NMSAT :: Networked Music & SoundArt Timeline

1913 __ The first ham prefixes
Comment : On April 23, 1913, pushed by the Radio Act that requested the identification of all users of the spectrum, the London International Radiotelegraphic Conference allocated to each nation a call sign made of a number and 2 or 3 letters. Luxembourg received the number 1, the United Kingdom 2, 5 and 6, Germany 4, France 8, Denmark 7 and the Netherlands 0. As there was really few amateurs in Luxembourg at that time, and that transatlantic wireless communications were not established yet, in the same time the U.S. Department of Commerce decided also to assign the number 1 to the US amateurs. For the USA the Bureau of Navigation was assigned the responsibility of licensing all radio stations, including the existing ones using a 2-letter call. However during some years the US Department of Commerce used for amateurs and land stations a schema different from ships and commercial stations. Each amateur received a call sign constitued of 1 number and 2 letters while broadcasters and ships were assigned a three letter call sign. This is so that in Europe and the U.S.A. we hear the first call signs on the air and that hams exchanged their new QSLs identifying the ham station, the working conditions and the QSO information. We soon heard 1HW, 1FX, 8AB, 8BNY, 1JW (LX) some spoke English other French or German. This semi-anonymity last until the late 1920s. (Thierry Lombry, “The History of Amateur Radio”)
Urls : http://www.astrosurf.com/luxorion/qsl-ham-history5.htm (last visited )

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