Early Ham Radio Stations

(Actual amateur radio stations circa 1910-1930)





W3XX Amateur / Experimental Station, Philadelphia, circa 1924








A wonderful vintage Amateur station of Joseph M. Hoffmann, W2DST. A Station Lost in Time.

Courtesy of
John Dilks, K2TQN








The 1912 M.H. Dodd Wireless Station as displayed in the Western Historic Radio Museum




This photo was taken in 1929 of Shelley Trotter's, W6BAM. station. The transmitter "rack" is a Colpitts circuit using a "211" tube running 50 watts. See more at the W6BAM Site, courtesy of N7RK.






W3KY's Mobile Vintage radio Museum.

An authentic 1933 ham radio station - From the left: A 1932 Hammarlund Comet Pro receiver, speaker, coil box and the QSL card of the first owner Dare Aucott, W3CRY, of Atlantic City, NJ. Right: a well-made homebrew 300 watt transmitter built by Joe Hoffman, W2DST of New York. Table and wall: the 1933 station log, license, lamp and chair of Earl Abbott, W2FTT, Manahawkin, NJ, and a collection of 1930's QSL cards from southern New Jersey hams.



Station at 8WY, Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania, c. 1920: Note tubular audions, loose coupler and Grebe receiver. Station assembled by Harry and Bruce Lord. See more of the station and its evolution at The Telegraph Office Gallery.



Another Fine Vintage Ham Radio Station by W2GEC





 In 1928, Tommy Letts of Longueueil, Quebec built and operated this transmitter. In the early 1930's, QST magazine featured an article on this transmitter with a photograph. There are two 866 tubes and one 810. Today, Tommy's old callsign, VE2BG, is used for one of the 2 meter repeaters in Montreal, Quebec.

Now located as part of the collection of Orn Arnason at the Knowlton, QC. Museum. Photo courtesy of W. Harold Rodd. VE1LV



Thanks to Albert Dupont - W5AFD and to Doug Hensley-W5JV who had shared the original station pictures with W5AFD.

This 1920's station - 5AFD was own by Theo (Ted) Denton Jr. (now N6AHY). The receiver was a simple regenerative detector and one audio stage with hand wound inductances. The tubes in the receiver were UV (or UX) 192 detector and 120 audio. The transmitter was a "Four Coil Meisner" using a RCA or Cunningham UV/UX 202. The transformer was an RCA UP1366 with a plate winding of 1100 volts, center tapped, and two filament windings of 7 1/2 volts. For more information on this station see W5AFD's web page on the 5AFD station.

Thanks to Mike Schultz's "Reverse Time Page" or the following series of vintage ham radio stations were made available to







This station belonged to 1FX, is believe to be dated about 1922. The receiver appears to be a Grebe CR-5 with a matching RORK two-stage amplifier. The horn speaker is a Magnavox R3, and the transmitter is obviously homebrew. Two phonographs are partially visible, which would indicate that the owner was playing records on the air.

For more information see Mike Schultz's "Reverse Time Page"




This was the station of 4BY as it appeared in 1923. At the left is a UV-204 transmitter. The receiver is at the far right consisting of a separate tuner (bottom unit) and detector/amplifier (top unit). Under the table at the left is an array of small storage batteries for both the plate anf filament supplies.

For more information see Mike Schultz's "Reverse Time Page"




An early 1920's amateur radio station of "3VO", owned by Pat Crow. Most of the equipment appears to be homebrew. The receiver is almost certainly a regenerative detector followed by three audio amplifier stages as needed to drive the Magnavox R-3 horn speaker. At the right is the transmitter, with hand-held carbon microphone. Under the table are several wet cell batteries, and chargers, as well as some discarded equipment. For more information see Mike Schultz's "Reverse Time Page"


This vintage ham Radio Station was contributed by Bill Hand - AAA9TE / AAR4DX where he describes his fathers 1923 radio set-up.

Here is a picture of 5AR cra 1923.  The station was a rotary SPARK GAP transmitter at first, then later  had a 10 watt DeForrest tube transmitter they made.  The older equipment was lost when their house burned in about 1925/26. They built another station and even put one in their mono-coop aircraft they did barnstorming in the late 1920's but there are no pictures of the radio in the A/C just of the aircraft itself.  They were able to contact England and did regular contacts with Banana Freighters in the Gulf of Mexico for Waterman Steamship Lines.  The station was located in Bay Minette Alabama about 30 miles from Mobile Alabama.  Their antenna, I understand, was 2 folded dipoles in two different orientations that had a ground plane under them that could be moved up or down as needed.  They also was known to use the Tin roof of the building as an antenna with success.  Neither of them used voice until after 1950.