The three letters – QSL – constitute one of the codes originally developed in the days of the telegraph. All codes consisted of three letters beginning with “Q”. Later some of these “Q” codes were adopted by radio-telegraphists and radio listeners. QSL means “contact confirmed” or “reception confirmed”.
The expression “QSL card” or just “QSL” gradually came to be used among radio-amateurs and then more broadly as radio began to develop as a mass medium. Radio stations were keen to know how well and how far away their programmes could be heard and began to send their listeners “QSL cards” in return for reception reports. The card would include letters making up the “call sign” of the station – the system still used in the United States – or the broadcasting company’s logo or some other illustration. The card would also include a text stating the frequency and the transmitter output power, and a confirmation of when the listener heard the station.
Domestic broadcasters do not tend to use QSL cards these days, but their popularity remains among radio stations broadcasting internationally. They are still keen to know how well they can be heard in the parts of the world to which they broadcast. In the era of shortwave broadcasts Radio Prague sent out QSL cards for reception reports received. After curtailing our shortwave transmissions as of February 1, 2011 we will continue issuing QSL cards for reception via the Internet.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Lennart Weirell, who writes:
I have received a QSL-card from Radio Mi Amigo with a special individual stamp. Radio Mi Amigo announced this in the Newsletter in December:
“Unique Radio Mi Amigo stamps:
We are proud to announce our own official Radio Mi Amigo stamps. They are legal for use to send out our QSL Cards (printed by the ‘Deutsche Post’). You can get one of these (there are only 200 available and will never printed again from us) together with the QSL Card.”
I enclose a copy of the QSL-card:
Click to enlarge.
Excellent, Lennart! Many thanks for sharing your Radio Mi Amigo QSL card–a keeper for sure!
Went through my books and found it, the Gurdus handwritten note to me. It appears to have been during a visit he made to Washington, likely in the period I was in college 1975-1979 but could have been later during the 80’s or 90’s.
It reads: “To Dan — In Memory of a joyful day in Washington. Michael Gurdus.”
Amazing! Thank you for sharing your memories, Dan.