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Biografien / Biographies

02.09.16

1BAE ← 1DBE → W1BDN - Smith, May - USA

(ER) (1XE) 1CDP → W1MPP - Randall Thompson, Eunice - USA
Eunice dates her start in radio as 1917 when she worked for experimental station 1XE at Medford Hillside, Mass., her first Ham Ticket in 1921. Eunice's activities at 1XE were recounted in QST for July, 1921, and her amateur work in September of that year. Following this announcement of a first district YL, a letter appeared in December, 1921 QST from 5ZT claiming that the Houston Radio Club had four YLs and that he could name ten more who were operating in the fifth district.
Her call then was 1CDP and she operated from her home near New Bedford. Her actual station was remotely controlled, a line extending from her brother's mill a quarter mile away. "The noise from the quentched spark gap-wow!" is her comment. But she adds: "200 meters was so wonderful!" In 1929 Eunice went to work for the New England Power Company in Boston and stayed there until her retirement. In 1938 she went on the air as W1MPP from Watertown, Mass., later from her home at Lovell, Me. Over the years Eunice added many hobbies to that of Ham radio: she liked to paint, did needle point and petit point, collected buttons and coins, made jewelry and ceramic pieces. She also hooked rugs and learned Braille to do some transcribing to help where there was such a need.
(Source: CQ-YL, p 67, plus photo)
(Teaching code during WWII; WERS; New England Electrical System. Silent key 23. August 1982)
***Note: 1XE was NOT Eunice's call letter. It was the call letter forthe ham radio station (later a commercial radio station) operated by AMRAD, the radio manufacturing company she worked for in Medford Hillside, Massachusetts. 1XE went on the air on the campus of Tufts
College in 1915. By the summer of 1920 (some sources say the spring of 1921), 1XE had become greater Boston's first commercial radio station, and Eunice Randall was one of the station's announcers-- making her the first female radio announcer in Massachusetts. While working for AMRAD, she was a draftsman (she did technical drawings for the engineers; she
insisted on being called a "draftslady"). She also helped to assemble radio receivers, and she demonstrated ham radio equipment at various conferences and exhibitions.
Eunice's first call letter was ER, and then she became 1CDP in 1921; her later call was W1MPP (she jokingly called herself Madame Pickle Puss, after the MPP in her call letters). Early in her ham radio career, she was mentored by a pioneering amateur named Irving Vermilya (1ZE, laterW1-ZE), one of the first American hams to be licensed back in 1912. He became her life-long friend and for many years, they attended ham radioshows and served as unofficial ambassadors for the hobby, encouraging young people to become involved with amateur radio.
(Source: Donna Halper, E-Mail, 08/2016)

1DBE → 1BAE → W1BDN - Smith, May - USA
"The late May Smith of Manchester, N.H. first went on the air in 1920 with the call 1DBE. Her call was changed to 1BAE in 1923 and later to W1BDN. As far back as 1880 May was a part-time operator on a telegraph line in northern New York, having learned the code while in her teens. She was still active in her eighties. Her brother's call was W1HPM, now the call of the Manchester Radio Club."
(Source: CQ-YL, p 66)

1NV - Campbell, Margaret - USA → 1OG

1OG - Tarr Reed, Gertrude - USA
Was apparently licensed in 1916. And according to a Rockport Times (Rockport, Massachusetts) article, Gertrude became interested in radio in 1912 while looking through her brothers' science book during her high school years. She and her friend, Margaret Campbell, 1NV (also licensed 1916) decided to build their own radio. Their first attempt was unsuccessful, but the two tried a second radio, which picked up radio messages from a station in Welltfleet on Cape Cod. The two were located on Cape Ann, some 54 miles as the crow flies. 'The messages were sent in a dot (Morse) code, and the girls copied down everything they could. When the girls believed they could take messages fast enough, they decided to go for their radio licenses', stated the Times
(Source: QST, March 1994)

1RO → A1ZR → W1ZR - Rotch, Edith - USA
"Edith received a commmercial 1st grade license in 1917, and her amateur license in 1919 with the call 1RO. She belonged to the Greater Boston Spark Coil Club, had a rig on 200m, and an "umbrella" antenna on the roof. She became 1ZR in 1926. In the first World War Edith was a junior inspector in the Signal Corps during the days, and in the evenings was code instructor and examining officer at the U.R. Radio School in Boston. She once worked as a telegraph operator and held 35 WPM CPC. (Red Cross working during WWII. - In the early sixties) she was active as W1ZR and in MARS as A1ZR abd had been active in numerous other hobbies: dancing, skating, tennis, sailing, bowling and bridge."
(Source: CQ-YL, p66)
(1874-1969). Edith's full name was Edith Eliot Rotch. Born and raised in greater Boston, she got her first ham license around 1917, and by 1919, she was assigned the call letters 1RO. Her call letters were changed to 1ZR in 1924, and then W1ZR by 1928. She served as a radio inspector in the Signal Corps during the First World War; she later gave ham radio license examinations at the U.S. Radio School in Boston. After the Second World War, she worked with MARS (the Military Affiliate Radio System), training ham radio operators who could be available during a national emergency. Edith continued her involvement with amateur radio for decades-- she was still active well into her 80s. But Edith Rotch was more than just an ham radio operator. She graduated magna cum laude from Radcliffe College (sister college to Harvard, in Cambridge MA) in 1901, and in the period from 1902-1910, she became well-known in women's sports: she was a championship tennis player, winning national and local awards. In addition, she was also an award-winning ice skater. She died at the age of 95.
(Source: Donna Halper, E-Mail 08/2016)

