(Type * after callsign for locations that might include a number suffix)
The QSL card...
...sent to Washington for a penny.
Early one morning in January 1922, our club's amateur radio station (then known as 5XB) made a contact with station 7ZJ in Washington State. What made this contact so extreme was the mode that each station was using - spark gap transmission. This may have been a world record for spark! However, few paid any attention to it. A new mode, "CW" (today's Morse Code transmission standard), was capable of much longer range while using far less bandwidth. By 1926, spark transmission was prohibited for use by hams.
The images above are of the QSL card that chronicles this event. Below is the text from a letter from the operators of station 7ZJ.
Letter from the Mumford Brothers:
Dear Fellow Amateur:
The inclosed card records one of the truly great spark-to-spark QSO's of all time. It was the kind of DX that every operator of thundering KING SPARK used to dream about, but seldom, if ever, realized. The QSO took place 50 years ago between 7ZJ, Vancouver, Washington, and 5XB, College Station, Texas. Nearly 2000 miles overland, across the Rocky Mountains, into a rare call area (for each station), it may be a world's record between two amateur spark stations.
If you find it difficult to read the writing on the card, here are the remarks: VY GLAD TO GET TO WRK U OM, WILL BE ON ALL NITE NEXT SATURDAY NITE JAN. 28, AND WILL TRY TO GET YOU AGN AT 4 A M CENTRAL TIME. QRM VY BAD EARLIER THAN THIS. R.G. EARGLE "RG" (OPR ON WATCH LAST SAT. NITE)
Incidentally, the call, 7ZJ, was the result of incentive licensing! As 7CU in 1919, all three of us obtained Commercial Licenses, 2nd Grade or higher, in order to get the "Special Station" call of 7ZJ, and to operate it on wave lengths of 200 and 375 meters.
This letterhead is a replica of Members-Correspondence stationery honoring the great names of those who guided the A.R.R.L. in its early years.
We hope this glance into the past gives you as much pleasure as it does us in presenting it. We also hope to meet you on the air some fine day, either for the first time, or for another QSO among old friends. Just let us know what time and what part of the ham bands you want to try, and we'll be looking for you. We have a really beautiful QSL card, as many of you already know, for those who work all three of us.