Loomis Day

As there is always a woman or a man responsible for all that we take for granted, there is a man. We could not have predicted the long-term effects of his actions. Many things had to follow it to make what he wanted to happen. The invention of the “wireless telegraph” has changed the world in the fullness of history. It took an American dentist, in 1886, to get it all moving. Loomis Day is dedicated to Mahlon Loomis, an humble Washington, DC dentist who made something extraordinary and changed the world.

Like many things, Loomis Day’s history is the story of a man and an event and how it changed the world. Mahlon Loomis, a 1800’s dentist, had an idea that had no connection to teeth. He was well-versed in the electrical properties of the air and had an idea, similar to Tesla, to transmit electricity through the air. Perhaps his idea was a little off the mark. He proposed to “charge” a layer of atmosphere to create an electric conduit between two towers made of metal high up on mountaintops. ).

We find it interesting that most of Loomis’s theories about how the atmosphere works and how his apparatus works were wrong. Loomis was able transmit information successfully from one place to the next, but not for the reasons he claimed. Loomis believed that two kites flying at the same altitude would be capable of establishing a DC circuit through ionosphere to transmit information. He was delighted with the results.

However, the reason was totally wrong. Although we know his idea of creating an electric circuit through the DC wouldn‚Äôt work as he claimed, it was most likely that the kite wires that were used to transmit and/or receive information were the same size because they were both at the same height. The signal from the transmitting kite would therefore be at the right frequency to be received at the other end. It worked. But it wasn’t the way he expected.

Loomis Day can be celebrated by taking the time to reflect on the impact of this man’s discovery on the world we live in today. Television, Radio, and even Wi-Fi signals are all sent wirelessly through technology that was developed from a man on top of a mountain with a kite, some wire, and some string.


May 01 - 30 2025


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