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Wireless Society




Student radio operation on campus began with the Wireless Society in 1910. The Society suspended broadcasts during WWI and revived in 1923. In 1927, the Society dissolved. It was followed by the Tufts Amateur Radio Club which was formed in 1935.

Student radio operation on campus began with the Wireless Society in 1910. Quarters for the Society were first secured in Robinson Hall, and through the efforts of a faculty member who was a captain in the Army Signal Corps, a portable wireless set was obtained. The students showed considerable ingenuity in building their own transmitting and receiving apparatus and soon established themselves in a first-floor room in Paige Hall. Before they had to suspend amateur operations because of the First World War, they engaged in such activities as transmitting national football scores to the Tufts Oval while home games were in progress, experimenting with various kinds of antenna, and receiving daily weather reports from Washington, D.C. Special quarters were provided in the American Radio and Research Corporation (AMRAD) building for the Wireless Society, and special training opportunities were made available to furnish radio operators, many of whom served in vital military posts during the First World War. The Society was revived in 1923 under the leadership of Professor Raymond U. Fittz of the Engineering School, who had been active in it as an undergraduate. Amateur radio communication was developed with a radius of several thousand miles and operated first as Station 1 DZ and in 1924 as 1 DZ-1XAW, with international contacts. After several moves about the campus, including a final move to the basement of West Hall, the Society disbanded in 1927 after having operated as WIKN (for the amateur) and W1XAW-W1XA1 (for the experimenter). Individual licensed students operated out of fraternity and dormitory rooms from time to time in the 1930's. Attempts were made to revitalize what was then known as the Radio Society through the 1930s and 1940s. Amateur radio reappeared in the mid-1950's as the Tufts Amateur Radio Society, operating as WIKN.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Tufts University Amateur Radio Club (W1KN) Records

Call Number: UA178
Scope and Contents

The collection contains QSL cards received by the operators of the W1KN from 1935-1993, as well as examples of W1KN cards from the 1950s. QSL cards are cards that amateur radio operators send one another to confirm contact. It also contains one file of licenses, correspondence, and bylaws of the Tufts Amateur Radio Society from 1927-1993.

Dates: Majority of material found within 1935 -- 1993; 1927 -- 1993