several seconds before his predicament was noticed by Major Steel
who quickly kicked off the high power switch. By this time Routh
was shaking uncontrollably like a man with convulsions, breathing
with great difficulty and evidently in a bad way. We carried him
outdoors and resorted to artificial respiration for some time before
he recovered sufficiently to tell us what happened, or rather how
he came to touch the key with his left hand. We found the crown
of his head and two fingers of his left hand badly burned, and examination
and inspection of the set revealed that this danger of shock would
always be present until receiver and transmitter were segregated
- instead of a combined hook-up of one battery for all tube filaments
controlled by a "change-over" switching arrangement.
we finally opened for general public business on Oct. 20th 1923,
using army A, B and C message forms and a double word check procedure
- word check or count as per army method plus the commercial count,
present at the opening ceremony were Gold Commissioner (Governor
of Yukon) Geo. P. MacKenzie and his wife; Inspectors Telford and
Field of R.C.M.P.' Territorial Judge John Black' former Yukon M.P.
Dr. Alfred Thompson; Geo. Coffey, manager of Yukon Gold Co.; Warren
McFarland, manager of Northwest Gold Corpn.; G.B. Edwards, General
agent of local White Pass and Yukon transportation company, and
Art Devers of the Dawson news staff - plus R.C.S. personnel. Enthusiastic
messages of congratulations were exchanged with Mayo's delegation
of notables, and all concerned were highly pleased and delighted
before this opening date the last boat had left for rail-head at
Whitehorse. We don't recall if major Steel was aware of this or
not;' he was so immersed in the construction work that it is quite
likely he gave little thought to how or when he would leave for
outside. Result was, he had to go out over the long 400 miles overland
trail by horse drawn sleigh. He left us on Nov. 2nd 1923, and has
never been back to Dawson; and we never did learn how he enjoyed
his long and tedious experience.
first, the traffic between Dawson and Mayo was not exactly heavy
or demanding, especially after we became familiar with the hitherto
unknown intricacies of tariff rates, commercial accounting, etc.
But that first winter we did considerable testing and experimenting;
for months we had daily tests and calls with High River, Alberta,
about 1475 miles air line south of Dawson and - with our little
500 watt CW output, and our 4 "R: valve receiver - made numerous
and quite satisfactory contacts, although far from consistent from
day to day We learned even then, but didn't actually realize its
significance until much later, that low power low frequency was
too unreliable for long distance communication.
time and winter conditions clamped down cold and long we also learned
that atmospherical conditions varied considerably from day to day'
that what we believed was;'static" was mad mane local interference;'
that the Dawson Utilities distribution system of wiring was very
"hay wire", leaky and full of faulty connections and electrical
apparatus' that e were too far away from broadcasting