Call and Card

CQ, usesd as a general call for initiating a contact, took time to become an acceptable practice in the early years. Serious operators frowned on its use, mostly because it had been used to excess in the old days among the “little boys with squeak boxes,” usually in exceedingly long and sparsely identified calls. In March 1921, QST announced an operating event called the “ARRL CQ Party,” to be run on April Fools Day.1 The writer (unnamed) asserted that CQ … Continue reading

What is an Amateur?

As the number of phone broadcasts exploded in late 1921, radio amateurs and the ARRL were ambivalent about it. On one hand, the great increase in the number of people owning receivers was a good thing—radio technology was being embraced by the general public. On the other hand, the shared airwaves were getting even more crowded. There were now thousands of broadcast stations operating, both commercial and amateur. Furthermore, a fuzzy line separated amateur from non-amateur that had nothing to … Continue reading