DeForest Diary 06Nov1906 – “Swindling,” “stock jobbing,” “shameless”, “a den of thieves”? Who described United Wireless in those terms? None other than Dr. Lee DeForest himself. See how was “betrayed” by Abraham White whom he had “held dear as a Brother” and read his early ode to the Audion in this short extract from the DeForest diary.
SOS Log SS Prinsendam – Thanks to Radio Officer Richard Singer, 662-M, you can read exciting, real-world SOS traffic from the passenger ship Prinsendam/PJTA, where a fire broke out in the engine room on October 4, 1980. Complete and uncensored.
US Navy RADAR Pamphlet – A simple and straightforward 6-page introduction to RADAR circa 1950. Thanks to Jacqui Bally for this donation from the estate of LCDR John W. Trott Sr of the Old Time Communicators.
Moore on Bliven – A noted man of letters called for an end to “the ceaseless flow of oral garbage into our homes which the radio at present provides.” Was that this year? The 1990s? D.H. Moore tells us in this extract from Vol. 1 of his Vintage Radio Identification Sketch Book.
Codes of the World – So you think you know Morse code? What about Japanese (Kata Kana)? Turkish? U.S. Navy code? Western Union multiplex code? Find out about these and many more along with an “Ode to Code” by the legendary Don de Neuf.
McNicol Extract – When Marconi sent his signal across the ocean, did transatlantic cable company employees fear for their jobs? Find out from their 1901 Christmas messages.
ROIF Section 8 – Emergency procedures for US Army Air Force radio operators are described including instructions for the Gibson Girl. Our thanks to Paul Wykowski, whose father, Tech Sgt Erwin Wykowski, was a B-17 radio operator and winner of the Distinguished Flying Cross.
VE Day Radiograms – Frank Shellenbarger, 2619-V, saved the radiograms announcing the end of the war in Europe as he travelled aboard the S/S Reverdy Johnson, a Liberty Ship at mid-Atlantic. What should they do if they spotted a German U-boat for example?
Gastner NBD Poem – Oldtime operator Hal Castner sets the history of NBD and its operators to verse in The Historic Key of NBD
MV Balsa 34 SOS Log from DR – In 1990, SoWP member D.J. Ring, Jr., 3709-M received an SOS from the MV Balsa 34. Read extracts from his radio log here (with edits from Bart Lee).
Archives and Library Report 2022 – Archivist Bart Lee updates us on the state of the CHRS library in Alameda, California, with special reference to new acquisitions and updates to this SoWP website.
SoWP Challenge Answers – Is that a mad scientist experimenting with human body parts during a thunderstorm? No, it’s wireless pioneer A. Frederick Collins!
RMS Yearbook – At the Radio Materiel School (RMS) at Bellevue, District of Columbia, the US Navy enrolled some of the best and the brightest and taught them radio. But what did they think of it all? View extracts from their yearbook made possible by a donation from Jacqui Bally that came from her grandfather, Lt CMDR John W Trott, Sr, historian of the Old Time Communicators.
Nautical Terms – Learn the old time nautical lingo here and find out if you’re a pisicapturist.
Anonymous Pearl Harbor Doc – Did FDR know in advance that the Japanese were going to attack Pearl Harbor and still just let it happen? What did SoWP member Dr. Stuart E. Davis, a personal friend of FDR, tell him about Japanese activities?
The Arc Engineers – Marlo Abernathy 1610-SGP warns you what not to do when cleaning an arc converter. In verse, with author anonymous.
Collins Stock Ad – An example of the kind of stock jobbing that gave early wireless companies a bad name.
Arthur Ericson – A radioman who barely escaped execution as a spy in Germany? What did Marconi confide with him about wireless? Find out.
Radiomen – What exactly is a radioman? This anonymous document explains.
New CHRS Spark Gear – Through the generosity of Craig Pitcher, the CHRS Museum in Alameda, California has acquired a variety of early spark equipment including some classic Halcun (George Haller and Elmer Cunningham) and Marconi items. Archivist Bart Lee has made it possible to see and read about it here.
