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Person Record

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Name Clark, Thomas E.
Othernames Tom Clark
Born 5/10/1869
Birthplace Tecumseh, Canada
Places of residence Came to Detroit in 1878.
Titles & honors Noted for development of the wireless.
Instrumental in founding of WWJ radio in 1920.
(Developed and built the WWJ transmitter)
Father Thomas Clark
Mother Mary Mero
Nationality Canadian
Notes See newspaper clippings in biographical file.
Occupation Founded Tecla Company in 1897.
Publications Source: BOOK OF DETROITERS; newspaper clippings in Burton's Reading Room File.
Spouse Agnes J. Laing
Children James E.
Norval F.

Associated Records

Image of 2012.046.067 - Advertisement

2012.046.067 - Advertisement

Advertisement and price list for the Thomas E. Clark Wireless Telegraph and Telephone Company. The recto contains a "facsimile of a message sent and received between two Clark Wireless Telegraph Stations, by Hon. W.C. Maybury, Mayor of Detroit," as per the caption comparing Thomas E. Clark to other important Michigan scientific figures--James Craig Watson the astronomer, Douglass Houghton and Newton Horace Winchell the geologists, Charles Vanderpoel who "first made practical the electric railroad," and Thomas Edison. He also states that Clark is "a compeer if not a greater than Marconi." "1901" has been handwritten beside the caption. The verso contains the terms of sale as well as a price l

Image of 2012.046.068 - Brochure

2012.046.068 - Brochure

Three panel brochure advertising the Tecla 50-A Two Stage Amplifier. The cover has "In Radio Since 1900," printed above the title, and the Tecla Company, Incorporated, Radio Products logo below. The interior of the pamphlet contains a picture of Thomas E. Clark, a brief description of his company, a description of the unit (priced at $75.00 with batteries and vacuum tubes or $60.00 without), and instructions which continue onto the verso. The verso also contains two testimonials one from Don C. Scranton and the other from Frank Elting, both dated October 1922.

Image of 2012.046.069 - Advertisement

2012.046.069 - Advertisement

Advertisement for the Clark Wireless Telegraph and Telephone Company, Incorporated. The advertisement consists of an illustration of a wireless station with two antennae and a small powerplant captioned as, "wireless station, Detroit, Michigan," beaming rays from the antennae back and forth between both an identical station on the opposite side of the image labeled as "Wireless Station, Buffalo, New York," and a ship in the body of water in the background. A city skyline and a tower on an island are also in the distance. In the center the words, "Wireless Communication to the World" are superimposed on a globe. "Manufacturers Clark Wireless Telegraph & Telephone System, Operating Regular

Image of 2012.046.070 - Handbill

2012.046.070 - Handbill

Article about the Thomas E. Clark Wireless Telegraph and Telephone Company's demonstration at the Michigan State Fair in Pontiac in September 1903. The setup consisted of a wireless transmitter which would sent Morse code messages to a receiver. The account is positive and the writer looks forward to further advances in this technology. A photo of one of the booths and towers is on the recto. The verso has circuit diagrams of both the transmitter and receiver. The right edge appears to have staple shaped tears suggesting this was removed from a magazine.

Image of 2012.046.071 - Brochure

2012.046.071 - Brochure

Large brochure advertising the Clark Wireless Telegraph System with an emphasis on the system's usage by the Detroit and Cleveland Navigation Company. A photo on the cover shows the Clark Wireless Telegraph operating room within the Detroit and Cleveland Navigation Company building in Cleveland. Within usage of the system on the Great Lakes as well as around the Pacific and Atlantic by the U.S. Navy is discussed. Several testimonial letters from managers and agents of the Detroit and Cleveland line are also printed inside. The back page again extols the benefits of the system, and is geared toward investors in the company's stock.

Image of 2012.046.073 - Letter

2012.046.073 - Letter

Two page typewritten letter from William Edmund Scripps of the Evening News Association to George W. Stark of the Detroit Historical Museum dated May 17, 1950 offering some of Thomas E. Clark's equipment which he gifted to the Detroit News to the Detroit Historical Museum. Scripps also recalls in detail a visit he paid to Clark's laboratory in the Banner Laundry Building around 1900 with his father James E. Scripps during which Clark demonstrated his wireless telegraph system by sending messages between his lab and another site at Griswold Street and State Street. He also discusses Clark's visit several days prior to the WWJ-TV station for his 81st birthday. The letter closes with Scripps'

