The Cruft High Tension Electrical Laboratory was provided through the generosity of the late Miss Harriet. Otis Cruft of Boston, and is a memorial to her four brothers, who were all graduates of Harvard College in the years between 1831 and 1846. Instruction and research were begun in the laboratory upon its completion in January, 1915.
The general activity in the building is centered around the study of high-voltage and high-frequency electrical phenomena, particularly in the field of radio telegraphy and radio telephony. For these subjects the laboratory has a very valuable collection of apparatus, much of which has been developed at Harvard, and some of which is entirely unique.
A considerable body of advanced stu- dents of physics and engineering from Harvard and Technology are engaged, in the investigations. New systems of transmission and reception of wireless telegraphic and wireless telephonic signals are being developed. New and accurate measurements of fundamental high frequency constants have been undertaken. Some of the work of the past year is being put upon a commercial basis, so as to come into actual service.
In addition to the general body of students. Fulton Cutting '09, a graduate with the degree of Doctor of Science, has continued his work here as a visitor, and is assisted by Mr. B. Washington, also a resident visitor. Dr. Alexander Forbes '04, Instructor in Physiology in the Harvard Medical School, is engaged in research at the Cruft Laboratory in connection with problems having a common bearing on Physics and Physiology. Several students are engaged on researches for theses for the doctor's degree. The more elementary students are given opportunity for routine laboratory work in connection with electric oscillations and electric waves, and for practice in the design, construction, and operation of radio telegraphic apparatus.
Messages from a large area of the United States and from, Europe are constantly received and are recorded on a tape-registering machine by new devices developed at the laboratory. Aeroplane wireless equipment is receiving especial study, while a powerful Poulsen Are apparatus for transmission of signals to a great distance is under construction. A storage battery of 100,000 volts is also under construction. Although much work remains to be done in providing adequate equipment for the plant, the opportunities afforded for study and research are already unusual. Several papers dealing with the results of research are in press at the present time.
Once a month, meetings are held at the Laboratory of the Boston Section of the Radio Institute, which is an international body of Radio-Telegraphic Engineers. These meetings are well attended and have proved of much interest. The work done at the laboratory, although primarily devoted to an apparently narrow special field, in reality covers a considerable portion of the subject of electricity, and is valuable as a part of a general scientific education.
Upon graduation, students from the laboratory have business opportunities in several enterprises and particularly with the large corporations engaged in developing the land-line telephone, and the various wireless telegraph and wireless telephone systems