CLUB HISTORY

The Arrowhead Radio Amateur Club has a very long and rich heritage in the

Northeast Minnesota/Northwest Wisconsin area. The group was founded and

affiliated with the ARRL in 1929.

Click here to look at some old pictures of past members of the group.

 

Keep tabs on this page for more information as our

club history is researched and added to this document.

 

Thanks to our senior statesman Art Wright I can happily post the following text.

 

As W0GKM remembers, He was a sort of 1920's era nerd, interested is radio in 1925, builder of crystal (galena)receivers and a listener of WEBC which I recall as the first AM radio station in Duluth/Superior. I was aware a few lads were experimenting with ford spark coil transmitters and, indeed, they caused some QRN/QRM on the broadcast band. In 1927 my sister (later married to Bill Lounsberry, W9EHI) broke her leg in a tobogganing accident and spent 6 weeks in St. Luke's, where, at times her nurse (RN-private) was Agnes Anderson. Agnes talked to me about her brother, a invalid who was "into" ham radio. Agnes took me to visit him, in a comfortable house on the Swan Lake Road, just off the Arrowhead road. I was SHOCKED! Palmer Anderson, about 6' 2"" lay, on his back in a bed in the living room, near windows where he could see out on a glassed-in porch and see vehicles over on Arrowhead Rd. He had been a healthy stevedore until rheumatic fever took over-- as I recall they , at that time, called it inflammatory rheumatism. Every joint in Palmers body had "fused". Even his jaws and he was fed thru a straw. A clip board with a telegraph key lay on his belly in reach of his right hand and he could tap-out the international morse code. And tap-out he did! His call was W9DOQ. I don't remember what sort of receiver he had but I DO remember the home-made colpitts transmitter with a 210 vacuum tube. Of course, I was put to work almost immediately, fixing things, putting up antennas (remember those "zepps"?) and doing anything Palmer asked of me. He was very intelligent. Looking back, it's a wonder I did not get electrocuted. Soon, his place became a gathering site for MANY hams, some licensed and some yet to be. Palmer started a "ham radio exchange", and I prepared things for shipping, unpacked items etc.
In February, 1929, I got my license. There were perhaps 10 of us at a big Oak table on floor 2 of the Federal Building and an RI named Mr. Heiser gave us a code and theory test. I have no idea how many passed but I do know one that failed. Four got calls " in order". W9GKM, yours truly, W9GKN, F.N. Young W9GKO, Lawrence Lindesmith, W9GKP, Carl Johnson. I was certainly among the the youngest of that group. Other, older fellows, undoubtedly licensed earlier, gravitated to Palmers home and soon there was talk of a "club"! I will give Lawrence Lindesmith credit for getting it going. As I recall, a bunch of us gathered at the homes of some that were licensed and the ARAC was born. I have the program for the SECOND annual banquet at the Spaulding Hotel on April 18, 1930. It lists all club members. the speakers, and the following menu, " Fruit cocktail, olives and sweet pickles, tenderloin steak with mushroom sauce, french fried potatoes, cut wax beans, lettuce salad with 1000 island dressing, rolls and butter, strawberry sundae and coffee. I have a ticket-- price, $1.50 The program lists all 33 members of the ARAC.
About this time, N.W. Radio was organized with Carl Johnson, Palmer Anderson, Lawrence Lindesmith as "principles". I think it was an instant success. Lawrence Lindesmith had quit his job at US Steel, Morgan park, and was "on the road", selling to the numerous radio outlets in the entire area. His wife worked at the store on first street. Later, Carl's wife worked there and Ed Peterson became a partner. Thru the years MANY hams worked at N.W. Radio, even including my son, W0ISJ. Palmer had some health problems, had to have major surgery to remove his teeth, fell in love with a R.N that took care of him, moved to California, married the nurse and fathered, I think, two sons. Ed Peterson kept in touch with Palmer and details are gone now that Ed has passed away.
In the early days MOST of us were striving for DX and QSL cards. 20 meters was popular and CW was the way to go. With the advent of WWII, ALL amateur radio activities were suspended by the FCC and, when hostilities ended in 1946, Minnesota became in the tenth district and all W9 calls became W0 calls..
 

 



HerThis is the front and back covers of the 2nd annual ARAC banquet.  A complete listing of the original members is shown.

 

 

These are the two inside pages showing the menu and the program for the evening.

 

 

And a ticket to the event.    

 

All 3 pictures are from Art Wright (WGKM)

 

PLEASE LEAVE ALL INQUIRIES OR MAIL AT: arac@charter.net