Miscellaneous and Unknown

Here's a collection of photographs from the MRHS archives about which we have little or no information.  Can you help us identify the location, equipment or personnel in any of these photos?



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Here is, OM Onassis.  Yes, the very same.  Who knew that Aristotle Onassis was a RO?  The calendar to the left dates the photo as taken in 1955.  Who can identify the gear?  Note the paparazzo outside the shack window.

This is the only photo we have seen of a bicycle powered radio station - and a two seater bicycle at that!

We're not too sure about this one.  At first glance it looks like a telegraph installation.  But what's up with that big coil in the middle of the room?  And the guy to the left seems to be wearing headphones.  In any case the spitoon is ready for use.  But where would the persons descending the stairs to the righrt be coming from?

A very neat shipboard installation that appears to date from the early post-spark era.  Lightning switch on the overhead of course.  Surely someone can identify the equipment.

Another shipboard installation.  Early Radiomarine transmitter to the right and a Radiomarine voice transceiver to the left.  But a National receiver above.  Looking at the instruments in the rack we're guessing maybe a government weather ship.

Not too much guesswork about this one.  The OM is plying his trade via a Radiomarine 4U radio console into which he has plugged his own bug via a cord and wedge.  The call sign AOOY indicates a civilian ship under military control.  But which ship?

Here's a great photo of a radioman at his post.  But is it at a military or civilian station?  Underwood mill, pack of Luckys on the table (but in a white pack so not WWII when Luckys went to wr in an OD pack, and remember: L.S.M.F.T.).  The transmitter to the rear appears to be MF with a prominent frequency selector switch.  Was there another position to the right?  The glimpse of another mill seems to say yes.

Here's a closeup.  500kc is obviously being guarded (what receiver is that?).  The Hammarlund below is probably for HF... but the frequency dials are covered over!

This gives meaning to the term "brute force".  Fifteen water cooled tubes in the final.  You don't see that every day.

Fahnestock clips seem a little out of place in an installation like this but who would argue with the guys who put this together?

Here's a classic photo of a seagoing Sparks on the job.  Pipe, ashtray pulled out from under the operating table, proper tattoo in the proper place, Berne book to the left for ready reference and earphones seemingly modified to allow dual reception (MF/HF?).

Commercial or amateur, that is the question.  Probably a 'phone station, given the megaphone attached to the carbon microphone, possibly for just a tad more depth of modulation.  But the best part is the controls for the receiver set out on sticks, no doubt to avoid hand capacity.  How many remember that problem?

Here's the antenna tuner up on a shelf.  But where's the transmitter?

Here's another little amateur/commercial mystery.  By the call signs it appears to be amateur.  But what can Flora Radio Co. mean?  And is that a primitive ARRL on the left side of the building?  No matter.  When the bands are dead they can always sell a little of their vast stock of pipe.

Here's a squared away two position shipboard installation - but with three mills!  The upper receiver in the rack to the right is a RCA.  Can you identify the other equipment?

This Fokker Super Universal of the Radiomarine Corporation is shown in 1927 "somewhere in New York State".  The letters RA are visible on the hangar roof which might provide a clue as to the location.  What appears to be the edge of the classic RCA "meatball" logo can just be seen to the right.

Movable loop antennas were apparently common for receiving in the 1920s.  See the photos of station KEK in the Historic Coast Stations section.  This receive site looks like it could be along the California coast but confirmation awaits.

Here's the receiving position at the unknown station with the loop antennas.  Note the crank wheels for turning the loops, again very similar to the arrangement at KEK as shown in the Historic Coast Stations section.

We think these guys are shown at broadcast station WER which, strictly speaking, should disqualify them from appearing on the Radiomarine Web site.  But it's such a classic, posed photo that we couldn't resist.

This photo shows CAA operatior Robert G. Bishop at the controls of the ground station at Oneida County Airport.  Others at the station were George A Lynn (Chief), Charles J. Muller, Michael J. Lyoskin, John W. Caldwell and Charles R. Burnett.  The operators were responsible for air to ground communication and the the low frequency beam radio navigation system.

Here's a closeup of Bishop showing his boom mounted microphone, land line equipment and leaf switch controls.  The document stand no doubt contains the latest weather to be read to an aircraft upon request.  All of this was on MF or HF since the photo predates the advent of VHF for aircraft communications.  Note the two indicators in the panel, one showing wind direction and the other showing the wind in relation to the runway.

This is the radio range monitor receiver, used to confirm that the aid to navigation was in working condition.  The radio range was the famous or infamous A/N beam system.  Pilots flying on the beam heard a steady tone.  Pilots flying to one side or the other heard a A or N.  Since the beams were in the MF band they were plagued by static.  Many a DC-3 captain said they worked fine when it was sunny and clear but were sometimes almost useless in thunderstorms - when they were needed most!

Here's the operator at WEVN.  But it's not a broadcast station.  It's a police dispatch station.  Before and immediately after WWII police were often dispatched via one way AM broadcasts sent on frequencies just above the "standard broadcast" band which in those days ended at 1500kc.  This explains the "police" designation at the top end of the dial on many AM broadcast receivers of the time.  The transmitters were similar to or in fact were AM broadcast transmitters, often using the classic four wire flat top antenna.  The receivers in the mobile units were mostly made by Motorola.  Officers leaned close to get their calls through the noise, fading and static.  They had to get it the first time as there was no way to talk back to dispatch in the early systems.  Later VHF talk back transmitters were added to some cars.  Some AM police systems remained in service into the 1960s.

This is allegedly a training classroom in 1912.  There are no sounders and the oeprators are wearing headphones.  Thus we think the training is being given for Central Radio Office work in a point to point radio system.  The CRO received signals over land lines that were picked up by the receivers at the point to point receive station and transcribed them into printed radiograms.  The large electric motor seems set up to drive the Morse inker.  But what's the purpose of the pulley arrangement?

These two guys are allegedly in a RCA Institute classroom learning art of wireless.  Judging from the equipment this was in the very early days.  The combination of the head crushing earphones and flat bench seat must have made for a painful day of study.

Here's Armed Forces Radio Station WVTW, Radio Palau.  We're guessing this is early post WWII or certainly some time after the battle that drove the japanese from the island in 1944.  A SCR-299 communications vehicle is parked in front, probably with its BC-610 transmitter doing duty as the transmitter for WVTW.

R/O E.J. Quinby poses with aviatrix Amelia Earhart before her Electra.  Lack of radio skills are believed by many to be a major reason that Amelia and Noonan never found Johnston Island.

The photo credit that ceme with this photo - clearly in error - describes it as a ship's radio room.  It looks to us like one of those early stations that were built in the top floor of department stores and newspapers.  The station may have been in New York.

The operator on duty carefully copies traffic.

Here's a closer view of the transmitter panels behind him.

Giant brass cased meters and knife switched mounted on slate panels.  From a time when men were men.

A dozen or more No. 6 dry cells are neatly arranged on the floor awaiting deployment.

Established by US Navy in 1907 as one in a chain reaching from Mexico to Alaska. Received 962 and sent 618 messages in 1908 . The Navy's wireless chain includes Tatoosh Island, WA (callsign SV), and Cape Blanco (TA), Table Bluff (TD), Point Arguello (TK) and Point Loma (TM) in California using Massie, Telefunken, Shoemaker and DeForest gear.

Courtesy sunnyfortuna,com