Beautifully engraved certificate from the Poulsen Wireless Corporation issued
in 1911. This historic document was printed by Lithographers, Britton & Rey and has an
ornate border around it. This item is hand signed by the Company's President( Beach Thompson ) and Secretary ( Howard P. Veeder ) and is
over 93 years old. The certificate was issued to and endorsed on the back by George A. Pope ( Maker of Bicycles and Automobiles ).
San Francisco was the site of one of the first major wireless stations in the United States with the founding of the "Poulsen Wireless Corporation of Arizona" in 1910 and, later, the Federal Telegraph Company. Though called an Arizona company, it was founded here in San Francisco and transmitted from a site on 48th Avenue between Noriega and Ortega streets, at the Ocean Beach.
Primary force behind the commercial development of Valdemar Poulsen's arc wireless transmission method was Cyril Frank Elwell (1884- 1963), who convinced the inventor to license his patents in the United States to him.
Elwell was employed by San Francisco Investors to investigate all the existing wireless systems and in 1909 he came to the conclusion that the most promising system was the Poulsen. After ascertaining that the rights were for sale, he went to Denmark and had the system demonstrated to him between Lyngby and Copenhagen. He made a contract with the owners to purchase the patent rights for America, and on returning to America he organized the Poulsen Wireless Telephone & Telegraph Co. with a capital of $5,000,000. This company in 1911 was merged into another company known as the Poulsen Wireless Corporation. It was a large company, and to avoid taxation in different states it was reorganized and operated under the name of the Federal Telegraph Company.
After successful operation of the Elwell stations, San Francisco capitalist Beach Thompson became interested in commercial application of the system for reliable wireless communication over land. He found Elwell's stations could provide service over practical distances, and, in 1910, the "Poulsen Wireless Company of Arizona" was formed, which held all stock of the Federal Telegraph Company. The holding company was organized in Arizona for tax purposes, but always operated from San Francisco.
Just after the company was formed, Elwell hired inventor Lee DeForest to develop practical receiver amplifiers for the Poulsen wireless system.
Founders of the companies were Beach Thompson, president; E.W. Hopkins, vice-president; Howard P. Veeder, secretary and treasurer; Cyril F. Elwell, chief engineer; John F. Deahl, J. Henry Meyer, Stanford engineering professor Charles D. Marx, Carl Philip, George A. Pope, and S.E. Slade members of the board.
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