1WX - Powell, Cecil - USA ← SNW
Born 1891, died 1948. She never married. She was employed by companies owned by Hiram Percy Maxim and Clarence D. Tuska, first as a secretary and later as secretary-treasurer and director of the firms.
Cecil Powell was the first woman licensed "wireless" operator in Connecticut, and in 1915, there were not very many other women doing what she did. In fact, according to an article in the Hartford Courant on 6 January 1915, 14 people took the exam to become licensed, and 13 were men. And not that there was any pressure on her, but present at that exam were Both H Hiram P. Maxim and Clarence D. Tuska. A second article about her in the Courant, 12 January 1915, notes that she passed the exam with flying colours, and has built her own receiving equipment at her home - with help from her boss Hiram P. Maxim, and it says that she has been receiving messages from "as far away as Key West" (Florida). The author of the newspaper article was a bit condescending in the coverage, noting that women had now "invaded another sphere of what was considered purely man's activity" and the author also seemed somewhat shocked that Miss Powell was actually good at it - he noted several times that she was attractive and feminine... evidently one could either be feminine or one could be intelligent but not both. But overall, the article was quite positive, and the author did seem impressed that Miss Powell had mastered amateur radio. - In the article, Cecil Powell thanked Mr Maxim for his encouragement, but noted that he did not build the equipment for her. He was kind of like her Elmer, giving her guidance, telling her some better ways to do certain things, but letting her learn by doing. And that is exactly what she did.
Miss Powell had been hired as Mr Maxim's secretary (few jobs in business were available to women back then, so getting a job as a great man's secretary was considered a very big deal for a woman), and by her own admission, she knew little about ham radio when she got there. But she became fascinated by what The Old Man was doing, and watching him, she started asking him questions. To his credit, he took her very seriously - a side of him seldom discussed. He allowed her to further her education in amateur radio, and then encouraged her to become a licensed ham. She did not disappoint him. She was active in the ARRL, and began> holding classes for other women interested in ham radio, using herself as a role model, sort of: If I can do it, you can do it. She made an impact on quite a few women in Hartford. By 1917, she was holding those classes at Maxim's house, and Mrs Maxim became one of Cecil Powell's students! An article on 4 June 1917 in the Courant noted that an entire class of Miss Powell's was ready to go to Boston and take the exam, and her timing was excellent. The first world war had broken out and the US was desperate for trained wireless operators. Many women got training to do this work, thereby freeing men to fight, while the women handled the communication for the Signal Corps and elsewhere.
Over the years, Cecil Powell continued to be interested in ham radio. She also moved up in business. From secretarial work, she progressed to being an officer and member of the board of directors at the Maxim Silencer Company, and when she retired in 1946, she was secretary-treasurer of the company. When she died in mid May 1948, the Courant referred to her as a "woman radio expert". And yet, like Eunice Randall, she is totally forgotten today, even though she encouraged and mentored many young women to get into ham radio.
(Source: Donna Halper)
Ex SNW, ex 1WX (Source: QST, 1948)

One hundred years ago this month, the May 1915 issue of Wireless Age carried this photo of the station of Miss Cecil Powell, 1WX, of Hartford, Connecticut. She owned and operated this 1/4 kW station, and the article notes that she had passed the First Grade Amateur License and was working on the First Grade Commercial License. She was said to be the “only girl wireless operator in Connecticut.”
The accompanying article is written by Miss Powell, who explains that she was a stenographer employed by an inventor, but doesn’t name the inventor. The inventor, it turned out, was Hiram Percy Maxim. She notes that her employer had a station, and that she enjoyed listening to his discussions of the radio art. Maxim and a friend asked if she would like to be the owner of her own station, and she answered in the affirmative. She describes the station and antennas.
Miss Powell, with the encouragement of Maxim and his wife, conducted classes for other women interested in wireless, and every one of her students went on to pass the license exam.
Over the years, Miss Powell served as an officer of some of Maxim’s companies, such as the Maxim Silencer Company. I didn’t find any references to her in QST, other than as the notary in one of the statements of circulation.
(Source:Onetuberadio, May 2015 linkext. Link )

