[AMRadio] Re: mid 30s ham radio

Todd, KA1KAQ ka1kaq at gmail.com
Tue Jun 10 09:04:38 EDT 2008

On Mon, Jun 9, 2008 at 5:50 PM, Ron Lawrence W4RON
<W4RON at carolina.rr.com> wrote:

> And I talked to several old time hams that were there and on the air
> in the 30s.
> Things I learned from all this;
> Very few hams had factory built gear unless they had serious
> money. This was during the depression and money was very tight.

Also, if you look at publications from the day (QST, RADIO/R9, etc),
you'll see that there wasn't a lot of commercial gear available
either. Like any technology, the early years = high prices for the
products w/limited availability to most. No doubt the depression
helped put the skids on amateur radio's progression from a commercial

Of course, the flip side is the skill and creativity required to
participate then resulted in some interesting and even spectacular HB
gear still found and enjoyed today. As a ham's knowledge and income
advanced, so did his gear. I suspect buying yourself the RME69 or HRO
then would be the equivalent of one of those $10K whiz-bang rigs
today: some could always afford it, most could not.

That Bartlesville transmitter story is fantastic. To be able to step
back in time - actually entering a time capsule of sorts - filled with
such interesting gear and left as it was then, well...anyone
interested in the history of radio would be envious but also thrilled
at the prospect.

~ Todd,  KA1KAQ

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