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Author Topic: 1909: "TELEGRAPHY USED BY BOY BURGLARS"  (Read 8744 times)
K0OD
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« on: October 03, 2011, 09:03:38 PM »


"Los Angeles, Cal., July 26 [1909]--When patrolmen arrested four boys whose ages range from 14 to 17 years in a deserted shack at the corner of Blades and Winter streets they did not know that they had unearthed anything more than a gang of youthful petty thieves, but yesterday it was discovered, the officers say, that this gang has been operating the most modern and up-to-date "burglar's club" ever found in the city, with wireless telegraphy as one of its principal features.
    Arthur Smith, 17 years of age, appeared to be the ruling spirit of the gang, and he also was the operator of the principal wireless station. Four other stations were operated, and members of the gang were kept informed of one another's movements by wireless, according to the police. It was discovered that there are seven members of the gang and that Smith was able to communicate with three members after his arrest at the shack and acquaint them with the presence of the officers and permit them to hide."

http://earlyradiohistory.us/1909bugl.htm

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KG4NEL
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2011, 09:52:02 PM »

Kids these days...

Oh, wait  Tongue
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K0OD
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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2011, 12:06:40 PM »

Several things about that bizarre story didn't ring true to me.

It's from the Atlanta Constitution but it's about an LA crime. 1909 was mighty early for kids to have radios and the earliest spark/coherer (perhaps crystal) units wouldn't have been HTs (LOL). What would they have used for antennas? For power? Could most of the gang have known Morse (undoubtedly Boy Scouts)? Few adults could afford even the most basic setup in those days.

But a few seconds on Google Maps reveals there is indeed a corner of Blades and Winter in LA.

Gotta wonder how those kids, perhaps the world's first radio miscreants, turned out.
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KC9HOZ
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2011, 06:07:06 AM »

I have to agree with Jeff, some things just don't sound right (though the article never says that their radios were mobile).

Quote
...Smith was able to communicate with three members after his arrest...

After his arrest?  Did the officers let him continue to transmit after he was in custody?!?   Huh
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KD0POP
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« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2011, 10:52:36 AM »

He could have been using cw on the walls, pipes, bars, etc. in the holding facility. There were four arrested and he communicated with three others.
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KB1TXK
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« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2011, 12:41:25 PM »

Arthur Smith has updated his status to "OMG RUN GUYS ITS THE COPPERS"

John Brown likes this
Burnett Ward likes this

Leslie Johnson has changed his status to "LOLWUT?"
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ONAIR
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2011, 03:28:35 PM »

   Reminds me of the kids who were using CB Walkie Talkies to create havoc in the '60s!  Now of course, they can cause a heck of a lot more trouble just using their cell phones! Smiley
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