3AEC → W3HVO → W2QCC - Raser, Pauline Ann - USA
Pauline, of Trenton, N.J. says she was introduced to the wonders of wireless by her future OM in 1918. He was in Naval Service as a radio operator. Polly learned the code unbeknown to him and one day tried to send code via the hand-squeeze system - holding hands! - a big surprise to him. It brought its rewards: by 1920 Polly was operating her OM's spark coil rig using his call 3CS and later 3ZI (now W3ZI). Polly received her first call, 3AEC, in 1923; then W3HVO in 1930, which was changed to W2QCC, when South Jersey became part of the 2nd district. ... Polly was no longer active on the air (in the early sixties) but active in club work. She served two terms as president of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Delaware Valley Radio Association, and as vice president.
(Source: CQ-YL, p 66, plus 2 photos)
In WWII she volunteered with the WHVO Red Cross, helping make life rafts for the Navy.
(Source: Unknown)
WLNE was his OM's Army-Army Radio System call sign

3CDQ - Zandonini, Elizabeth - USA
*03 December, 1998 - †16 May, 1989 - Of Washington, D.C. First went on the air in 1922 and kep her call ever since. Her interest started much earlier, however, and she obtained a commercial ticket in 1917 while still in high school. Liz says she and Adaire Garmhausen, 3BCK, where the only YLs in that area for quite some time. Later she taught radio in Army hospitals in Camme Meade and Fort McHenry for rehabilitation work, as a member of the Woman's Radio Corps. In 1921 Liz became a radio aide at the National Bureau of Standards and in 1953 she celebrated her 33rd anniversary with the CRPL division before it was moved to Colorado. Since then she was in the Radioactivity Section of NBS. Liz was president of YLRL. During WW II she was appointed YLRL's war Liaison Officer in 1942 and very active in WIRES (=Women in Radio and Electrical Service - a plea in the 'USA Calling' Department of QST, for March, 1943). She spent all her time on CW."( Silent Key 1990)
(Source: CQ-YL, p 67/68, plus photo, also photo on p 29)
Her caption in findagrave.com: linkext. Link
A Life long DC resident, “Emzie” to those who knew her, technical writer, linguist, instructor. An “OW” (Old Woman) from the pioneer days when she was first licensed in 1922 as (3CDQ) Her interest started much earlier and she obtained a commercial ticket in 1917 while still in high school. Her many talents included being fluent in Italian, Spanish, French and German was (part of her occupation in 1921 at (Radio Section U.S. Bureau of Standards) doing scientific translations, maintained their museum and toured visiting scientists. In 1953 she celebrated her 33rd anniversary. Liz became involved in wireless radio around the time span of the first World War. Joining the Public Health Service, she taught radio communication to disabled soldiers in Army Hospitals, Camp Meade and Fort McHenry helping them acquire new skills. Her willingness to teach about radio operations was something she displayed for her entire life. Liz was more than a teacher, she was an accomplished builder and designer of equipment at a time when women were not expected to know about engineering in a mens world. Liz was eager to learn as much as she could about electronics and was fascinated how circuits worked. She especially enjoyed working CW and years after most hams had moved exclusively to phone, she stated in her application for membership in OOTC “I operate only on CW and in the 40 Meter amateur band.” My heavens, that’s my kind of thinking “ZUT forever.”
When Liz applied for Fraternal Group OOTC membership in 1965, it was another YL who was Secretary Treasurer of the OOTC, Eunice Randall proving what a small world it was. Ms Emzie received membership number 700L - also an early IRE (IEEE) member/technical writer and active member of the Washington Radio Club and proud to be past president YLRL of the ARRL.
(Source: linkext. Link )

The pleasing experience of having sent a personal Radio message to her father in Washington, D. C., within two hours after her arrival in Paris, France, has just been reported by Miss Elisabeth M. Zandonini, of the Radio laboratory of the Bureau of Standards, upon the return to America. Going to Europe for a two months` tour-mixing pleasure with study-this N.R.I. graduate and member of the American Relay League, upon reaching Paris, first visited the French amateur station 8HE. Taking the Radio telegraph key in hand she was soon in direct communication with 1BYV, an amateur station of Farmington, Conn. operator, who dispatched the message by telegraph to Miss Zandonini´s father in Washington.
Miss Zandonini, who owns and operates an amateur transmitting and receiving station at her home in Washington, while abroad visited amateur stations in France and Italy, Her itinerary included the following cities: Bologna, Florence, Milan, Rome and Lago d`Iseo. At the latter point she made use of the Radio facilities of the Italian amateur station EI1CN, and “worked” a couple of French stations and was in direct communication with two amateur stations in New York State. On returning to Paris, the amateur station which she visited, by mere coincidence, was host to “hams” representing five nationalities-French, Russian, American, Italian and Czechoslovakian.
Miss Zandonini, who as a member of the laboratory staff at the Bureau of Standards, is a student of Radio conditions at home and abroad, seized the opportunity afforded by her two month`s sojourn in France and Italy to observe the trends of Radio in these European countries. For instance, she noted relatively fewer amateurs and broadcast listeners compared with the increasing numbers in the United States. Fortunately, however , American-made broadcast receivers are finding popular favor in France and Italy according to an observation of Miss Zandonini. Broadcast listeners in Europe, she noted, are so advantageously situated as to be able to hear music and speech from neighboring countries almost nightly, an ambition not always realized by DX listeners in America.
This full-fledged woman member of the American Radio Relay League found Radio operating conditions for amateurs quite propitions and, before embarking for America, she practically shared these pleasing Radio conditions by readily exchanging greetings with NU1CEJ, an amateur station at Hartford, Conn.
(Source: Miss E. M. Zandonini Sends Words to Her Father Advising Her Arrival in Europe, National Radio News (01.1929) linkext. Link

