The Sparks Journal is a fascinating source of information on maritime radio history. All issues from 1977 through 1986 are available in downloadable, searchable form online. Just click on this link, choose your country, and click on the Sparks Journal icon (same one as above) on the lower left.
For some years SoWP also published less frequent but larger publications. Variously called “Ports o’ Call” or “Yearbook” or “Sparks” or “Directory and Newsletter” these are well-written, historically rich sources of radio history. To find these, just click on the links below. We are making these available as they are scanned in, so check back often.
Ports o’ Call V1N1 – Before it was the Society of Wireless Pioneers, it was the American Society of Wireless Pioneers of the Seven Seas. Read their first publication, from May 1968, here.
Ports o’ Call 1968 – Member biographies, Society constitution, history of the San Francisco Radio Club, shipwrecks, much more.
Ports o’ Call Winter 1968 – Voices and music heard over the radiotelegraph (!), 60th anniversary of trans-Pacific communications at KPH, early Pacific wireless history by Richard Johnstone, and more.
Ports O’ Call 1976 – Marconi telegraph charts, the history of the Alexanderson alternator by Thorn Mayes, Australian wireless history, codes of the world, and much more.
SoWP 1971 Yearbook and Roster of Members – Includes articles by Henry Dickow, John E. Waters, etc. plus a directory of members by ham call sign.
SoWP 1972 Directory and Newsletter – Stories about early wireless in San Francisco (Dickow), NAA Arlington, wireless history by Ed Marriner, etc.
1973 SoWP Year Book – History of American Marconi (Mayes), Hugo Gernsback (Dickow), Tahiti (Lee), many, many member stories.
Sparks Vol 1 No 2, Spring 1974 – US wireless companies 1900-1920 (Mayes), KPH, Tropical Radio Telegraph Co., etc.
Sparks Vol 3, Nov 1974 – History of Federal (Mann), Father of Radio (Dickow), Titanic (Breniman), fiction (?) by Quimby, much history… Bart Lee’s commentary on Cyril Elwell of Federal can be found in at this link
Skippers Log 1982 – A short history of SoWP, short bios of members # 3808 – 4037 and TAs 149 – 176, chapter activity reports, and preparing for a nuclear disaster at Lawrence Livermore National Labs.
Yet another SoWP publication was a regular newsletter, the “World Wireless Beacon”. 59 issues, over 1000 pages of radio history in all:
WWB V1 1989 – Early Great Lakes Radio (#1 p. 7); women in maritime radio: Olive Roeckner’s column Buoys and Gulls (each issue); ship radio officers on their way out, only to be replaced by people who don’t know which end of a soldering pencil to grab (#2, p. 8); mysterious code signals in WW II: Japanese subs? (#3 p. 6); how Senator (and honorary SOWP member) Barry Goldwater got into radio (#4 p. 11); radio and radio operators in 3 disasters: the “Century Wave,” Hurricane Hugo, and the Loma Prieta earthquake (#4)