ARRL 100th Anniversary

ARRLnewsitemA hundred years ago, the New York Sun for June 14, 1914 reported on the beginnings of the ARRL.

The article announces that “H.P. Maxim, who invented a silencer, hopes he has invented a communicator.” It outlines Maxim’s plan, which is generally what the ARRL accomplished soon thereafter. “The scheme is to get all the amateur wireless operators of the country, and they exist by the hundreds of thousands, interested in transmitting messages from coast to coast.” Maxim is quoted that the proposal is to “select those stations which are able to transmit from fifty to 100 miles and which are kept in perfect running order. And then all stations in the league which we are forming, to be known as the American Radio Relay League, will at a predetermined hour ‘listen in.’ That hour will probably be 7:30 each evening.”

Maxim points out that the intention is “to make this thing strictly amateur. The messages are to be relayed by courtesy. There will be no fees for receiving, delivering or relaying the messages. No money transaction of any kind is to be considered in connection with the league.”

He also notes that the Government is likely to be cooperative, since the relay proposal ensures that it “will make it unnecessary for an amateur to have a high powered set,” thus reducing interference.

The War slowed things down a bit, but the first “Transcon” test was successfully carried out in January, 1921, with a successful transcontinental message and reply in “two hours flat.”


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