4AA →Z4AA → ZL4AA - Bell, Brenda – New Zealand
A PIONEER YL (Extract from a very early Break-In YL Corner)
Recently much attention has been focussed on the first radio contact between England and New Zealand and rightly so, but how many hams, especially the YLs know of the activity of Brenda Bell, pioneer of YL amateur operators in NZ. Both Frank and his sister Brenda operated Station Z4AA (later to become ZL4AA) and they were together the night the memorable contact was made in 1924.
About 1925 Brenda kept a weekly CW sked with Commissioner D.G. Kennedy and his wife in the Ellice Islands. They were the only white people on their island and station Z4AA used to give them the news and do messages for them when required. They were dependent for their supplies on visits by the official ship about once in three months and, if they were out on patrol, then they missed the mail if the ship arrived during their absence. On one occasion when the mail had been missed, Mr Kennedy advised Brenda that they could manage alright except that Mrs Kennedy had run out of Pond's face cream. This was duly sent over to her. Mr Kennedy too had trouble with swinging signals, due to his pet chameleon catching flies on the set. His first batteries were half coconut shells.
In 1926, Frank went to England leaving his sister to look after the rig and she maintained regular contact with him during his absence.
On Sundays, Z4AA kept CW skeds with Gerald Marcuse G2NM, then President of the Radio Society of Great Britain and, during one of these skeds, he asked Brenda to listen for him on phone and, on 20th June 1926, when she tuned in the receiver she heard "Hullo Brenda" and Frank, then in England, was able to recognise his sister's "fist" coming from "down under". Thus Brenda was possibly the first lady operator to be called by phone from England.
Australia and Hawaii could be heard working South Africa, but the South African signals could not be heard. Having obtained the callsigns and wavelengths from the Australian hams, Brenda tried without success to work South Africa. Thinking the equinox might help things, she tried to get through in the early mornings about daybreak and it worked, for, in March 1927, contact was established with A5Z, but there was great difficulty on account of fading, signals going from R4 to zero without warning. Brenda well remembers the washing machine starting up and she rushed out barefoot to get it stopped (Shag Valley Station was equipped with its own electric power plant). This was the first NZ-South Africa contact on short wave, 35 metres, each station using about 30 watts.
Under conditions existing in the early days of radio, Brenda was permitted to operate the station (no written examination was required at that time) and she worked all round the world - Finland, France, Japan, Mexico, Philippines, Uruguay, ships in the Antarctic, a Texas Military Post and a priest in China who vanished when he learned he was working a female - good DX for those early days of radio.
Source:Author: Rene, ZL4DG – Source: linkext. Link

4FN - McKellop, Alberta Pearl → Dawn → Polimer → Gitterman (AKA Shelton, Marla - USA
Passed the Federal examination for professional radio operator at the age of 12, at the time the youngest ever to receive the license. She and her father received praise from the government for sending wireless distress signals during the 1926 Great Miami Hurricane, from Houston, Texas.
She competed the next year, as Miss Houston, in Galveston's "Second International Pageant of Pulchritude and Eighth Annual Bathing Girl Revue".
In 1929 she entered the Miss Universe contest as Miss Tulsa, Theda Delrey. Her eligibility was questioned when two other contestants filed affidavits that she was, in fact, Alberta McKellop who was Miss Houston in 1927 and, as such, was ineligible to compete. In 1930 she competed as Miss California in the "America's Sweetheart" contest, early forerunner of Miss America, in Miami, Florida and placed second in the competition. She was disqualified two months later because she had entered the contest while staying at her grandmother's home in Oklahoma and pageant determined she was not eligible to be Miss California.
(Movie actress* name: Marla Shelton:) She was originally under a short contract with MGM which was touting her for a brief period. However, when her contract was up they failed to renew and Walter Wanger stepped in and gave her a five year contract.
In 1952 she created a stir at the Miss Universe pageant in Los Angeles, when she interrupted a rehearsal and attended, uninvited, a luncheon for contestants. It appears that it was a publicity stunt of some sort and it received considerable press coverage. Press releases of the time indicate she was of Native American ancestry, descendent of the Cherokee. However, her father** is listed on the roles as a member of the Creek (Muscogee) Nation.
(Source: International Movie Data Base linkext. Link )
*26 movie credits in IMDb
** Arthur A. McKellop, 4FN, later W5BJH and W6LAR.