Image of 2012.046.074 - Letter

2012.046.074 - Letter

Typewritten letter from Ernest G. Swift, the manager of Parke, Davis and Company's Canadian laboratory to Thomas E. Clark, of the Electrical Supply and Construction Company dated February 18, 1902. Within Swift tells Clark that due to the expense of running a telegraph cable between Parke, Davis and Company's Canada Branch and its United States Laboratory, he is curious about the cost and range of one of Clark's wireless telegraph systems as an alternative. The letter closes with the signature of Swift. It is printed on Parke, Davis and Company, Canada Branch, Walkerville, Ontario letterhead

Image of 2012.046.075 - Envelope

2012.046.075 - Envelope

Salmon-colored envelope for wireless messages sent and received by Thomas E. Clark's wireless telegraph system. The envelope has a form on the front with spaces for the addressee, the telegram number, and for charges. "Clark Wireless Telegraph-Telephone Co., Inc., Main Office: Detroit, Mich, U.S.A., Laboratory and Works: Northwest Corner Cass and State Streets." is printed along the bottom of the envelope.

Image of 2012.046.076 - Letter

2012.046.076 - Letter

Typewritten letter sent to Thomas E. Clark of the Electric Service and Appliance Company of 166 Randolph Street from T. Marshall, the general freight and passenger agent of the Lake Erie and Detroit River Railway on July 4, 1902. Marshall expresses that he was impressed with the demonstration of Clark's wireless telegraph during his recent visit to Clark's office. He is interested in testing the system with the Lake Erie and Detroit River Railway railroad car ferry SHENANGO. Marshall closes with his signature. The letter is printed on Lake Erie and Detroit River Railway, Traffic Department letterhead.

Image of 2012.046.077 - Letter

2012.046.077 - Letter

Typewritten letter sent to the Clark Electrical Engineering Company from H. Kent McCay, president of the McCay Engineering Company of Baltimore, Maryland on May 30, 1906. In the brief message McCay informs Clark that they will being sending the specifications for wireless telegraph sets for Fort Wood, New York "within a few days." McCay closes with his signature. The letter was printed on McCay Engineering Company letterhead. "Army Navy Paper," has been handwritten in pencil near the bottom left corner of the recto.

Image of 2012.046.078 - Letter

2012.046.078 - Letter

Typewritten letter sent to the Clark Electrical Engineering Company from Captain George Sabin Gibbs, of the Signal Corps on June 6, 1906. The message is in regard to order no. 5374 for "six sets of wireless telegraph instruments." Gibbs instructs that the sets should be shipped to the Signal Corps Storeroom in New York City. He adds that the army Quartermaster nearest to Detroit will follow up with specifications regarding shipping. Gibbs closes with his signature. The letter is printed on War Department, Office of the Chief Signal Officer letterhead.

Image of 2012.046.079 - Letter

2012.046.079 - Letter

Typewritten letter sent to the Clark Electrical Engineering Company from Captain George Sabin Gibbs, of the Signal Corps on June 26, 1906. The message is in regard to order no. 6614, and acknowledges receipt of letter concerning the impending ship of a set of Leyden jars. Gibbs instructs Clark to forward the information about the shipment to the local Quartermaster, and provides clarification concerning using a single shipper's receipt for multiple destinations. Gibbs closes with his signature. The letter is printed on War Department, Office of the Chief Signal Officer letterhead.

Image of 2012.046.080 - Letter

2012.046.080 - Letter

Typewritten letter from Ernest G. Swift, the manager of Parke, Davis and Company's Canadian laboratory to Thomas E. Clark, of the Electrical Supply and Construction Company at 166 Randolph Street, dated February 21, 1902. Within Swift thanks Clark for providing further information on his wireless telegraph systems, and says he will send one of his telegraph operators or electricians to witness a demonstration. Swift also says he awaits a price for equipping Parke, Davis and Company's Canadian and American laboratories with such a system. The letter closes with the signature of Swift. It is printed on Parke, Davis and Company, Canada Branch, Walkerville, Ontario letterhead.

Image of 2012.046.081 - Letter

2012.046.081 - Letter

Typewritten letter from D. McNicol, the manager of the telegraph office of the Soo Line of the Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Sault Sainte Marie Railway Company to Thomas E. Clark, dated April 11, 1902. In the letter, McNicol agrees the sentiment of Clark in a previous correspondence that mysterious wireless telegraph signals picked up by McNicol in Minneapolis were most likely were not sent by Clark in Detroit. McNicol says he will continue learning and experimenting with wireless telegraphy, and hopes to help monitor for signals from Clark when he uses his "big coil." The letter closes with McNicol's signature. It is printed on Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Sault Sainte Marie Railway Company lette

Image of 2012.046.082 - Letter

2012.046.082 - Letter

Typewritten letter from Foote, Pierson and Company of New York to Thomas E. Clark, the general manager of Electric Service and Appliance Company, dated May 10, 1902. It contains a brief message asking when Clark would be able to go to Washington. It is printed on Foote, Pierson and Company letterhead. An illegible signature or set of initials is just below the closing.

