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Way Back When
Oldest Amateur Radio Organization

On 11 March 1910 a meeting of like-minded radio experimenters met at the Hotel Australia in Martin Place Sydney forming what is now known as the Wireless Institute of Australia.

First Telephone Patent Drawing

Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for his telephone, 7 March 1876. He made his first telephone call on 10 March 1876.

25 March 1954

The first USA color TV sets “made for consumers” started rolling off the RCA assembly line. While Admiral and Westinghouse offered color TVs a few months earlier, the CT-100 was considered the first mass-produced model. Because they were initially too expensive and there was little color programming available, it took more than a decade for color television to become a household fixture. Its $1,000 price tag would be equivalent to over $11,000 in today’s dollars, or a very nice rig.

27 March 1923—John R. Carson was granted a patent (filed in December 1915!) on his idea to suppress the carrier and one sideband.

March Birthdays

Alexander Stepanovich Popov (Алекса́ндр Степа́нович Попо́в; 16 March 1859 – 13 January 1906) was a Russian physicist, credited with inventing one of the first radio receivers. In Eastern Europe Popov is regarded as the first person to communicate by radio.

     It’s relatively easy to generate radio waves but detecting them is much more difficult. Using Oliver Lodge’s coherer (an early detector), Popov claimed to have transmitted radio signals between different campus buildings in St. Petersburg on 24 March 1896. While he didn’t “invent” radio, Popov is credited with being the first to use an antenna in the transmission and reception of radio waves. May 7 is celebrated as “Radio Day” in Russia and other countries.

March was a busy month for Alexander Graham Bell (3 March 1847 – 2 August 1922). A Scottish-born scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator, he is credited with inventing the first practical telephone.

  Both his mother and wife were deaf and profoundly influenced Bell’s life’s work. His research on hearing devices eventually led to the first U.S. patent for the telephone on March 7, 1876. Three days later, he made his first phone call.

  Many other inventions marked Bell’s later life, including groundbreaking work in optical telecommunications, hydrofoils and aeronautics. In 1888, Bell became one of the founding members of the National Geographic Society.

Leo I. Meyerson W0GFQ, (7 March 1911 – 13 April 2011), founded the World Radio Laboratories in Council Bluffs, Iowa in 1935. WRL became one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of amateur radio equipment under the Globe and Galaxy brand names. Meyerson also established the World Radio electronics stores, a retail chain that operated in the Midlands from the 1950s to the 1980s.

World Radio Labs Logo
World Radio Labs "Globe Scout"

Georg Simon Ohm (16 March 1789 – 6 July 1854) was a German mathematician and physicist. The SI unit of electrical resistance was named after him as the ohm with the Greek letter omega Ω as its symbol.


In 1827, he published his book on Ohm’s law, Die galvanische Kette, mathematisch bearbeitet, in which he gave his complete theory of electricity. Even though his research was confirmed by other noted scientists, it was coldly received. However, his work was eventually recognized by the Royal Society with its award of the Copley Medal in 1841.

Pieter van Musschenbroek (14 March 1692 – 19 September 1761) was a Dutch scientist. He is credited with the invention of the first capacitor in 1746: the Leyden jar.

The illustration is an artist’s conception of the discovery of the Leyden jar. In 1746, Andreas Cuneus, an assistant in  Musschenbroek’s laboratory in Leyden, attempts to “condense” electricity in a glass of water. The rotating glass sphere (right) is an electrostatic machine. The static electricity generated by the hands rubbing on it is transferred through the chain to the suspended metal bar, and from it via the hanging wire into the glass of water.

The glass acted as a capacitor, and a large charge built up in the water, and an equal charge of the opposite polarity built up in Cuneus hand holding the glass. When Cuneus reached up to pull the wire out of the water, he got a severe shock, much worse than an electrostatic machine could give, because the amount of charge stored was much larger than the terminal of an electrostatic machine could store.

Cuneus took two days to recover.

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