5AW → W5IZL – Brown, Ruth – USA
"One of the early YLs in Texas was Ruth Brown at Electra. For Ruth it started in 1924 when her OM was 5AWQ and he and his brother were keeping the rest of the family awake into the wee small hours building gear. Soon she was licensed as second operator under her OM's call. Interest lagged but when her older son Ernie got the call W5FYZ, Ruth again got on the air as second op. Before WW II she got her own call, W5IZL. ... She earned a Public Service Certificate during the Florida gulf hurricane of '47. She was 5th D/C. Her second hobby was photography. She had two sons, one daughter, and several grandchildren."
(Source: CQ-YL p 69, plus photo)
WWII: USO committee; CD communications committee; code classes; civilian WAAC recruiter; advanced first aid
(Source: Unknown)

6AW - Pym, L. - Australia
“Soon after the WA Radio Club was founded (September 1913) it was decided to advertise for “Correspondence” members who were interested in the “new art & science” of wireless, but were unable to attend meetings because of distance. In April 1914, an application was received from a “Mrs Pym” on Rottnest Island. … Designed a “Country Member” her subscription fee ws 2/6 per annum (25c.) as compared with 5/- for attending members. During the years of World War I membership fees were suspended, so it is not known if she maintained her membership; her name was not recorded. By October 1923, “L. Pym” of Rottnest had a Receiving Licence, with the Callsign 6AW.”
(Source: Dane Handscomb, VK6ATE in “Amateur Radio, June 2000)
6AW Constance Rosemary "Mary" Angelo (Mrs. Matthew Lisle) Pym, Rottnest Island. *1873, India. †1955, Fremantle, Western Australia. Daughter of Col. Edward Fox Angelo and Mary Colqhoun Fraser; her father was in the Indian Military. She was a school teacher on Rottnest Island until 1937, when she and her husband moved to Western Australia. Her husband died the next year.
(Source: Bob Winn, W5KNE)

6BF - Stevens, C. - Australia
In the October 1923 WIA member list appears a Miss C Stevens of the District High School of Bunbury. She seems to have held a Receive Only licence 6BF, which is odd in itself as the first broadcast station 6WF did not come on the air until June 1924.
(Source: Dane Handscomb, VK6ATE in „Amateur Radio“, Oct 1998)
A patient, in my care, told me that he went to school in Bubury at that time. Miss Stevens, known as “Ghosty” Stevens because of the way she used to flit around the corridors, was the Science Teacher. She kept the recveiver in the Laboratory, and would “keep back” achievers to allow them to listen to the only Broadcast station in WA at that time, 6WF, which was owned by Westralian Farmers. … Miss Stevens obviously had an Experimenters’ Permit…
(Source: Dane Handscomb VK6ATE in “Amateur Radio”, June 2000)

6BNV - Ellsworth → Gilbert, Harriet - USA → 7SI

6SO – Parkin, Gladys Kathleen – USA
Gladys Kathleen Parkin (September 27, 1901 – August 3, 1990) was one of the earliest and youngest women to obtain a first-class government-issued radio license.
Parkin was born in Bolinas, California, at the Flagstaff Hotel owned by her father. The family relocated to San Rafael, California after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake destroyed the property.
Parkin became interested in wireless telegraphy at age 5, and operated an amateur wireless station in her home in San Rafael for six years with her brother, John Parkin. Theirs was one of the first wireless stations in California.
On April 13, 1916, while a fifteen-year-old high school student at the Dominican College in San Rafael, she obtained a first-class commercial radio operator's license from the United States Government with the call sign 6SO.The license entitled her to operate any grade of wireless station and to secure employment on vessels. She was the youngest successful female applicant for a radio license ever examined by the Government at that time.
Prior to receiving her professional license, she held an amateur radio license for six years. She applied for the government license on a whim, just to see whether she could pass or not, and passed the examination with a high score. She was the third woman to successfully pass the examination for a first-class radio license, and the first woman in California.
Parkin designed all her own instruments, including a ¼ kilowatt spark-gap transmitter.
Parkin was featured on the cover of the October 1916 issue of Electrical Experimenter. In an article titled "The Feminine Wireless Amateur," she was quoted as saying:With reference to my ideas about the wireless profession as a vocation or worthwhile hobby for women, I think wireless telegraphy is a most fascinating study, and one which could very easily be taken up by girls, as it is a great deal more interesting than the telephone and telegraph work, in which so many girls are now employed. I am only fifteen, and I learned the code several years ago, by practising a few minutes each day on a buzzer. I studied a good deal and I found it quite easy to obtain my first grade commercial government license, last April. It seems to me that every one should at least know the code, as cases might easily arise of a ship in distress, where the operators might be incapacitated, and a knowledge of the code might be the means of saving the ship and the lives of the passengers. But the interest in wireless does not end in the knowledge of the code. You can gradually learn to make all your own instruments, as I have done with my 1/4 kilowatt set. There is always more ahead of you, as wireless telegraphy is still in its infancy.
She continued her career working with her brother in the family radio business, Parkin Manufacturing Company, manufacturing and operating wireless instruments. By the age of 25, she was known by virtually every amateur radio-fan in her district, as she kept up an active interest in radio development and its future possibilities.
(Source: Wikipedia secure linkext. Link )