Necrology – A listing of SoWP members who had completed “crossing the bar” and become Silent Keys by 1980, with memorial poems of the same names. From The Wireless Register.
General Orders for the Mess Line – Capt. Hedley Morris (USNR, Ret) 195-SGP preserved a humorous take on General Orders dating back to the Great War. See them here.
Wireless Operators Memorial – The Veteran Wireless Operators Memorial in Battery Park, New York, with list of names current as of 2002. A tribute to those who went down to the sea in ships at the telegraph key. Reprinted by kind permission of the Veteran Wireless Operators Association.
Armstrong Thanks – Edwin Howard Armstrong received his first education in radio as he watched Charles R. Underhill patiently drafting solenoid diagrams for one of his books. Armstrong later called him “the man who taught me radio” and sent him autographed, dedicated copies of his papers and patents. See them here.
The George Eccles Story – “A Long-Dead Wireless Operator, George E. Eccles, Gets a Headstone — A Century Later,” by Bart Lee, K6VK. Tells of the first wireless operator to go down with his ship–a hero who saved the lives of many others.
Sykes Obituary – Short biography of Norman Sykes, 332-P, the first Society member in the UK
Even As You and I– Poetry on a life at sea by Anonymous. From Michael Orofino, 1382-PA.
RCA Coastal Stations – Map showing locations of RCA stations and list showing call letters, frequencies, and hours of service. Undated.
Breniman 73 Card – A “73” (regards) card from Wm. Breniman featuring J. Donald Haig’s watercolor of the radio room of the SS Powhatan in 1915
PAA Clipper Radiogram – Want to send a cable from the air next time you’re on the Pan Am Clipper? Use this form
Beckerman COS – Original Certificate of Skill for Ben Beckerman, from 1911.
Twine a Wreath – Benjamin Beckerman’s ode to the radio operators who went down with their ships. First published in the Marconi Service News for January 19, 1917.
Beckerman Waterfront Pass – Needed to access the waterfront in 1918, when fear of sabotage was widespread
Beckerman Strike Certificate – Certificate of Honor from the (ultimately unsuccessful) Commercial Telegraphers’ Union of America strike from Aug – Nov, 1907
Beckerman Lifeboat Certificate – Who knew that one could be a government certified Lifeboat Man?
New Zealand Station List – Which stations could you hear in New Zealand in 1924, and what were their call signs? Find out here.
New Zealand Station List 2 – More stations audible in New Zealand, including some in California!
Kinsley Legal Doc – Part of a legal document by Carl Kinsley on licensing his wireless telegraph system to the US Army Signal Corps
Ray Green Pan Am Notes – SoWP member Ray Green helped set up the earliest Pan Am radio system in South Florida and Havana, but was soon upstaged by Hugo Leuteritz. Here are some highlights from the papers of this shoot-from-the-hip radio pioneer
Song of Wireless – Poetry about King Radio. Author name and original publication information lost.
DeForest Portrait Legend – Legend for the portrait of Dr. Lee DeForest, “The Father of Radio”, at 37, by Henry Dickow
DeForest Portrait Obverse – Back of the DeForest portrait, written by Dickow
McCarty Photo Caption – Legend for photo of Francis McCarty at his transmitter, probably written by Dickow
Eastern Radio Institute 1938 Cover – Cover of booklet advertising Eastern Radio Institute in Boston, alma mater of SoWP member G.W. Bartlett in 1935
HR Mallory FCC License – FCC ship radio license for the Henry R. Mallory, WHCF, issued 9 Jan 1939
Mackay Radio Calendar Jan 1947 – Showing locations of US Mackay Radio stations
Mackay Radiogram Envelope – Enclosed brass plates from Marconi P-8 spark transmitter aboard the HR Mallory
Marconi Stock Prospectus – Prospectus from the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, dated 1906-7