Image of 2012.046.083 - Telegram

2012.046.083 - Telegram

Postal Telegraph Cable Company telegram sent by Foote, Pierson and Company of New York to Thomas E. Clark at 9:51 a.m. on May 10, 1902 requesting his presence at a meeting of the Board on Wireless Telegraphy in Washington on Monday morning. The date originally read May 20, but was corrected by hand to read 10. The verso contains the Postal Telegraph Cable Company's terms and conditions.

Image of 2012.046.084 - Letter

2012.046.084 - Letter

Typewritten letter from Foote, Pierson and Company of New York to Thomas E. Clark, the general manager of Electric Service and Appliance Company, dated May 12, 1902. It contains a series of questions wireless telegraphy relayed from the unnamed president of an unnamed railroad. The questions concern the power source and size of the equipment, the risk of legal threats from a rival wireless company in Philadelphia, and when the equipment could be delivered. It is printed on Foote, Pierson and Company letterhead. An illegible signature or set of initials is just below the closing.

Image of 2012.046.085 - Letter

2012.046.085 - Letter

Letter and envelope from Allen R. Green of the Mutual Life Insurance Company of Canton, New York to the Thomas E. Clark Wireless Telegraph Co. of 71 Michigan Avenue, dated July 27, 1903. In a very brief message, Green requests a circular showing Clark's Wireless Telegraph Apparatus and containing price quotes. The envelope is printed with the address of T. Howard Lewis, the manager of the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York in Albany, New York.

Image of 2012.046.086 - Letter

2012.046.086 - Letter

Two page typewritten letter from E.J. Sinbeck, head of the Navy's L.D.W.T. Station in Key West, Florida to Thomas E. Clark dated December 18, 1906, regarding contact they made over wireless telegraphy. Sinbeck describes his antennae, suggests that each word be repeated two or three times to account for static and interference, recommends a government book called Lis of Wireless-Telegraph Stations of the World, lists other stations he communicates with, his success in talking to ships up to 200 miles out, and the hours he broadcasts. The letter closes with Sinbeck's signature. The first page is printed on U.S. Naval Station, Key West, Flordia letterhead.

Image of 2012.046.087 - Letter

2012.046.087 - Letter

Two page handwritten letter from F.D. Prinniger from the U.S. Navy Wireless Station in Brooklyn, New York, which reads as follows: Operator Clark Wireless Telegraph Co., Buffalo N.Y. Dear Sir:- While on watch last night, Oct. 16th -17th, I was listening to Chicago (Go) and Milwaukee (Mk) working together and was fishing for Manitowoc Wis. (MW) whom I know to be working and I heard the following calls--"CB," "CN," "CU," & "CR." I also heard one which I took for "CS," but which sounded considerably like "St." He was working with "CB." All of these calls came in way clear and easily readable, without strain except for very heavy static. Should judge the wave length as somewhere abo

Image of 2012.046.088 - Letter

2012.046.088 - Letter

Typewritten letter from C.A. McAllister, the engineer-in-chief of the Treasury Department's Division of Revenue-Cutter Service to the Clark Wireless Telegraph and Telephone Company at 193-195 Cass Avenue, dated May 27, 1912, concerning both Revenue-Cutter Service Constructor John Q, Walton's role as a delegate to the International Conference on Wireless Telegraphy, and a check for two sets of wireless equipment, which is in the mail. The letter closes with McAllister's signature. The letter is printed on Revenue-Cutter Service letterhead.

Image of 2012.046.089 - Letter

2012.046.089 - Letter

Two page typewritten letter from Walter E. Morrison, president of the Dow Portable Electric Assistant Company of Braintree, Massachusetts to the Electric Service and Appliance Company on 166 Randolph Street, dated November 27, 1901, written in reply to a previous letter from the company. Morrison responds that they do not generally carry three, four, or five inch Rhumkorff coils, however they can specially manufacture them given some further information about what voltage it will carry and whether they will be run by battery or generator. Morrison adds that they have enclosed a catalogue of automotive goods as well. Morrison closes with his signature. The first page is printed on Dow Portabl