7CB ← 7FG, Dow →Williams, Winifred Eugenia - USA

7FG → 7CB, Dow →Williams, Winifred Eugenia- USA
"On the West Coast, Winifred Dow, 7FG, of Tacoma, Washington, was well known before World War I. She was written up in the April 1917 issue of QST and a picture appears there also. A charming looking girl, her age was given as 14 years. She claimed to be the first and only licensed girl operator in the Pacific Northwest. Winnie was active in the Radio Club of Tacoma, and her post-war call was 7CB. In 1922 she became radio editor for the Tascoma Daily Ledger and was program director for the BC station - the first in Tacoma. Winnie ... dropped out of radio after she became Mrs. Williams and raised two boys and a girl. (From the early fifties? and for at least) twenty years she and her OM were in the newspaper business in Alaska."
(Source: CQ-YL, p 65)
"Another outstanding young YL was Winfred Dow (Williams) 7FG of Tacoma, Washington. She was 14 when she was featured in a QST article of 1917. She claimed to be the first and only licensed girl operator in the Pacific Northwest."
(Source: QST, March 1994, incl. photo)
Winifred Eugenia Dow Williams *15 July 1902, Tacoma, Washington. †21 September 2000, Alaska, where she and her family lived for many years. She married Llewellyn Morris "Lew" Williams in Seatte, Washington April 14, 1923,
(Source: Bob Winn, W5KNE)
Pioneer publisher, wife of territorial secretary, dies at age 98
Posted: Wednesday, September 27, 2000
KETCHIKAN (AP) -- Winifred E. Williams, a retired newspaper publisher and wife of a territorial secretary of Alaska, died Thursday at the Pioneers' Home here. She was 98. She was born Winifred Dow in Tacoma, Wash., July 15, 1902. Her mother, a musician, encouraged her to perform as a child in Vaudeville on the Pantages stage in Tacoma. As a teen-ager, her engineer father coached her to become one of the nation's first licensed women amateur radio operators. She was a charter member and first secretary of the Tacoma Radio club with the call sign 7FG, Seven First Girl. When a Tacoma newspaper publisher started a radio station, he hired Winifred for her technical expertise and then transferred her to the newspaper as a reporter.
She married another reporter, Lew M. Williams Sr., a World War I Navy radio man, who she met when he helped set up the radio station. As a publicity stunt for the newspaper in 1930-1931, she became what was believed to be the first woman to earn an airplane pilot's license in the Pacific Northwest. She was the subject of several articles about a mother of three learning to fly.
The Williams family moved to Juneau in 1935 where Mr. Williams worked as a reporter and editor for the Daily Alaska Empire. In 1939, the Williams' bought the weekly Wrangell Sentinel where Mrs. Williams helped operate the typesetting and printing equipment. The pair owned and operated the Sentinel for 25 years. Part of that time, the Williams' leased the paper to other editors while Mr. Williams served as secretary of Alaska (now called lieutenant governor). That came while Ernest Gruening was territorial governor. Winifred Williams worked occasionally then as a reporter for the Empire. The Williams' sold their newspaper and retired in 1964. Lew Williams Sr. died in 1972.Mrs. Williams is survived by daughters Susan Pagenkopf of Juneau and Jane Ferguson in the Lower 48 and by her son, Lew M. Williams Jr. of Ketchikan († 2008)
(Source: Peninsula Clarion (Kenai, Alaska), linkext. Link )

7SI → 6BNV, W6HEG - Gilbert, Harriet ← Ellsworth – USA
"Came on the air 1923 in Boise, Idaho, as 7SI with a roaring five watter. In QST for October, 1925 7OB reported that 7SI would soon be signing a 6 as she was going to Salt Lake City to attend college. Her traffic total for that month was 19 messages handled. The following month her traffic total was 30 messages handled, and according to W2ZI, who supplied the information, this was quite a super total for those early days of relaying. Harriet's last call was W6HEG, her OM was W6GAT."
(Source: CQ-YL p 69)
"On June third the seventh district Supervisor of Radio went to Boise, Idahom to hold license examinationsm and to the surprise of the 'regulars' a girl of sweet seventeen entered and took the examination. Miss Harriet Ellswoerth is not 7SI, Congratulations, Harriet, F.B.! She is the second young lady amateur in the seventh district now, and is just as enthusiastic about amateur radio as any 'ham' could be..."
Source: QST, October 1924
"By introducing her as W6HEG you may slightly raise your eyebrows, but by telling you that her old call was 7SI, many old-timers recall fond memories and dreams. You think of the gal who could make raw AC sound better than the prettiest of crystals. She is Mrs. Harriet Ellsworth Gilbert, YF etc. of Ed Gilbert, W6GAT.
Almost eleven years ago, as a youngster of fifteen living at Boise, Idaho, she began the study of the Continental code. After listening in on a Federal receiver, CQs and code signals became readable. Being feminine, the inability to talk back was more than annoying. The R.I. came to town and after a frightful morning under his watchful eye she emerged aith the second blue ticket issued to a YL in the 7th district. Immediately aid was enlisted from among neighboring hams and a transmitter was built ferom the ground up. Her OM sceptically raised two forty-foot masts from which proudly swung a five wire cage aerial - that's what they were called in those days - with a seven-wire counterpoise beneath. The call of 7SI was assigned and thereafter the world became 7SI-conscious. It aroused so much curiosity that her photo was published in a radio magazine in October 1924. She is the YK who made one CQ last all night long. She broke hearts for a year and a half, then at the U of U in Salt Lake City she began anew under the call of 6BNV so that she could talk to the home folks and to the boy friend attending the U of Idasho who used 7JF's (W6FFP) station. But there are some things you can't do by radio, so while visiting in Los Angeles at a radio club meeting there was a great scramble and 6AIC was named the winner. 7SI was soon changed to Mrs. 6AIC. Radio became a side issue and finally simmered down to the BCL variety. A junior op arrived with background noise that drove the loudest signals out. 6AIC was again smitten by his former flame and he became W6GAT. W6GAT's first transmitter used the original five-watter of both 7SI and 6AIC. This brought back old radio memories, so Mrs. W6GAT took a new exam and was assigned the call W6HEG. They are often on the air together and they have had many pleasant contacts with old timers, from ZS2A tu LU8BAS. W6GAT's brute strength emanles him to take the key away from Harriet when he is at home, but when he is away the is back at the old game of thump-thumping some poo guy's heart. Using HEG's own words, 'As a concluding confession I will say there has never been any sport or amusement which has given me more pleasure than amateur radio. I wish I could make more wives see what they are missing by not becoming a licensed YF.' And we echo: We, too."
Source: Radio Magazine, November 1934

