Happy Birthday, Ham Radio
100 years old today
August 13, 2012
but not free to make
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almost unnoticed this year - 2012 - Amateur Radio turns 100! No big
celebrations. No special event stations (yet, anyway). No commemorative
special prefixes. But on August 13, 1912, Congress passed the Radio Act
of 1912 that formally recognized the existence of... well, they didn't
call it "Amateur Radio," but that's what they meant. And they banished
us to what was thought to be the useless spectrum "below 200 meters"
(that would be frequencies above 1.5 MHz).
QST did run a two-page spread about it. They note it's 100 years of Amateur "licensing." An interesting point, since small-a amateur radio technically existed since the first successful experiments by Hertz, Marconi and the rest. And what we really think of as amateurs — enthusiasts tinkering in their attics and basements following instructions printed in the technology magazines of the day — were active for a decade before 1912. But sometimes you just have to pin it down, and the Radio Act of 1912 lets us do that. Sort of.
So Gary celebrates briefly and marks the occasion. And if you want to confuse the hams at your next club meeing, be sure to greet everyone with "Happy Birthday."