James B. Gray, although this was vacation time, was the sortof man who got real and continued pleasure out of instruction,especially concerning his hobbies. Thus his advanced classes, hererepresented, had come into much additional knowledge regarding themicroscope and the stereopticon and had also greatly enjoyed theProfessor's moving-picture apparatus devoted to serious subjects. Thelatest wonder, and one worthy of intense interest, was a newly installedradio receiver.

  "Come in, come in, David and Jonathan,--I mean William and Augustus!"greeted Professor Gray. "Find chairs, boys. I'm glad you've come. Now,then, exactly in nine minutes the lecture starts and it will interestyou. The announcement, as sent out yesterday, makes the subject the lifeand labors of the great scientist and inventor, Thomas Alva Edison, andit begins with his boyhood. Don't you think that a fitting subject uponan occasion where electricity is the chief factor? But before the timeis up, let me say a few words concerning our little boxed instrumenthere, out of which will come the words we hope to hear. Some of you, Ithink, have become pretty familiar with this subject, but for those whohave not given much attention to radio, I will briefly outline theprinciples upon which these sounds we shall hear are made possible.

  "It would seem that our earth and atmosphere," continued the Professor,"and all of the universe, probably, is surcharged with electrical energythat may be readily set in motion through the mechanical vibrations of asensitive diaphragm much as when one speaks into a telephone. Thismotion is transmitted in waves of varying intensity and frequency whichare sent into space by the mechanism of the broadcasting station, whichconsists of a sound conducting apparatus induced by strong electricalcurrents from generators or batteries and extensive aërial or antennaswires high in the air. Thus sound is converted into waves, and thereceiving station, as you see here, with its aërial on the roof, itsdetector, its 'phone and its tuner, gets these waves and turns themagain into sound. That is the outline of the thing, which you willunderstand better 'after' than 'before using.'

  "The technical construction of the radio receiving set is neitherdifficult nor expensive; it is described fully in several books on thesubject and I shall be glad to give any of you hints on the making andthe operation of a receiving set. The 'phone receivers and the crystaldetector will have to be purchased as well as some of the accessories,such as the copper wire, pulleys, battery, switches, binding posts, thebuzzer tester and so forth. With proper tools and much ingenuity some ofthese appliances may be home-made.

  "The making of the tuner, the wiring, the aërial and the assembling areall technicalities that may be mastered by a careful study of thesubject and the result will be a simple and inexpensive set having alimited range. With more highly perfected appliances, as a vacuum, oraudion tube, and an aërial elevated from sixty to over a hundred feet,you may receive radio energy thousands of miles away.

  "Now, this talk we are about to hear comes to us from the broadcastingstation WUK at Wilmerding, a distance of three hundred miles, and thisoutfit of mine is such as to get the words loudly and clearly enough tobe audible through a horn. The talks are in series; there have beenthree on modern poets, two on the history of great railroad systems andnow this will be the first of several on great inventors, beginning withEdison, in four parts. The next will be on Friday and I want you all tobe here. Time is up; there will be a preliminary-ah, there it is: acornet solo by Drake."