8CL - Mme Lebaudy (Mme. Martin-Le Roy)- France
Annuaire de la TSF, „l’Antenne“, Paris 1923: Mme. Lebaudy 8CL, Moisson, par La Roche-Guyon (S. et. O.) „Liste des 8 officiels“, 18.05.1927: Mme Martin-Le Roy, address as above
„Journal des 8“. 08.02.1930, #228: 8CL = another name, address, and departement
„To us Mme Lebaudy (Martin-Le Roy“) was the very first lady radio amateur in France and a distinguished one because she appears already in 1923 when radio-amateurism was a rather if not difficult art.“
(Source: Letter Erik Ludwig, 17.08.1999)

8ER - Chandler, Emma - USA → 8NH

8NH → 8ER - Candler, Emma - USA
"It appears that the first lady amateur to be really well known from the Rockies to the East Coast was 8NH, Emma Candler. Emma began operating in January 1915, was very active in relay work, and held a 2nd grade commercial license. Emma was featured in Who's Who in Amatuer Wireless in QST for October 1916, and in the November 1917 issue there was a photo and description of 8NH. Emma's station at St. Mary's, Ohio. At that time 8NH had been copied in thirty states, hasd worked 9ZF in Denver, and ships off Key West, Florida, and Cape Race, Newfoundland. The photo shows a big spark set, probably a full kW. The antenna is described as 87 feet long, 58 feet high, six wires, center lead-in. The item stated that 8NH was equipped to receive long undamped waves. Postwar the Candlers operated as 8ER."
(Source: QC-YL, p 65)
"When Emma was granted her call in 1915, she was the 6th YL in the United States to qualify for an amateur radio license, and if we add those who were operating before government licensing was required, was the 1oth in the world to bring the feminine touch to amateur radio. Her low-pitched rock-crushing spark was heard from coast to coast and in practically every state of the Union. Emma was famous for her relay work and for her traffic handling in the days when a signal could be monitored by three different ways: by sight, as the blue spark jumped across the electrodes; by sound that could, in transmitters like hers, be heard half a block away; and from the smell of the ozone in the shack."
(Source: Louise Ramsey Moreau W6BBO, QST April 1972)
"We'll probably never know who the first YL may have been, but there is no question that Emma was the most visible. The mother of YL operations was featured in Who's Who in Amateur Wireless in the October 1916 QST. Not quite a year later, her station in St. Mary's, Ohio, appeared in the May 1917 issue. One of the most memorable notations about 8NH was Emma's antenna, which was 87 feet long, 58 feet high, consisted of six wires and had a center lead-in."
(Source:QST, March 1994)

9CCN –> W0RNO - Northrop, Ada ←Gieskieng – USA
"1925 saw 9CCN, Ada Northrop, on the air from Denver, Col. She was then at the tender age of eleven when her older brother made her put away her dolls and learn the code. She also had another brother who was a Ham, but her OM was never interested. He was an Army Officer, and Ada lived in Arizona, Texas, Virginia, Korea, Morocco, and elsewhere. In between times she operated as W0RNO at Denver, working 40m CW only."
(Source: CQ-YL, p 69, plus photo)
The story about her being on the air in 1925 as 9CCN cannot be true. She is not listed in any early callbook as 9CCN or any other call. Besides, during that period 9CCN was issued to Paul Bjork in Illinois. She may have operated from her brother's station. Her maiden name was Ada Lois Gieskieng. She married Thomas E. Northrop. As far as I can determine was not licensed as W0RNO until the 1950s.
(Source: Bob Winn, W5KNE, E-Mail 2018-02-10)

