Tag Archives: QRZ

Lavina Shaw: History of a Canadian railway brass pounder

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Eric McFadden (WD8RIF) who shares the following post by James Wade (WB8SIW) from the QRZ.com forums:

The CBC recently interviewed Lavina Shaw, Past International President of the Morse Telegraph Club. In this biographical documentary, Lavina talks about her experiences working as a railroad and commercial telegrapher as well as her experiences as a woman working in a man’s world. Like many telegraphers of her era, Lavina had a front-row seat to history.

In addition to railroad and commercial operations (telegrams, cablegrams), the telegraph was widely used in a variety of applications such as stock brokerage operations, commodities and board of trade work, press operations, and so forth. Even the telephone company used Morse telegraphy extensively for its internal operations well into the post war era.

Radio amateurs in general, and CW operators in particular, will undoubtedly find this video interesting, not just for the human interest content, but for its insights into the antecedents of radiotelegraphy.

The Morse Telegraph Club is a non-profit historical and educational association dedicated to preserving the history and traditions of telegraphy and the telegraph industry. MTC members and chapters demonstrate telegraphy at historical events, design and construct historically correct museum exhibits and conduct presentations on the history of telegraphy. MTC also publishes an excellent quarterly journal entitled “Dots and Dashes, which includes articles on telegraph history and first-person accounts of telegraph industry employees.

Click here to view on YouTube.

For more information on MTC membership, please contact James Wades (WB8SIW).

Thanks, Eric, for sharing this fascinating piece about Lavina Shaw!

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QRZ visits the American Museum of Radio and Electricity

Fred Lloyd (AA7BQ), publisher of QRZ.com (a very popular ham radio call sign website) has written about a recent visit to the American Museum of Radio and Electricity:

Earlier this week we were treated to a tour of the American Museum of Radio and Electricity, a must-see landmark in the city of Bellingham, Washington. The AMRE is located in the central downtown district of the city and despite it’s rather plain looking exterior, inside is one of the most interesting and engaging museums of its kind anywhere.

[…]The museum includes more than 11 distinct period exhibits that commence with the very discovery of electricity itself, recreating the initial experiments of Ben Franklin, Ohm, Volta, Hertz, Tesla, and others. Here, you’ll find Leyden Jars, static electricity experiments, some of the first batteries ever made, the first electromagnet, the earliest electric motors, and other devices that were truly genius for their time. Sometimes, you just have to stop and wonder how these great pioneers, some more than 400 years ago, had the insight and inspiration to make the discoveries they did.

Read the full story here.

Also, check out the American Museum of Radio and Electricity website.  It’s packed full of information and will certainly give you a much needed dose of nostalgia.

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