In 1907, two boys in Alameda, Calif., used homemade wireless sets to intercept messages sent from Navy ships to “boudoirs ashore”:
Miss Brown, Oakland — Can’t meet you to-night. No shore leave. Be good in the meantime.
Mrs. Blank, Alameda — Will see you sure to-morrow night. Didn’t like to take too many chances yesterday. We must be discreet.
[from an officer to a woman on Mare Island:] Honestly, could not show last night. Am arranging so I can see you oftener. Will take you to dinner Wednesday afternoon.
A married woman on Mare Island wrote to another woman’s husband, an officer, “All lovely. I’m sure you are mistaken. Call again. Your P.L.”
“Debutantes, it appears, use the wireless system of the navy to relieve their irksome task of correspondence, for there are many fond messages in the book from evidently ingenuous girls to midshipmen and other young officers,” reported the San Francisco Examiner. “At least a third of the messages belong to the class that can not be regarded in any light but confidential without inverting all accepted canons of discretion.”