While we discussed a possible recording of Titanic's SOS, I remembered
that I had "discovered" an old recording on the Tinfoil recordings
site and had exchanged email with the owner. The Tinfoil web page is
With the help of some of the R/O List members - chiefly Lake Trump -
R/O from WKR Nome, Alaska and AT&T telegrapher (wire Morse Code!), we
were able to decode the message.
Here is the recording: http://www.tinfoil.com/cm/200406/morse-code~.ram
Here is what it says:
. JOE JEFFRIES OWES JACK JOHNSON A GOOD DEAL OF MONEY. THAT IS HE
HAS MADE A FORTUNE THROUGH HIS RELATIONS WITH THE COLORED CHAMPION. IN
FACT THE CALIFORNIAN HAS CLEANED UP $62218.28 SINCE NOV 17 ALL BECAUSE
THE NEGRO FIGHTER INSISTED THAT THE RETIRED CHAMPION AGREE TO MEET HIM
IN A FISTIC CONTEST. 1 235 46789 342156.
American Morse was used on USA wireless telegraph stations until about
1920. During that time period, the USA Department of Commerce who
licensed Radio Operators, tested commercial operators in both both
codes. They used American Morse for USA ships, and Continental
(International) Morse for other countries ships.
Additional recordings are on this page: http://www.normanfield.com/morse.htm
I remember one recording had the OLD symbol for PERIOD which was sent
just as three groups of double dots - or like: I I I Three letter
" I " sent together.
I remember, Don de Neuf, WA1STO (SK) - former Press Wireless President
- mentioned to me that he had sent a message to a Japanese station and
used symbol for period.
The Japanese station copied this transmission of: "N.Y.C." as NIII
YIII CIII - which really confused the person in NYC who finally
received the telegram!
I believe the Charles Apgar, W2MN recording which is on our recordings
page has a station sending III for period.
During the 1980s there was a Press Wireless (PREWI) group that met on
14,115 kHz near where the SOWP net was held. Don de Neuf, WA1STO,
Dalt Bergstedt, W6AUH and a N5??? who sent with a keyboard - but who
was one of Press Wireless highest speed operators - met daily. I used
to enjoy speaking to them. I can't remember the N5??? - if anyone
does, let me know.