On the evening of 27 November 1923, a mother in Connecticut sent Thanksgiving greetings to her son who was a great distance away, via radio.1 She paid nothing for this service since her message was handled entirely by amateur radio operators. Impressively, it arrived only six minutes after she dictated it to a local ham on the telephone, traveling more than 6,000 miles to reach its addressee. Since her son happened to be aboard a ship that was frozen motionless … Continue reading

The Fourth Time’s the Charm

After the initial thrill of being the first to hear transatlantic signals, Paul Godley’s next thought was of making contact, and a helpless frustration at not having equipment to transmit a reply.  And now, emboldened by the successful second set of transatlantic tests in December 1922, many amateurs were talking about the possibility of a first two-way contact across the ocean. In fact, in early 1923 US hams were already informally running two-way tests with Leon Deloy, French 8AB (one … Continue reading

Crossings IV—The Reply

It had been a one-way affair.  In the successful transatlantic tests of December 1921, North America transmitted and Europe listened, along with a lone transplanted North American. Now it was time to try it in both directions, though still not in complete QSOs. In October 1922 the ARRL announced that another round of transatlantic tests would be run in December, with preliminary trials from 25 October through 3 November.1 This time the test would include British, French and Dutch amateurs. … Continue reading