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1909 __ The First Amateur Radio Club in America
Comment : A Club That Dates from 1909 and Has Among Its Members Men Who Have Helped to Make Radio Broadcasting Possible.It was in 1909, when amateur radio was just beginning to be taken up by a few pioneer experimenters that the Radio Club of America came into existence. Under the name of the Junior Wireless Club of America, it was founded in New York City through the efforts of W. E. D. Stokes, Jr., Frank King, George J. Eltz, Jr. and others as the first association of amateur experimenters in the land. I n order that one may have a better appreciation of what the pioneering work of the Radio Club of America meant, it is well to sketch a true setting by way of contrast with the conditions of to-day. [...] Turn back to 1909, and you find a very few young men, here and there, fascinated by the newspaper accounts of wireless attempting to receive and send radio messages. Wireless, it was then called, although the founders of the club had the vision to choose the word "radio" for their club name. Little or no real information on the subject was available. With a scant description of Marconi's experiments as a basis, the amateur of that day started to construct his set. There were no journals to guide him. He constructed his set through ingenuity of his own, and as often as not the finished product would not work. Occasional articles on the commercial stations appeared in newspapers and magazines, and each new idea, gleaned from various sources, was added piecemeal to the experimenter's stock of knowledge. It should be borne in mind that there were no radio manufacturers to turn to for complete sets and units. All the apparatus had to be constructed by the amateur. The success of each experiment was passed along by word of mouth to other amateurs and eagerly picked up. [...] Things were once far from cheerful for experimenters. In 1910, the legislators at Washington, urged by certain radio factions, turned their axes towards amateur radio. For a while everything seemed quite gloomy; amateurs in general felt that the death knell of their hobby had been sounded. There was to be no more listening-in or " talking" via radio. There were many protests and discussions, but no concerted action was brought to bear against the proposed measure until the Radio Club of America by promptly applied efforts, prevented the passage of the Depew Bill. If it had been passed, it would have terminated the art, as far as amateur radio is concerned. Two years' respite followed, and then came the Alexander Wireless Bill, in 1912. This dangerous piece of proposed legislation was killed in committee by the quick work of the Club. Not long after the Armistice the bill was definitely buried by concerted action and immediate pressure brought to bear by the Radio Club of America through several members who had served with distinction in the Army and the Navy, and others who had helped in civilian capacities. T. Johnson, Jr., Lieut. Harry Sadenwater, U. S. N., Ensign Frank King, U. S. N., Ensign George Eltz, U. S. N., John Grinan, Ensign George Burghard, U.S. N., L. G. Pacent, Ensign T. J. Styles U. S. N., Capt. E. V. Amy, U. S. A. and others convinced the legislators that amateur radio was a constructive and necessary study. But we are ahead of our story. In 1913, two of the members, Frank King and George J. Eltz, Jr., installed one of the first radio telephone broadcasting stations in the United States, at 326 West loyth Street, New York. The apparatus was all home made, and naturally crude. Successful transmission was obtained, however, and phonograph records were played for the benefit of several battleships swinging at anchor a short distance away in the Hudson River. [...] “. (In“RADIO BROADCAST”, Vol. 2, NOVEMBER, 1922, to APRIL, 1923, Garden City, N. Y., DOUBLEDAY, PAGE & COMPANY, 1923, pp. 222-227)
Urls : http://www.archive.org/stream/radiobroadcast02gardrich/%23page/222/mode/2up (last visited )

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