9UA → W0UA - Ensor, Loretta – USA
Home of Early YL is Kansas Museum
The Ensor Farm, in Johnson County, Kansas, is known for its historic association with Loretta Ensor (1904-1991) and her brother, Marshall Hamilton Ensor (1899-1970), two of the most prominent radio amateurs who established one of the most complete amateur radio transmitting stations in America on their property during the early history of radio.
The Kansas City Journal Post, on January 24, 1926, under the headline Kansas Has Lone Woman Radio Amateur in West, stated "Kansas boasts the only woman Amateur radio operator in the Middle West. Her name is Miss Loretta Ensor in the Olathe city directory, but to virtually every amateur within hearing distance---and these days that means clear around on the other side of the world---she is 9UA."
The Ensors teach
The ARRL called for volunteers to teach CW to aspiring hams and Marshall Ensor was one of the first to respond to this request and in 1929 started "lessons" in Code over station 9BSP to anyone who signed up for the 60 lesson course. Both Marshall and Loretta gave lessons for 10 years--it was estimated that more than 10,000 persons were trained in CW during the period over Stations 9BSP and W9BSP.
In 1913 Marshall Ensor built his first wireless or crystal radio set and followed that with a set using a spark gap transmitter in 1917. He received his ticket in 1917 and was issued call letters 9BSP. In 1923 Loretta received her license and received 9UA as her call sign.
Loretta became known during the 1920s as the first woman radio amateur whose voice crossed the Pacific Ocean.
The Ensor Station
In 1940 Marshall Ensor received the William S. Paley Award for his efforts in support of national defense. Each year, William S. Paley, the president of CBS radio, would honor one ham radio operator. At the onset of World War II in 1941 Ensor applied for a commission in the United States Navy and was accepted, obtaining the rank of Lt. Commander. He was stationed at the Naval Air Station, Seattle, Washington, where he was assigned to radio operations. The radio station the Ensors founded remained in operation after Ensor retired from teaching in 1964. After Marshall died in 1970, Loretta operated the radio station. The Young Ladies Radio league (YLRL) presented her with a 50-year member award in 1974.
The Ensor House
The Ensor House in Olathe, Kansas today is a museum on the National Historic Registry. - The Ensor Farm includes the original pioneer cabin built around 1875, the north peg barn (which now houses the Ensor Museum), the 1896/1900 cow barn, second one-room cabin brought to the property, meathouse, chicken coop and brooder house, machine shed, concrete silo and two 80 foot radio towers. - The survival of Ensor Farm and its radio history was ultimately in Loretta's hands, who established the Ensor Farm site & Museum so that others might see how things used to be on a working farm. Both Marshall and Loretta Ensor were licensed radio amateurs and operated a station from the farmhouse for 56 years (1917-1973).
(Source: Sisterhood of Amateur Radio, Past and Present YL Newsmakers: linkext. Link
"First licensed in 1923 was Loretta Ensor with the call 9UA while still attending high school. Loretta's purpose was to establish a radio station in the Olathe, Kansas, High School where her brother Marshall, 9BSP, was an instructor. Loretta's call was used by the school’s radio club until 1940 when the station was moved to the Ensor home. - Loretta described her first rig as a self-excited transmitter with two 202s in the final, used for both phone and CW. Her first contact was with 9RR in Kansas City who was using spark. As highline power was not available at that time, this rig was driven by a 1 1/2hp International engine which furnished the plate supply; storage batteries supplied the filament. Running 20 watts on 190 meters, the following year they worked CB8 in Argentina for the first W9-Argetine contact. After the Internal engine which was cranked by hand at the beginning of each transmission came a 32V house lighting plant battery and a 4-hp Cushman engine with starter. Next 1200V storage B batteries were charged by a Ford engine, driving a 2kW, 32V generator. Finally in 1937 the 110-220V line was brought in. From 1925 to 1927 Loretta spent most of her time on 40m CW with a fifty-watt transmitter. She reminisced: "Soon after we began operating on the 40-meter band we received a letter from a Portugese radio operator on board ship, who wrote: 'Your sigs give turn to the globe.' He went on to explain that while off the coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean he had heard my signals. Quite a feat in those days... It was just about then that Jack Conner of Sidney, Australia, wrote me that I was the first woman to cross the Pacific by radio waves. I could write of many experiences of those days - how a South African contact was coveted, and we were able to contact two different stations there - of the many pleasant ragchews with the Australian station 2YL - how we could tell when a mail boat docked on either coast by the bunch of foreign cards received."
Loretta and Marshall received well-deserved recognition when Marshall was awarded the Paley Award for 1940. This was for the Ensors' code practice and courses in the fundamentals of radio which they transmitted from the fall of 1929 until Dec. 7, 1941. During winter months Marshall and Loretta transmitted nightly and through their work helped thousands of amateurs to pass their license exams.
After WWII, now W0UA, Loretta still operated occasionally on skeds, using her brother's kw rig. Loretta was one of the charter members of YLRL and served as 1th D/C. ... Loretta says that when she went on the air in 1923 she was the only YL in the whole midwest area."
(Source: CQ-YL p 68, plus photo)


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