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Our History


The Frankford Radio Club originated in the Frankford High School, in Philadelphia, around 1927. This document details its history at length. This presentation is divided into segments for your reading pleasure. We certainly hope you enjoy the story.

The Early Years

The Frankford Radio Club originated in the Frankford High School, in Philadelphia, around 1927. W3AHB, Maurice Cox, was largely responsible for getting the group together. W3AVI, Lester Biederman was the first president, and W3LC, W3AKB, W3BNB, and W3QV were other members. As the members graduated, they continued the club and affiliated with the ARRL in 1930. They obtained the call W3BKX and operated in a room in the Paul and Ruan Streets Fire House.
W3BVX, Ian Nutting became president and the club expanded beyond the original high school group.

W3BVX was a private investigator for the firm of Hooper-Holms, which investigated people who got large insurance policies. The Philadelphia Department of Education was a client, and with his inside leverage he had little difficulty in obtaining the use of an abandoned one-room school house on several acres at Cheltenham and Oakland Street. The School Board mysteriously had a flag pole replaced, 50 wide-arm chairs and two tables moved in, blackboards mounted, a heater installed and a set of cafeteria supplies, including a three burner gas stove, set up. The FRC members wired the building and partitioned off a 12-foot-square room for the shack. The station consisted of a National SW3 receiver and a 50-watt CW transmitter. SWLs were allowed membership at that time; however, they were not allowed access to the radio shack. They could look in through a plate glass window! The phone company donated a pole which supported an end-fed Zepp antenna to the new flag pole.

W3PB, the manager of Resco, supplied a prize which was awarded by a drawing at each meeting. The first draw washed the dishes, the second swept the floor and the third got the prize. The club was originally supported by dues; however, after the change of location, funds were raised by selling chances for the prize at each meeting.

Early club activities included trips to the huge RCA communications site at Tuckerton, N.J.; a visit to the Lawrenceville AT&T transatlantic telephone complex; and a trip to New Brunswick, where WIZ, WBZ, and other spectrum polluters were located. RCA's Ed Bradock, W3BAY, demonstrated the new ACR 136 receiver, Nescafe demonstrated their new product...instant coffee. The club sent out for 5-cent White Tower hamburgers to go with the instant coffee.

You can read more about the FRC on these pages:

The 30's
The 40's
The 50's
The 60's
The 70's
The 80's

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