Image of 2012.046.090 - Letter

2012.046.090 - Letter

Typewritten letter from Walter E. Morrison, president of the Dow Portable Electric Assistant Company of Braintree, Massachusetts to the Electric Service and Appliance Company on 166 Randolph Street, dated December 11, 1901, written in reply to a previous letter from the company. Morrison, or someone writing on his behalf states that "our Mr. Morrison" will be leaving on a trip on Friday, but he will call from his trip if possible. Additionally the letter says that there has been a delay in the manufacturing of the six inch park coils which the Electric Service and Appliance Company has ordered. Morrison's signature closes the letter. It is printed on Dow Portable Electric Assistant Company

Image of 2012.046.091 - Letter

2012.046.091 - Letter

Headquarters Department of the East, Office of the Chief Signal Officer order form letter, filled in with type from Captain G.C. Burnell to The Clark Electrical Engineering Company at 193 Cass Avenue, dated July 6, 1906 providing the proper addressing for an order placed for the company, as well as a note that the government bill of lading will be issued by the Department of the Quartermaster in New York City. Burnell closes with his signature.

Image of 2012.046.092 - Blueprint

2012.046.092 - Blueprint

Blueprint of a circuit diagram for a radio transmitter designed by Thomas E. Clark, and drawn by D.G.H. showing a transmitter consisting of a master oscillator, a buffer stage, and a modulated amplifier. The blueprint is dated November 6, 1931, and is numbered 1000-C.

Image of 2012.046.093 - Blueprint

2012.046.093 - Blueprint

Blueprints of a series of diagrams for a mechanical television system entitled, "Television Layout," comprised of three figures designed by Thomas E. Clark, and drawn by D.G.H. Figure 1 shows the studio set-up relying on a scanning disc to capture an image. The image is then sent through an amplifier to a radio transmitter to where it is picked up in figure 2. Figure 2 shows a radio receiver attached to an amplifier and a scanning disc-based monitor. Figure 3 shows another configuration where in a person uses both a transmitting disc and a receiving disc, along with a microphone and speaker to communicate. The blueprint is dated September 29, 1931, and is numbered 1000-S.

Image of 2012.046.094 - Blueprint

2012.046.094 - Blueprint

Blueprints of a series of six diagrams of a design for a vacuum tube. The tube's cathode, heater, plate, and screen grid are labeled in each figure. Figures 2, 4, and 5 include circuit diagrams. The blueprint is dated November 11, 1931, and is numbered 1000-P.V.

Image of 2012.046.095 - Map

2012.046.095 - Map

Map of the Great Lakes showing the locations of proposed telegraph stations using Thomas E. Clark's wireless technology. The sites include Detroit, Toledo, Port Huron, Bay City, Petoskey, Ludington, Muskegon, Grand Haven, St. Joseph, Chicago, Milwaukee, Manitowoc, Sault Sainte Marie, Copper Harbor, Duluth, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Toronto. The distances between many of the stations are marked in miles. A caption to the right of the map reads, "Only a partial equipment of this service on the Great Lakes including land stations and steamboat equipment will have estimated earnings of $375,000, with certain prospects for steady increase." A caption to the left reads, "It is planned to equip 22 la

Image of 1952.099.006 - Condenser, Variable

1952.099.006 - Condenser, Variable

Variable Condenser. Wood, glass, metal, and polished rubber top. Top features a gauge with an arrow and dial. The dial reads from left to right with hash marks, 150 - 0 in increments of five. A brass tag above the dial reads "Electrical Instruments MFD. by Thos. E. Clark, Detroit, Mich." Top also features handle and two electro-magnetic nodes along with a central shaft which states "Clark System Patent Pending." Body is made of a cylinder of glass which encases 15 moveable polished aluminum plates. As the plates revolved, they changed the size or capacity of the condenser. Nickel-plated rods hold the top and bottom together. Bottom consists of a graduated round wood base. Used

Image of 1952.099.007 - Condenser, Variable

1952.099.007 - Condenser, Variable

Variable Condenser. Top and bottom of condenser are hexagonal in shape and made of an early polymer plastic. Top features two nickel-plated handles and six rods that hold the condenser's top and bottom together. A central dial on the top reads "Clark System Pat's Pending." Below this central dial is a brass tag which reads "Electrical Instruments MFD. by Thos. E. Clark, Detroit, Mich." A gauge is included on top which is metered from left to right, 15 to 0, in increments of 10 with an indication arrow for the meter. On either side of the gauge at opposite ends are four electro-magnetic nodes. The four nodes lead in to the glass cylinder body which holds 14 aluminum plates. The base i