Strays – Traffic, 200, and 20

Relaying in the DX Age In spring 1926, Fred Schnell resigned as ARRL communications manager after six years in the job, which included holding its former title, traffic manager.1 He was leaving to join the C. F. Burgess Laboratories in Madison, Wisconsin, well known for its batteries and other radio apparatus. Citing the “faithful, efficient and progressive manner” in which Schnell worked as a League official, the ARRL Board extended its appreciation and best wishes for his future endeavors. F. … Continue reading


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

High Latitudes and Low Wavelengths

Donald B. MacMillan, an experienced arctic explorer and geologist, visited Hartford in early 1923 to discuss amateur radio with Hiram Percy Maxim.1 Among his various scientific investigations, MacMillan was planning to study the aurora borealis.  No one yet understood what the aurora was, but he had experienced it on previous trips and noticed that he could hear long wave radio signals through it. On his next expedition, besides photographing the aurora, he wanted to experiment with shortwave radio signals to … Continue reading