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The Boys of the Wireless

By Frank V. Webster

“What’s that new-fangled thing on the blasted oak, Tom?”

“That, Ben, is a wireless.”

“Oh, you don’t say so!”

“Or, rather the start of one.”

“Say, you aren’t original or ambitious or anything like that, are you?”

The speaker, Ben Dixon, bestowed a look of admiration and interest on the chum he liked best of all in the world, Tom Barnes.

Tom was reckoned a genius in the little community in which he lived. He had the record of “always being up to something.” In the present instance he had been up a tree, it seemed. From “the new-fangled thing” Ben had discovered in passing the familiar landmark, the blasted oak, wires, and rods ran up to quite a height, showing that someone had done some climbing.

Ben became instantly absorbed in an inspection of the contrivance before him. He had some mechanical talent. His father had been an inventor in a small way, and anything in which Tom had a part always attracted him.

“Tell me about it. What’s that thing up there?” asked Ben, pointing directly at some metal rods attached to the broken-off top of the tree.

“Those are antennae.”

“Looks like an—twenty!” chuckled Ben over his joke. “There’s a whole network of them, isn’t there?”

“They run down to a relay, Ben, catching the electric waves striking the decoherer, which taps the coherer and disarranges a lot of brass filings by mechanical vibration. That’s the whole essence of the wireless—otherwise, it is no different from common telegraphy—a group of parts each for individual service in transmitting or receiving the electric waves.”

“Thank you!” observed Ben drily. “How delightfully plain that all is! You rattle those scientific terms off good and spry, though.”

“So will you, as soon as you do what I’ve been doing,” asserted Tom.

“And what’s that?”

“Getting a glance at the real wireless outfit Mr. Edson is operating down at Sandy Point.”

“I heard of that,” nodded Ben.

“He’s a fine man,” said Tom enthusiastically. “He’s taken all kinds of trouble to post me and explain things I wanted to know. This little sideshow of mine is just an experiment on a small scale. I don’t expect any grand results. It will work out the principle, though, and when I get to taking messages——”

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Frank V. Webster

Frank V. Webster was a pseudonym used by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. A total of 25 novels in The Webster Series For Boys were published by Cupples & Leon between 1909 and 1915. Titles were reprinted in 1938 by Saalfield Publishing.

Frank V. Webster’s name

Effort was made to present Webster as if he were a real person. A 1911 advertisement stated: “We have made a distinct find in Mr. Frank V. Webster, who is under contract to write exclusively for us.” Part of a 1921 newspaper advertisement read: “Mr. Webster’s style is much like that of the late lamented Horatio Alger, Jr., but his tales are all up-to-date. These are clean, clever boys’ stories.”

Actual authors

Many of the novels were written by Howard R. Garis. Other authors were George Rathbone, J. W. Lincoln, and Weldon J. Cobb.


1. Only a Farm Boy (1909)
2. Tom the Telephone Boy (1909)
3. The Boy from the Ranch (1909)
4. The Young Treasure Hunter (1909)
5. Bob the Castaway (1909)
6. The Young Firemen of Lakeville (1909)
7. The Newsboy Partners (1909)
8. The Boy Pilot of the Lakes (1909)
9. Two Boy Gold Miners (1909)
10. Jack the Runaway (1909)
11. Comrades of the Saddle (1910)
12. The Boys of Bellwood School (1910)
13. Bob Chester’s Grit (1911)
14. Airship Andy (1911)
15. The High School Rivals (1911)
16. Darry the Life Saver (1911)
17. Dick the Bank Boy (1911)
18. Ben Hardy’s Flying Machine (1911)
19. The Boys of the Wireless (1912)
20. Harry Watson’s High School Days (1912)
21. The Boy Scouts of Lennox (1915)
22. Tom Taylor at West Point (1915)
23. Cowboy Dave (1915)
24. Two Boys of the Battleship (1915)
25. Jack of the Pony Express (1915)

Frank V. Webster

Frank V. Webster