top of page
  • Writer's pictureRochelle Gridley

Ham radio operators

Short wave radio was quite the craze in the thirties and forties. The Pantagraph enjoyed sharing photos of short wave operators and their equipment. It was an equal opportunity pastime, both men and women enjoyed talking on the radio.

In 1940 Kenneth Fuller was photographed in his yard talking on the short wave. When the US entered the war, ham radio operators were anxious to help out in any way they could. It must have been interesting listening in on European radio to hear possible secrets and dangerous transmissions!

G.W. Stowell converted a travel trailer into a "radio shack," combining two new technologies into one in 1936.

When telephone lines were down during a flood in January 1937, ham radio operators stood by to radio important information to police and the Red Cross for disaster relief. Harlan Baird, a young man from Bellflower relocated his equipment to Mounds City so he could relay messages from Paducah, Ky to Collinsville.

Perhaps the men in this radio club were helpful during that time (photograph from June 1936.) The men were: Edward Roberts, Kenneth Fuller, John Hinton, James Umstattd, Oren Gambill, and Ed French.

Evelyn Sakemiller and Floyd, her brother, were both ham operators. They lived on Low Street in Bloomington and Evelyn had been an operator for two years. She taught a class for radio to girls through the WPA Recreation board in 1937.

Helen Zalucha helped with emergency broadcasts for the Red Cross in 1941.

49 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page