Early in 1897 there was a great flutter in the dove-cotes of telegraphy, and holders of the many millions of telegraph securities, and those interested in the allied industries, began to be alarmed for the safety of their property. Mysterious paragraphs about the New, Wireless, or Space Telegraphy, as it was variously called, kept appearing in the papers; anti the electrical profession itself - certainly some leading members of it - seemed disposed to accept implicitly the new marvels, without the grain of salt usual and proper on such occasions.
In a lecture 011 Submarine Telegraphy at the Imperial Institute (February 15, 1897), Professor Ayrton said: "I have told you about the past and about the present. What about the future? Well, there is no doubt the day will come, maybe when you and I are forgotten, when copper wires, gutta-percha coverings, and iron sheathings will be relegated to the Museum of Antiquities.