A discussion about this Web site as a whole – its structure, operation, and content.

To comment about an individual chapter, please enter your comment at the end of that chapter’s page.


Discussion — 9 Comments

  1. William, or can I call you Will? I have been following your project for many months and find it very enlightening. Is there any was I can be notified when a new section is added? Please keep it coming.

    73, Brian, N7BMW

    • Brian,

      It’s Chris, actually. Thanks for the comment. You can subscribe using the RSS feed. Other than that, there’s no notification of a new posting, although I try to get them posted about twice a month. Maybe I should start issuing a notice on Twitter?

      Chris, W2PA

  2. Chris:

    Just discovered your blog. Spent several hours today reading what you’ve done so far and must commend you for your efforts. Keep up the good work!

    73 and thank you, Tim – N4UM

  3. Thanks for the comment – is it Bill, Will, or William? I had to look you up. This is, of course, an unofficial history so all sources will be valuable. In the early days there were very few. I have a copy of the 50-years book and you’re right – it’s a good one too.

    The articles will cover things I (and some co-editors) find interesting and will summarize what happened, without any judgement or taking sides on controversies (at least, that is my intent). As I pointed out in the introduction, this isn’t the place to debate anything and therefore debates will not happen.


    • Chris,

      William is my legal name, some friends call me Will, my grandmother called me Henry – you can call me anything but late to dinner 🙂

      There are some contentious issues you will have to address if you are going to write a real history. Besides the one I mentioned a couple of others are the 1919 attempted total military takeover of RF spectrum in the US, the damn near all out war over “Incentive Licensing” in the late 1950s, and the war between the AMers and the “donald ducks” or “sidewinders” (what the AMers called the SSB folks in those days), also in the late 50s, which in some aspects is still ongoing (listen up around 3880 kHz).

      Source material pre-WWII is going to be kinda sparse, but you might want to take a look at the Gernsback publications from the 1920s and 30s. More “general interest” in electronics than just ham radio but I think they’ll be useful to you. Some of it is available online and some of the older large city libraries have them available (The Cleveland Public Library & the Carniege Library in Pittsburgh, PA I know had them at one time – not sure if they still do or not).

      Have fun – you’re going to find this a VERY interesting journey.


      • Thanks for the pointers to additional material and stories, Bill. Yes – it should be fun. I’ve already been reading about the 1919 battles as well as all the lead-up to the 1926 rule making and beyond. Some amazing stories there. I don’t imagine I’ll be up to the 1950s for quite some time yet – there was so much going on in the early days.


  4. Chris, this is quite an ambitious project you’ve taken on. I’d recommend you take a look at “The First 50 Years”, a book the League published during their 50th Anniversary year. Good source book for ARRL history, though it has a LOT of pro-ARRL “spin”.

    As to language from the “old days” and now – personally I appreciate the blunt honesty and “non-PC” way things where said back in the old days. My attitude is “if I say something that is honest that offends you, that is YOUR problem, not mine”. One example I can think of is the use of the term “lid”. You hardly hear it used any more, but frankly there are a LOT more lids on the air than there where back in the 1960s or 70s.

    I’ll close with one thought – don’t give the ARRL a “free pass” when you write this history. The League has done a lot of good but also great harm at times to this hobby, and the “warts” need to be covered as well. I’ll give you a fore instance – delve into the background of why Herbert Hoover, Jr., W6ZH, resigned as the President of the ARRL. Also, for an alternative view of the League, peruse the pages of Wayne Green’s 73 Magazine.

    73 for now and have fun with the project.

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